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Archive for the Album Covers Category

Tycho Burning Man Sunrise Set 2016

Posted by Jakub

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Tycho Sunrise DJ Set on The Dusty Rhino at Burning Man

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thanks to everyone who made this morning so special. Thanks to Clarke and the Dusty Rhino crew for having me. Special thanks to my brother Dane for all the help.

Enjoy!

Track Listing
Tycho – Spectre (Bibio Remix)
Boards of Canada – Dayvan Cowboy
Tycho – Montana (Christopher Willits Remix)
Maribou State – Natural Fools
Krankbrother – When You’re Watching Me
Cubenx – Blazing
Rival Consoles – Ghosting
Hammer & Ludd – Controller
Tourist – Run
Tycho – Epoch 48:58
Com Truise – Silicon Tare
Jonathan Wilson – Desert Raven

Exclusive: ALEK FIN An Mynda (In Studio)

Posted by Jon M

Photo by Tim Navis

Following a three year hiatus after the release of his debut EP Mull, producer and musician Adam Finkel, who goes by pseudonym of ALEK FIN, returns with his latest effort Án Mynda; a five track EP of which he has shared an intimate live rendition of the title track, Án Mynda, exclusively with ISO50:

This video was filmed in my old studio space where Jeff, Mike and I built and crafted the live show behind closed doors for years. Grateful to have that space preserved on film and finally give everyone a look into what we’ve been working on.

– Adam

Credits:

Directed, filmed and edited by Travis & Taylor Keaster
Mixed by Jason Sharp

You can listen to Án Mynda HERE

Album Art by Alloy Studio

Also, if you’re in Los Angeles, be sure to check out ALEK FIN live at The Mint on January 25th.

For TICKETS & INFO

Artwork by Alloy Studio

Whitestone: A Interactive Music Platform

Posted by Jon M

I was first introduced to Whitestone via my involvement with Italian electronic musician and producer Indian Wells’ sophomore release, Pause, for whom I did the album art for. Whitestone had contacted his label, Bad Panda Records, expressing interest about collaborating in creating an “interactive experience” for the release as part of a new platform they were developing. Naturally, as a designer (and musician myself) I was intrigued, specially after watching the video above, so I asked Roey Tsemah, founder and creative director of Whitestone, if I could pick his brain for a bit:

ISO50: What is Whitestone exactly, and who is behind it?

Roey: Good question, Whitestone is a platform for interactive music. It is a place for artists and fans who want more than just pressing play.
I am a musician, and as most musicians I’m also one of those die-hard music fans who still buy vinyl. About 4 years ago I set myself a goal to take album artwork to the next level, help artists make use of the browser as means of expression and create music for the internet.

I’m always comparing it to MTV. MTV created a place for artists to release music for TV and by doing that they inspired a different kind of creation. Conceptual artists like Peter Gabriel used the medium creatively and made history with videoclips like Sledge Hammer. We would like to do the same with interactive music.

At the moment we are a team of 4 people and we want to keep the platform independent so artists like us can gain the most off of it. We are raising funds on Kickstarter to help us build the platform and community. We hope that artists and fans who read this will help us bring Whitestone to life.

When MTV actually played music videos

Roey Tsemah’s Sketchbook

ISO50: What inspired you start a platform like this?

Roey: Artists like Bjork, Radiohead and Arcade Fire, who have made interactive apps and videos before. I just want to see more artists make stuff like this. Also, I think interactive experiences are a great way to add value to music online. Fans want to support artists but at the moment the only reward artists give them are MP3 downloads… Personally I don’t have anything to do with MP3s, they just take up space on my drive. I think there are better ways to reward supporting fans.

ISO50: How will people collect this new form of “interactive album art”?

Roey: Members accounts (both fans and artists) are built out of two main components – The Timeline and the Library. The Timeline (pictured above) is similar to other social networks, while the Library (pictured below) works similarly to Pinterest. Both fans and artist can add albums, mixtape, interactive experiences etc to their library, regardless of where they are online. Other fans can then follow them based on their curation. The whole idea is inspired by the way we used to discover music before streaming – we used to check our friends music collections, go through their CDs, bootlegs and mixtapes – our music collection says a lot about us and I believe it’s the best way to discover music.

Whitestone doesn’t distinct artists from fans in that sense, all artists I know are first of all music fans. At the moment there is no place we can explore, for instance, The Gaslamp Killer’s music collection, imagine how cool that would be…

Music fans (me included) spend hours, days and nights learning everything about albums we love, many of us contribute our knowledge on music forums and Facebook groups. Whitestone has a ranking system to reward such fans, encouraging them to participate and share their knowledge. The higher fans are ranked among the community they become influential and the platform rewards them with badges and coins to buy content on the platform. Also,they get the attention of their favourite artists who can then reward them with merch, gig tickets etc.

ISO50: What artists, both musicians and visual, would you like to see adopt your platform?

Roey: The general rule is everyone who gets inspired by the medium, the internet, the screen, code and data. Artists who see the possibilities in creative code, generative art etc. I love what Random Studio are doing and also Resn. They create rad interactive experiences. Musicians like Flying Lotus of course, Cold Cut and any Ninja Tune artists. Warp also, but that’s just because I’m into this kind of music at the moment. I also think it may benefit many ambient and minimal techno artists like Claudio PRC, for example

ISO50: So you’re a designer as well, what would you say is your favorite album cover and why?

Roey: Ow… there are so many… I love Ghostpoet’s Some Say I So I Say Light, the new FKA Twigs and Currents by Tame Impala (which I think would make for a sick interactive experience). Everything Bjork makes. Same with Radiohead (I love the process they go through with their longtime collaborator Stanley Donwood) Flying Lotus, Moderat, there are many, many more. I guess I can’t really name a favorite because I love different kinds of stuff. I think what attracts me most is the process and how the result reflects on the music.

Tame Impala –  Currents

Tame Impala – Currents (Design by Robert Beatty)

ISO50: Where do you see Whitestone in the future?

Roey: Basically I want Whitestone to be a hub for true music fans and artists online. A place where they can connect and support each other. A place not owned by a huge corporation but a small independent group of artists. I truly believe that together we can pull this off, I hope the readers will join us and help make it happen. We made a special website to honor all our backers, it’s an interactive credits page where every backer becomes part of a “Stone” -The bigger the stone is, the stronger we become as a community, the closer we get to our goal.

If you wish to support Whitestone, visit their Kickstarter campaign and pledge to get one of these amazing art/research books designed by Roey himself, among other rewards:

Follow Whitestone On –
Twitter
Facebook

Artisan Loyalist – Lonely Ghost

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I recently had the opportunity to design some album art for Artisan Loyalist on the upcoming full-length album, Lonely Ghost, and the recently released teaser, The Ace EP. Initially, the artwork for The Ace EP was derived from pieces of the Lonely Ghost design: the gem-like cluster started in Illustrator as basic flat shapes that I had worked into 3D, and then overtop, layered a large number of photos I had taken to get the various textures.

This is the premiere streaming release of the the track Light Trail. Lonely Ghost is set to release on Tuesday, February 24th 2015 on Sky Council Recordings, and you can pre-order now on iTunes and Amazon.

The Rippingtons Cat Album Covers

Posted by Jakub

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Curves+Ahead

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Can we file this under fine art? I think we will. I might be too young to say i’m a true fan, if anyone ask Beamer he turned me onto them and probably has the whole catalog on vinyl and cassette.

I am into this art, reminds be of my mom’s airbrush homework but with detail and a story. You might write them off one by one but as a collection i’m sort of feeling it.


Tycho – Awake Album Artwork

Posted by Scott

Awake-450
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)

1. Awake
2. Montana
3. L
4. Dye
5. See
6. Apogee
7. Spectre
8. Plains

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:

9x9-White

Makeshift lighting setup. All my camera gear was stolen recently so limping along with a point and shoot setup for now.

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!

Favorite Album Covers: Jensen Sportag

Posted by Jakub

midisport - 14 footballers in milk chocolate
Midisport
Uwe Schmidt aka Atom TM designed most if not all of the inserts for his legendary techno imprint Rather Interesting under the credits “design sampling by linger decoree”. The CD booklet for Midisport – 14 Footballers in Milk Chocolate is a favorite example of the deadpan humor, fearless oddity and demonstrative detail found throughout the Rather Interesting catalog both visually and musically.

acacia - maddening shroud les visiteurs du soir 'monsiuer guy a' paris' remix
Acacia
A beautifully shocking portrait that we love. I still always look twice when shuffling through house crates. From 1997, the ‘Monsieur Guy a Paris’ mix of Acacia’s Maddening Shroud from this 12″ remix ep is a perfectly cunning piece of french house.

ariel pink-my molly ep - this night has opened my eyes
Ariel Pink
We love Ariel Pinks drawings of detailed sexual dysmorphia. The original drawing used for the My Molly 7″ is in Austin’s personal art collection. Here Ariel musically clones a song by an asexual man with “This Night Has Opened My Eyes” (Smiths cover).

Donald Byrd - A New Perspecive
Donald Byrd
Donald Byrd (Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II, Detroiter 1932-2013) leans suavely aloof behind his spaceage sportscar on the cover of A New Perspective. This is a favorite cover by graphic designer Reid Miles who created all of the Blue Note album covers in its first 10 years of existence thereby inventing the classic look of the legendary jazz label. Ironically Reid Miles did not particularly like jazz.

Plunderphonics - Plexure - 02 - Urge
Plunderphonics
The art for Plexure by Plunderphonics (John Oswald) which blends the defiant stances of Bobby Brown, Bruce Springsteen and Garth Brooks is an icon of the “audio piracy as compositional prerogative” movement. This is Urge (Marianne Faith No Morrissey).


Once in a while we have artists that we post about Guest Post music they’re listening to. Today we did something a little different had Jensen Sportag share their favorite album covers.

Jensen Sportag’s “Stealth Of Days” is out now on Cascine, available on vinyl.