Objects & Sounds: a brand new Belgian mood-based record store

Pictures by Hilde Lenaerts

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From "floating on clouds" to "a sense of melancholy" or "ready for action". Objects & Sounds sells vinyl based on feelings, not genres.

As music becomes more diverse than ever, the idea of labelling every release under a particular genre has become obsolete. Instead, Alec Seynaeve and Aimee Bacallan wanted to start their new record shop (operated from their Ghent apartment) with a completely different approach. "The idea came to us when we were in a hip pizzeria", Alec says. "The playlist did not fit the overall mood of the spot, so we developed this preoccupation around mapping mood with sound". Playlists like these exist already, but it got them thinking. Alec and Aimee applied this idea to record shopping. After all, if you're not a bit of music nerd, looking for new music in record stores can be a frustrating experience. "By shifting the focus away from genres, release dates and popular labels and placing it on moods, we are also able to give music lovers who are not native in the underground scene a chance to discover independent music", Alec says.

Even though Objects & Sounds only sells online, the idea to launch a new business during a pandemic is not very obvious. But Alec doesn't see it that way. "Is it ever a good time? When much of everyday life moved to our kitchen table, we suddenly had a lot of time to work on our own projects. With our experience in website development and marketing, it made sense for us to channel our skills and our love for music into a webshop that features all the music we love”.

We never intended to stock obvious choices and big releases.

The catalogue is probably the most interesting thing about the new shop. "We never intended to stock obvious choices and big releases", Alec explains. "We wanted to emphasize local artists that are alternative, yet have the potential to interest a broad audience. We try to approach artists and labels directly, as this allows us to build a stronger connection with the makers of the music we love and eventually be able to share the stories behind the releases”.

Other than an online vinyl store, Objects & Sounds intends to host talks with artists, designers, label founders and more to explore different perspectives on the relation between mood and music and to shed a light on the artistic process of the people behind the releases in store.