31 May 2012

Teengirl Fantasy - Tracer artwork by Kari Altmann

Link: Kari Altmann
Link: R&S 

After collaborating for the 'Portofino' video back in 2009, Kari Altmann has put together the artwork for Teengirl Fantasy's upcoming album. There is seemingly a kinship with the synthetic qualities of Konx-om-Pax's cover for Lone's Galaxy Garden that was released recently on, the same label, R&S. That said, Altmann's work has explored technology-based aesthetics for a considerable amount of time. A particular interest appears to be based around a 'hacker'-like approach with this - of faked, filtered and modified nature - an unsettling yet dream-like visual to accompany the U.S. duo's maximalist electronic output.

25 May 2012

Drums of Death - 'Blue Waves EP' 12" by Pete Hawkes

Link: Pete Hawkes
Link: Civil Music

Somewhere between the Soulwax Any Minute Now cover by Trevor Jackson and Kate Moross' upcoming op art for new Simian Mobile Disco material is the new 'Blue Waves EP'. It's Pete Hawkes' second cover for rave voodoo talisman Drums of Death and almost guaranteed to wreck your retinas.

17 May 2012

Rudi Zygadlo 'Melpomene' by Sam Chirnside

Link: Sam Chirnside
Link: Planet Mu

Artwork for an appropriately dramatic 7" single by Rudi Zygadlo - coming up on the sonically and visually reliable Planet Mu label. (Chirnside previously worked on sleeves and logos for the stable's Tropics, Ital, DJ Diamond and Kuedo.) Out 2nd July 2012.

16 May 2012

Don't Break My Love 'Prism' on Clown and Sunset

Link: Clown & Sunset

Following Matthew Dear's 'Totem' and its re-representation of music via the physical object, Nicolas Jaar's 'Prism' arrives as a playable, if similarly industrial-looking, device. Containing twelve tracks that act as a showcase for his Clown & Sunset label, the small aluminium cube has two headphone sockets and is charged by a USB cable while it's additionally a reaction to two of Jaar's pet hates: audio compromised by tinny computer speakers and the compact disc. 

15 May 2012

Gold Panda - 'Mountain/Financial District' 7" artwork by Andy Gilmore

Link: Andy Gilmore
Link: Gold Panda
Link: Ghostly

Released by the US's Ghostly and, in the UK, via the artist's own Notown logo, 'Mountain/Financial District' is the new single by Gold Panda. As with the acclaimed Lucky Shiner long-player, artwork comes courtesy of Andy Gilmore. Out on clear vinyl 7" and (far less fancy) digital.

Gold Panda has described the A-side track as "crowded, synthetic and shiny... repetitive": something that Gilmore appears to have picked up on for the cover image.

5 May 2012

Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill artwork by Steve Byram

Link: Beastie Boys
Link: Steve Byram

Steve Byram's customised 747 illustration for the breakthrough 1986 album by the Beastie Boys seemingly captured a sense of ambition. However the punchline - via the continuation of the image on the album's reverse - humorously typified the kind of chaos and irreverence that was quickly associated with the trio.

As the tributes to Adam 'MCA' Yauch demonstrate, the Beastie Boys clearly outgrew the associations with juvenile acts of destruction while also creating an impressive and varied body of work. Still, this album - and its sleeve - serve as a reminder of a pivotal point in music history.

*** Update ***

From Manuel Sepulveda a.k.a. Optigram:

"Just thought I'd let you know that the idea for the cover was by Rick Rubin and he asked Steve Byram (art director at CBS) to commission it. The artwork is actually by illustrator David Gamboli, aka World B Omes. The Beastie's logo was designed by Stacey Drummond."

1 May 2012

DROKK packaging by Marc Bessant

Link: Marc Bessant 

The latest project from designer Marc Bessant sees him, once again, working alongside Portishead's Geoff Barrow. Titled DROKK and in collaboration with composer Ben Salisbury, this takes its musical and visual inspiration from Judge Dredd's Mega-City One. The release additionally finds itself spread across a number of formats.

Limited to an edition of 400 is a deluxe box set version consisting of a PiL-evoking metal film cannister containing an industrial-like grey vinyl pressing, circular print, CD and t-shirt. [More images of the various versions can be found at the above links.] The DROKK branding also makes use of a stencil typeface akin to that which might typify industrial signage associated with the dystopian end of the sci-fi genre.

Bessant's discussion of DROKK's development/creative process:

"Taking on a project that already has 35 years of talent associated with it is always daunting, but some things are hard to pass over, as was the case with ‘DROKK -Music inspired by Mega-City One’.

I first heard the demo’s some time ago and they were sounding the right side of edgy then and beginning to tick all the right boxes; Making music for non-existant movies has become quite fashionable of late, but what was different about this one was its creators were old-skool readers of 2000ad and, taking into account that respect for the writers and artists over the years, had a genuine motivation for making it uncompromisingly just-so. I would approach the design in much the same way, I would not (and largely could not) compete with the artists that have brought mega-city one to life for the past three-and-a-half decades, the sleeve design had to be independent of all that and stand on its own, for better or worse.
I wanted to make a sleeve/formats that wouldn’t look out of place within the Mega-Cities themselves, gritty and monochromatic. Early on we (Geoff, Ben and I) met with 2000ad/Rebellion and our work could not have been more positively received, their approval meant a lot to us and from then on it was full steam ahead.  Several formats were undertaken  – Bunker, Visor, LP and Mega-Edition – all various shapes and sizes but with an overall utilitarian and minimal aesthetic throughout. Cover logotype was painted and tracks/names chassis-stamped, all textures from the surfaces of Civil Waste Disposal vehicles, crude but apposite."