28 February 2012

For The Record #3: Optigram

Link: Optigram
Link: Bob Hickson

Asked to cite an example of music artwork that has made a huge personal impression, Optigram - a.k.a. Manuel Sepulveda - selected the sleeve for 1977's eponymous Mandré long-player. And seemingly without hesitation.

Alongside that amazing logo, the airbrushed illustration came courtesy of Bob Hickson [who additionally completed similarly iconic work for ELO] while the Motown release's tuxedo-wearing robot has been discussed in recent years for allegedly providing a blueprint for Daft Punk's cyborg reinvention. In any case, the cover offered an arresting representation for the masked alter ego of space-funk pioneer Andre Lewis: a visionary figure that passed away just four weeks ago.

Mandré's retro-futurism influence lives on today and may be evident when assessing some of the work designed by Optigram for labels like Hyperdub, Citinite, Planet Mu and Warp [check his science-fiction sleevescapes devised for Terror Danjah, for example].

"Great concept," says Optigram, "for me the coolest album cover of all time. One of those records you want to buy for the cover alone."

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