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Karl Henkell, Record
At work with

Karl Henkell, Record

We’re starting off the work week in New York's Chinatown with writer and editor Karl Henkell. Karl is behind new music magazine Record, a publication that takes a look the lives of musicians in a way that’s more Apartamento than NME or Pitchfork. This morning Karl takes us through his new release.


Where are you today?
In my apartment slash home office in Chinatown Manhattan.


What can you see from the window?
I live opposite a park so every morning I wake up to ladies doing Tai Chi, men practising with samurai swords and long wooden sticks, and a group of men who meet each morning to shoot three pointers on the basketball courts.

Are you a morning or evening person?
I used to be an evening person, especially during my university days. A class before 11am was a cruel form of torture. But in the last few years I’ve flipped my routine completely, and find I get most things done before lunch.


Which magazine do you first remember?
Mad magazine and Simpsons comics. I can’t remember any of it now, but I was obsessed with both for a really long time as a kid.


What’s your favourite magazine this morning?

That’s a hard question! I’ve found that in making a magazine, I’ve spent much less time reading others. I’m aware of them, but I might read them months after their release. I’ll buy something and put it aside. Some of my favourites are Purple, System and Apartamento. I’m also interested in new print publications like Unconditional and Kennedy that have a strong vision.


What’s your favourite record this morning?
I’m listening to Sade ‘Paradise’ on repeat this morning. They were an English band popular in the ’80s. It’s a really uplifting track, and sets a nice tone for the day. I was reminded of it in a recent Beats in Space radio show.


Record is one of the few new music magazines today. Why do you think other music publications have been declining, and was this a concern for you starting out?
I think the immediacy of online music publications has made previous print music titles obsolete. That’s obvious when going to a store like McNally Jackson in Soho — the music section is practically non-existent, while the fashion section is overflowing. It’s not really a concern though, because I don’t consider Record to be a traditional music title. It’s the starting point of the magazine, but we are interested in using it as a lens to see the world.

Pages from RecordCultureMagazine_Issue1,2016-3

It’s also a question of the kind of content you are presenting. The intention for Record is to publish interviews that are still valuable in years to come, that tell the artists’ story and uncover what motivates and inspires them. The great thing about being a small, independent title is that you can do things that would seem crazy to bigger titles.

Pages from RecordCultureMagazine_Issue1,2016-5

You seem to have adopted a lifestyle approach to the content – the photography strays from the interviewees to solo chairs and room scenes in an Apartamento-like manner. Is that deliberate?
The intention of the magazine is to show readers the normality behind the public personas of interviewees. I like how objects tell a story, that you can pick up subtle cues from seeing into someones home or studio. It’s a bit voyeuristic. Working with a photographer like Paul Barbera, who documents artists’ and creatives’ spaces, helps to achieve this goal.

What are you most looking forward to this week?
Our launch party! This Thursday evening at Elvis Guesthouse, a fun bar in the East Village. That, and playing with our cat Peri.

What are you least looking forward to this week?
Working out how to ship pre-orders with the US postal system.

What will you be doing after this chat?
I’ll be meeting a friend for lunch in the park. It’s finally spring in New York, which provokes intense amounts of joy after a fairly long winter.

Art direction and design: Holly Canham

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