Jakub Alexander curates the music selections here at the blog. He also runs his Moodgadet record label out of Brooklyn, NY and does A&R for Ghostly International Records.
Links:Moodgadget RecordsJakub's Tumblr
With a 3rd single dropping from the new Tame Impala album, I had to reach out to the graphic designer behind the beautiful madness, so tap in and get inside Robert Beatty’s head the man behind the cover art for TI and many others.
Name: Robert Beatty
Current city: Lexington, Kentucky
Pets: Mr. Smith (toy poodle), Blue Velvet (chihuahua)
Studio setup: In home, basically in my kitchen
ISO50: Share a childhood memory that might relate to your design? I drew constantly as a kid, but I was generally just very curious and wanted to find out how everything worked from the inside out, which is definitely the way I treat design and music. I remember discovering video feedback with the family camcorder when I was in maybe 4th grade or something. Circuit bending not long after that. I was always taking things apart and getting in trouble.
ISO50: If you couldn’t create music or design in your life, what would you be doing? I can’t really imagine doing anything else and being happy. I did a few years of renovation/construction work in the past and enjoyed that quite a bit even though it’s exhausting. I definitely can’t see doing something that doesn’t involve making something in some way.
ISO50: How did you doing Tame Impala album art come about? is this how most of your graphic work comes to you? Kevin was familiar with my work and got in touch. Usually if I don’t know someone or have mutual friends people just reach out to me after seeing my work elsewhere, I’m pretty accessible.
ISO50: Tell us about Tame Impala album art and the influences? Kevin’s ideas for the album artwork were all based on turbulent flow, the way liquid or air flows around objects. He sent over a bunch of images of diagrams that I took inspiration from. Everything was very open and they let me interpret things in my own way. It worked well with the kind of stuff I’ve been interested in doing lately. I’ve been trying to incorporate more op-art and moire techniques into the record covers, and this was the perfect opportunity.
ISO50: Can you list off a 4 song playlist of what you listen to while you do your graphic work? I listen to music constantly while working and it is always all over the place, but here’s some stuff I’ve been playing a lot lately.
Nuno Cannavaro – Alsee Brother Ah – Enthuiasm Bo Anders Persson – Love Is Here To Stay Dendo Marionette – Walts (For Lautréament)
ISO50: Something your fans might not know about you? I grew up on a cattle/tobacco farm. I also showed rabbits in the county fair as a kid.
ISO50: Do you collect anything? My collection of art and design books is starting to get out of hand. I’m kind of a pack rat, so I have small collections of a lot of weird stuff- keys, prisms/interesting glass objects (which come in handy for shooting photographs and video through), objects with brick patterns, plants. Obviously I’ve got some records and tapes too.
ISO50: What is the first album cover that pops up in your head and why? Pretty much anytime anyone asks me this question all I can think of Isadore Seltzer’s (of Pushpin Studios fame) cover to Bruce Haack’s “Electric Lucifer” LP. It’s got the perfect balance of 70’s illustration, geometry, crudeness, and precision that I love. Doesn’t hurt that it’s one of my favorite records too.
ISO50: What do you have lined up for the rest of the year? I’ve been working for a while now on an art book of all new material that will be out later this year. I’m planning some new work for a few exhibitions that are in the works. On the music side of things I’ve got a few Three Legged Race EP’s I’m finishing up that will be out this year as well. I’m also starting a new tape label to put out some of my music and some music by my friends early this summer. I’m working on some new soundtracks for a few short videos by Takeshi Murata right now. Lots of record covers and posters too as always.
‘Walk Dance Talk Sing’ is one of the more deeper cuts on this classy disco effort from the UK trio Crazy P. The bassline makes it a builder compared some of the more soulful dancefloor tracks that imbodies this LP. The distant guitar work is what sold me, reminded me of an Erlend Oye project.
This Berlin-based, Paris-born collective made up of Irishwoman Julie Chance and Australian Jon Dark reach deep and summon some very fluid tones that touch on could have been a lost B-side of Slowdive if they were went a more delicate route in the mid 90’s. I personally enjoy the stillness of the sounds like your slowly circling something in a dark room and sensing it being soft yet cold.
Sola is taken from the debut album Eternalism by Evvol, out June 8th on Mad Dog & Love Records.
This new Legowelt cut popped up when I was looking through some images to post, wanted to pair them up because it reminds of the first days on this blog when it oozed nostalgia and timeless imagery and sound, Its always nice to reminisce. What a track from Wolfers, its like the man lives inside his vintage machines, the melodies he unravels always end up on repeat.
“The basis of the album was a series of field recordings of tones and unintentional harmonies that I made in the summer & fall of 2013 – whistling industrial air conditioners, bird songs, locust drones, washing machines – that I mimicked or interpreted on the guitar, making loops that developed into fuller compositions.
Several of the pieces are recreations of harmony loops that I heard in a series of extraordinarily vivid dreams, and then woke up and recorded.
A few pieces had lyrics and vocal parts that I ultimately removed; at a certain point the album became an exercise in restraint, so I strove to leave only what I felt absolutely essential.
Unlike most of my previous recordings, there are no digital / software after-effects on the album; all sounds are from analog tape and / or my few guitar pedals.” Thomas Meluch (Benoit Pioulard)
The sound of the fifth Benoit Pioulard full length is lush and verdant, a temperate rain forest of ear ecstasy that reflects the environment surrounding the artist. A mostly instrumental work, it is an adept melding of song and sound, melody and texture, the intangible and the palpable, that in an abstract sense recalls the more fractured and loose end of the 70’s krautrock movement.
With each song having an average run time of just 1:30 this refreshing James Pants album is very easy to enjoy. There might be a slight learning curve for past Stones Throw and James Pants fans for this LP. Its heavy on what i’d like to call “Hyper New Age” where a lot of New Age elements/ideas get touched on.
Big room British producer shares his 2nd single “Crystallise (feat. Lawrence Hart)” from his upcoming LP Fading Love on Domino Records.
I am always impressed by George’s very direct basslines, they always work soo well on the dancefloor and have this dryness to them that make them sound classic or like you’ve heard something similar to it in the past. Here he doesn’t have that it, its a rolling arp, a lot less heavy and more ethereal. Still gorgeous, the man has an ear for tasteful dance music, I hope he never goes anymore big room than this though.
Right in time for the summer grilling, Ratatat is back, can you imagine how many backyard parties in Brooklyn this song will played?? I sure can :|. Five years is too long but i’m not going to deny a good thing, they still got it.