Charline Giebel documents with "near mint" the essence of analogue music listening

Charline Giebel, Vinyl culture Von Dominik André am
In charge of the "near mint" project: Charline Giebel.
In charge of the "near mint" project: Charline Giebel.

Driven by the fascination for the timeless, Charline Giebel creates visual and musical worlds. Her latest project is called "near mint" and is a series of portraits of protagonists in the local vinyl scene. We wanted to find out more about her and sent her a few questions.

Who is Charline Giebel?

I am a multidisciplinary designer, multimedia producer, music lover and DJ. I love trying out new things and creating new visual worlds, brands or projects. I like colourful and cheerful designs and enjoy listening to disco, Brazilian music and anything that grooves.

Where does your fascination for analogue culture such as vinyl and sound systems come from?

I have been full of music since my childhood. Thanks to my musical family, I came into contact with records, many instruments and devices at an early age. My long-standing hobby as a dancer, which I have been practising since I was three years old, has further strengthened my love of music.

Als DJ Namen honeydip aktiv: Charline steht regelmässig am DJ-Pult.

The record fascinates me as a timeless, physical object. You can touch it, it belongs to you forever and something as great and diverse as music comes out of the narrow grooves. The same applies to mixing consoles, amplifiers and loudspeakers: there is so much technology, craftsmanship and design in them. And when it's analogue technology, the sound is noticeably warmer - I love that. 

What is "near mint" and what does it mean to you?

"near mint" is a film portrait series about people from the vinyl and music scene. It is my latest project, which was created over the past few months as part of my degree at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).

The project means a lot to me. It combines my three great passions: music, design and film. I also get to know people and their stories from the vinyl scene: a valuable exchange that gives me a lot. And through "near mint" I can share these valuable experiences with many people. That's beautiful. „near mint“ will be continued after my graduation.

It's all about the records: snapshot from the portrait of Tina Mira.
It's all about the records: snapshot from the portrait of Tina Mira.

What moments do you want to capture with "near mint"?

The portrait series shows that the longing for inner peace is growing in the digitalised and fast-paced present. Places like the Listening Bars, which originated in Japan, fulfil this desire. The vinyl record almost becomes a symbol of serenity: unpack the record, put it on, clean it, put the needle on, lean back and listen.

The series also reflects how individually music is listened to. Everyone feels something different when their favourite song is being played or when they hold the long-awaited record in their hands. It is precisely this individuality and these moments that I love to capture. That's the best thing for me.

Honeydip before or after spinning records: Charline with Partner in crime Oli.
Honeydip before or after spinning records: Charline with Partner in crime Oli.

Who are the protagonists in your portraits?

In the first season, Tina Marie, Moritz (Mono Moritz) and Muriel (Yeng) are portrayed. All DJs (and much more) from Zurich.

Who would you really like to portray one day?

A really difficult question! But shooting a longer portrait or even a season about the Zurich duo „Okvsho“ would be really great.

What do you like about the vinyl community and what would you like to change?

I love the sense of togetherness that this community radiates. I still feel it's a special gift to be a part of it and that we can talk about music and vinyl for hours. I wouldn't change much, but I would like to see nightlife develop even more in this direction. I'm seeing a constant movement and development - even in smaller cities. More (qualitative) listening instead of (excessive) consumption.

„near mint“ is a series of portraits dedicated to the Swiss vinyl scene, highlighting the values that unite this small but special community beyond music: Mindfulness, community, sharing and conscious listening.

Q&A by Dominik André