30 August 2012

Nathan Fake - Steam Days artwork and poster by Jack Featherstone

Link: Jack Featherstone
Link: Border Community

Last week's marathon House Party event on Channel 4 paired up a succession of taste-maker DJs with video artists. However, it seemed to reaffirm that club culture struggles as a spectator sport. Some of the VJing  didn't help with any kind of reassessment either - particularly given that much of the visual work resorted to the tired imagery that's already accompanied at least 44,000 Ibiza-oriented compilations. The dancefloor experience was too easily reduced to some animated gifs of speakers and rotating headphone-clad people.

A notable exception was Jack Featherstone who took an interesting and far less literal approach that did more to illustrate the abstract communicative abilities of sound. Which is unsurprising given his output: the latest of which follows on from the series of 12" singles he prepared for the Border Community label.

Contextualizing Nathan Fake's upcoming Steam Days long-player, Featherstone appears to touch on an area that has previously been visited by Andy Gilmore and Michael Cina: courtesy of the construction of a complex, overlapping geometric image. In this case, though, it has resulted in a hypnotic, vortex-like arrangement of light that is perhaps as dazzling as Fake's productions. Released next week on double vinyl, CD and download, there is also a limited edition A2 print of the artwork that's currently available to pre-order at bleep.com.

29 August 2012

Club Cheval & Brodinski - 'Bromance #3' artwork by Viktor Hachmang

Link Viktor Hachmang
Link: Bromance

For the French love-in that is Brodinski and Club Cheval's third release for the former's Bromance label, the artwork depicts similar visual influences to those that have defined the Club Cheval-affliated Marble Music. Created by Holland's Viktor Hachmang - an illustrator whose work can often employ the post-modernist motifs associated with Memphis Group members like George Sowden - this contemporary work is one that owes a debt to Barney Bubbles. In this case its the kind of style used for Bubbles' technical drawing-based sleeve for Ian Dury's 'Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick' and it is one that additionally features what would have been self-reverential details that relate to the graphic designer of the late 1970s and early 1980s. But, while it may be something of a pastiche, it's obviously something with a real fondness for the era it evokes.

Meanwhile, for a more in-depth approximation of Barney Bubbles' output and influence, Paul Gorman's book comes highly recommended. You'll find that available via this link: Reasons to be Cheerful: The Life and Work of Barney Bubbles.

28 August 2012

Marc Romboy and Ken Ishii - 'Taiyo' artwork by Hort

Link: Hort 
Link: Systematic Recordings

It may signify a collaboration between two techno heavyweights, but Hort's artwork for Marc Romboy and Ken Ishii avoids all the machine-based visual cliches in favour of something more sensual. The release, on Systematic Recordings, comes with a poster/print that also offsets a stark yellow and black text area with more detailed black and white photography.

24 August 2012

Jessie Ware art direction by Kate Moross

Link: Studio Moross
Link: Jessie Ware

Those people thinking that they have the measure of designer Kate Moross after encountering her earliest illustrated text, day-glo colour palettes and geometric patterns might be surprised by her restrained art direction for, singer, Jessie Ware. But then - from Simian Mobile Disco's recurring circle motifs to the art deco aesthetic she devised for Fenech-Soler - Moross is far from being a one trick pony.

This latest campaign (including the singles that preceded, album, Devotion) has been typified by an elegant, balanced approach with some lovely detailing. Meanwhile the creative's playfulness has been demonstrated in new, innovative ways: including the interactive billboard that, while undoubtedly fun, still managed to stay true to Ware's sophisticated image.

16 August 2012

M.I.A. - 'Bad Girls' USB

Link: M.I.A.

Picking up on the car theme that was explored on Romain Gavras' astounding video, M.I.A. has put out the remixes of 'Bad Girls' on a limited edition gold-plated key shaped USB. Available only in the US and retailing at $50, they come suspended from a ½” gold colored snake chain. The 2GB capacity includes audio content boasting production by Danja, Switch, and Leo Justi plus guest vocals from Missy Elliott, Azealia Banks and Rye Rye.

The packshots, meanwhile, utilise the culture clashing, almost anti-designer aesthetic that has typified the artist's artwork for almost ten years.