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.
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.
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:
You can listen to the title track from Awake now on the Tycho Soundcloud page
More to come soon, thanks for the support!
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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
I saw Italian trio Soviet Soviet last week in Brooklyn, I was super attracted to the quickness of getting in and out of the hooky driving songs. They obviously have their similarities to old bands but they deliver it with youth and catchy basslines. I highly suggest checking out “No Lesson” first and then streaming the album
Do you have a friend that doesn’t buy physical music? does it make you want to pull out your hair? well send him or her this. Its literally physical music porn weekly in your inbox. I just get the email and instantly become jealous and fall in love with vinyl. Cheers to the guys at Boomkat for making these photos always unique.
Modern Love is home base for Andy Stott and also this elegant LP from Miles called Faint Hearted. Its not one of those records you skip around and see if you have a track that you might listen to, its a full start to finish listen. I like to imagine i’m taking a solo trip to Berlin in fall, taking the train and not having to socialize with anyone and just enjoying the ride and the view.