Design Music

A Visit to Third Man Records Reveals the Remarkably Analog Process of Cutting Vinyl Records

February 14, 2023

Grace Ebert

How do our favorite songs make their way into vinyl records? The team over at WIRED visits Third Man Pressing in Detroit to document the particularly labor-intensive production process. From adding the finicky lacquer coating to etching the matrix number by hand, the undertaking requires at least 14 steps before the album is packed and shipped, and each record passes through numerous sets of hands on the production floor. As the music industry becomes increasingly digital, the cutting process remains remarkably analog. “Vinyl is in the real world. It’s not something that exists only on your computer or your phone. It’s three-dimensional,” says one of the pressing plant’s engineers.

Watch the video above for a tour of the facility and insight into the manual parts of the process behind each album. You also might enjoy this DIY engraver for homemade vinyl. (via Kottke)


A video still of a record cutting station

A video still of hand writing on a record




Animation Music

An Eerie Atmosphere Envelops the Post-Apocalyptic Universe of a New Animated Music Video for Woodkid’s ‘Reactor’

December 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

Ashy lava oozing over the landscape, flames ripping through piles of mechanical waste, and debris floating through a thick, smokey haze shroud an animated music video for Woodkid in an eerie, post-apocalyptic ambiguity. Directed by Saad Moosajee and produced by Reef Oldberg, “Reactor” descends into a world that’s been marred by an atomic meltdown. Children rise from fiery rubble, and their elegantly choreographed movements appear to control the machinery within the enveloping, dystopian environment.

In “Reactor” and the S16 album more broadly, Woodkid references the chemical properties of sulphur and Japanese classics like Akira and Ghost in The Shell as inspiration, and the animated component takes similar cues. “Our intention was to create something deeply personal that could communicate the feeling of being swallowed by the world around you. About trying to breathe in a place where no one and nothing can breathe anymore,” Moosajee shares in an interview.

Watch the unearthly CG-creation above, and check out Woodkid’s similarly elemental track titled “Iron” from a few years back.


An animated image of lava and a child

A video still of a machine

A video still of lava pouring from a machine

An animated image of a dog walking up to a child

A video still of children dancing



Design History Music

Diagrams of Turntables and Amps Chart the History of Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Rock and Roll

November 23, 2022

Grace Ebert

A screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

All images © Dorothy, shared with permission

How do you visualize the history of hip-hop? Or jazz? Questions of origin and influence are common for artists, and the inventive team behind the U.K.-based design studio Dorothy (previously) goes gold as they painstakingly map out the history of music genre by genre. Plotted onto the circuit board of a guitar amp, the diagram of a 1950s phonograph, or that of a turntable, the latest editions in Dorothy’s Blueprint series chart the pioneers and greats who transformed rock and roll, jazz, and hip-hop in gilded screen-prints. The trio of metallic designs, plus three more devoted to alternative, electronic, and dance music, are available in the Dorothy shop.


A detail image of a screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

A screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

A detail image of a screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

A screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

A detail image of a screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold



Animation Music

1,300 Oil Paintings Flow Through a Dreamlike Animated Music Video for The Beatles

November 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

London-based animator Em Cooper captures the hazy daze of slipping from wakefulness to slumber in a new music video for The Beatles’ “I’m Only Sleeping.” The short animation stitches together 1,300 oil paintings on celluloid that swirl and twist from one scene of euphoric stupor to the next. “We used to listen to this song on a tape in the car when I was a child,” Cooper told Creative Boom, “and the song itself evokes such a mesmerising, languid, dreamy state. In a way, my job was only to follow its lead with a paintbrush in my hand.”

Originally released in 1966 and now part of the new Revolver: Special Edition album, the harmonic track remains relevant and subversive for its soporific, unhurried approach to modern life, which Cooper echoes in her laborious process of hand-painting every frame. You can find more from the Emmy-nominated animator and director on her site.


An animated image of two painted portraits

A painted image of a man sleeping

An animated image of fossils, shoes, lipstick, and oil rigs

A painted image of a hand plucking a guitar



Animation Music

A Whirlwind Timelapse Comprised Entirely of Google Street View Images Circles the Globe

October 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

From the halls of the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro to the Hamburg Canals and the craggy landscape of Mont Blanc, a short film by Adam Chitayat adventures around the world in a dizzying sequence. The timelapse, which is the official music video for “Out Sailing” by Alex Boman, was initially intended as an antidote to wanderlust during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Using frames captured in sequence through Google Street View, Chitayat explores a multitude of rural and urban settings both indoor and outdoor, producing a whirlwind travelogue that traverses the globe in a matter of minutes. For more from the American-Israeli director, head to Vimeo.




Music Photography

A Dizzying Zoetrope Flashes Scenes of Portugal Through a Train Window

September 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

Irish director and animator Kevin McGloughlin (previously) and his brother Páraic (aka the McGloughlin Brothers) recently collaborated on a new short film that speeds through urban and rural regions of Portugal with an eye toward recurring structures and patterns. The music video for Bonobo’s new single “ATK,” the zoetrope flashes a series of photos at an incredibly fast pace, appearing to capture the scenes from the window of a train. Spliced into a dizzying sequence, the animation reveals a range of cohesive elements from the lines of terracotta roofing and ceramic tiles with colorful motifs to skinny streets that flicker in rapid succession.

Watch more mesmerizing compilations by the McGloughlin Brothers on Vimeo.