As you may have noticed I haven’t been very active on the blog over the past year. This is because I had decided to focus solely on my music project, Tycho for a while. I spent the last 9 months or so working with the band on a new record which is now complete. Of course, Tycho is very much an audio / visual project so I’m still working consistently on design whether it be album covers, show posters, or online assets. I was working on the cover art and developing the packaging in parallel with the recording process this time around. We recently shared the final artwork for this LP, entitled Awake (listen to the title track here). I’ll go more into the reasoning behind and making of the artwork later, but for now here is a quote from this Reddit discussion of the cover art that I commented on:
This design was mean to be a flag; more of a symbol than what I would think of as traditional album art. I felt that, with physical mediums disappearing, album art didn’t necessarily have to fit a given format and I wanted something that could be readily transported.
If you look at earlier artwork you’ll see that I was pursuing a more maximalist / photographic direction for Tycho (e.g. http://imgur.com/a/kk93f ). But this album has a more stripped down, visceral thing going on and I wanted that reflected in the artwork. Really this is meant to be an inconized form of the sun / circle motif present in a lot of the Tycho cover art to date. Kind of like a unifying symbol for all the output that preceded this release. I see this, for various reasons, as the first true Tycho album and so wanted to focus everything into a simple form that encapsulated that idea. On a side note, there are eight color bands in the circle, each one representing a track.
The beauty of creating the artwork for the music over all these years is that I am free to develop a cohesive lineage with the imagery. From what I have seen of my peers over these past 13 or so years as a designer, we generally tend towards simplification as we go along and I think that is an important part of design: efficiency of communication. Whether this particular design is effective in that respect obviously isn’t something I have the objectivity to comment on, but that was the goal at least.
The album will be released on March 18th, 2014. Here is the track listing:
Tycho – Awake (2014)
And those who were following along on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter know that we released the artwork first via a 9×9 grid. I printed the artwork, cut it up, and photographed it using various pieces of musical equipment as backdrops. Here’s the grid in one image:
Makeshift lighting setup. All my camera gear was stolen recently so limping along with a point and shoot setup for now.
You can listen to the title track from Awake now on the Tycho Soundcloud page
More to come soon, thanks for the support!
We’ve finally reached it, the Top 10 songs of the year. Make sure to check out the rest of the playlists easily by using the Featured Post Section on the right side, I hope you’ve found something new or just a playlist to sit back with.
**Side note: I didn’t include Moodgadget or Ghostly International releases because that would just not be fair.
#10 Jessy Lanza – 5785021
Just how everything expands after the 3 minute mark does it for me, Junior Boys perfection.
#9 DJ Rashad – Pass That Shit (feat. Spinn & Taso)
I need the extremes of both ends of the music spectrum to make me feel normal, being from Detroit you couldn’t get enough Ghetto-Tech, this song just makes me happy.
#8 Diana – Born Again
“The Pop Song of the Year” for me, all ages and genres, nothing matters but the music here.
#7 Ptaki – Krystyna
The Polish in me and my love for slow disco bumped this song into the Top 10. Really though you can’t deny that bassline and the sample, just heavy lush disco, its like the West Coast Rap of Disco.
#6 Toro Y Moi – Say That
If anyone deserves Top 40 support its Chaz, keep him happy and in the studio.
#5 Boards of Canada – Nothing Is Real
They came back in such a perfect way this year.
#4 The Field – A Guided Tour
My favorite listening album of the year, beautifully prepared, a formula that doesn’t need adjusting.
#3 Majical Cloudz – Childhood’s End
The only emotionally vocal song that hit me this year, he does simplicity soo well.
#2 Dirty Beaches – Casino Lisboa
This song is the definition of passion and drive.
#1 Bibio – A Tout a l’heure
Uplifting done right, changes my mood instantly, music is priceless when it can do that to you.
This Mercedes-Benz W196R won the 1954 German and Swiss Grands Prix with Juan Manuel Fangio behind the wheel. It sold at auction this year for an astounding $29,619,826. Love how it hasn’t been restored; the wear lends an authentic feel.
More Info / Source (thanks Nicholas)
A World War II bunker in the Netherlands was turned into a sculptural visitor attraction by slicing it down the middle to reveal its insides. The bunker was built in 1940 to shelter up to 13 soldiers during bombing raids.
Intervention by Dutch studios RAAAF and Atelier de Lyon.
Movie shows concrete bunker cut in half by RAAAF and Atelier de Lyon from Dezeen on Vimeo.
Aaaannnd we’re down to the Top 20 *dodges tomatoes*
#20 The Beat Broker – Departure
#19 CFCF – Beyond Light
#18 Juana Molina – Eras
#17 Machinedrum – Gunshotta
#16 Four Tet – Parallel Jalebi
#15 Toro Y Moi – Rose Quartz
#14 Oneohtrix Point Never – Along
#13 Lawrence – Lucifer
#12 Sally Shapiro – Lives Together (The Field remix)
#11 Standish/Carlyon – Nono/Yoyo (HTRK remix)
Some many underdogs here, remember there’s the dance world, indie rock world, electronic, beats, and soo many more genres being covered on this blog. Once all 50 are revealed this will be a beautifully diverse review of the year, enjoy.
#30 Blondes – Andrew
#29 Keep Shelly In Athens – Recollection
#28 CFCF – Camera
#27 Ken Camden – Eta Carinae
#26 Function – Inter
#25 Marcel Dettmann – Lightworks
#24 Tornado Wallace – Bit 1
#23 Legowelt – Sark Island Acid
#22 Hot Chip – How Do You Do? (Todd Terje remix)
#21 Four Tet – For These Times
Just a handful of old dirtbike ads I came across. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting an old two-smoker, and pictures like these aren’t making it easy to say no…
It only gets better and better the further we get into this…
#40 Samps – Plans
#39 Lapalux – Swallowing Smoke
#38 Benoit Pioulard – Margins
#37 Om Unit – Corridor 2013
#36 Jon Hopkins – Open Eye Signal
#35 Zomby – 777
#34 Soviet Soviet – No Lesson
#33 Jensen Sportag – Bellz
#32 Jacques Greene – Quicksand
#31 Darkstar – Timeaway