Record Sleeves of the Month
First up in our selection of record sleeves this month include Brian Eno's Drums Between The Bells, just released on Warp Records. The album is available on various different packages, as an LP, a CD album and in a hardback double CD edition which comes with a book containing all the poems by Rick Holland that feature on the album as well as the bonus disc which contains an instrumental version. Each, designed by Nick Robertson at Wordsalad, sports a slightly different cover, from a series of images by Eno.
"Recently I was in Sao Paulo, the most city-ish city in the Western world," explains Eno of the artwork. "I took lots of pictures of the urban landscape, and then, back in London, started playing with the images in photoshop. As I was playing I was listening to this album (in shuffle mode, highly recommended ) and I realised I was crafting the images and the colours to match up with what I was hearing. So that's how the cover images came about..."
Above: the artwork for the LP version of the album. Below: artwork for the CD digipack version.
"The idea is that this will evolve over time too," adds Warp's James Burton. "Every time we do a repress, each format of the album will get a new cover image from the series [of Eno's images]. A jewelcase version is arriving in shops this week and will sport the first of these new covers (artwork shown below)."
Also from Warp and worth a mention – although it was released a couple of months ago – is the Ian Anderson designed 5CD collection of tracks from Autechre EPS released between 1991 and 2002. The matt stock of the slip case and also the different coloured CD sleeves inside have been embossed in an ink-free packaging solution that's wonderfully tactile.
The only ink is on the screenprinted discs themselves, which cleverly mirrors the embossing effect:
For more info about Autechre: EPS 1991-2002, visit warp.net
The Horrors' new album, Skying, out now on XL Recordings, sports this beautiful cover. Actually, this is the booklet from the jewel case CD version, but I wanted to show the silver foiling. The booklet is full of photography by Neil Krug of the band members and flowers, and we spoke to Alison Fielding (who art directed the album along with The Horrors) about the look of the album:
"I have been an admirer of Neil Krug's work for some time now and love the vintage feel and timeless quality of his work," explains Fielding who is head of design at The Beggars Group which is home to music labels including XL, 4AD, Matador and Rough Trade. "His Pulp Art Book is quite incredible," she continues. "The band also love his work and so the idea was to use Neil to create a whole look for the album campaign including all the press shots."
"Neil came over from the States and spent a day or so with the band at Camber Sands and then in London," says Fielding. "We were lucky as the weather was spectacular and the beautiful light added to the vibrancy of the work, particularly some of the landscapes and seascapes."
"Of the cover image's slightly distressed look, Fielding explains: "Neil works with film as much as he can and he shoots with expired polaroid film (beyond its use-by date) which accounts for the softness and discolouration in a lot of the images. He then retouches the images digitally but always tries to retain the look of the orginal film. He also works with double exposures in-camera as much as he can. On this project some of the images are double exposure polaroid shots created in camera and some were created afterwards. He has perfected his technique so its difficult to tell them apart."
"We worked through a huge amount of ideas & layouts. The images were so stunning that we stripped it right back to allow them to speak for themselves. The teal block colour and minimal type work lightly alongside them. The use of foil on the cover lifts the type and makes it into something quite special I think." More info at xlrecordings.com
The design on the front of the Harvey Presents Locussolus album looks ancient, somehow a clash of Celtic and ancient Greek artwork. The info inside the pack credits HHMP as the designer.
Label: International Feel.
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The horrors album is very on trend right now, mind you, so are the horrors. I wonder if this will still look good on your cd shelf in a few years..
Such a shame to see a great artist like Eno on a great label like Warp have such a poor cover. From the image to the type on the back its a bit of a mess.
love what neil does......
especially these albums:
when i grow up i want to work four WARP
our preference goes for the slove cover , the rest is good but only cause they are "on a budget"
just to let you know: the design on Locussolus' album is a schematic drawing of a dong son drum (c.1000bc), from a civilisation that existed in present-day Vietnam :)
The Slove cover is gorgeous!
This is the second time I've read this comment from Eno about the design - I was messing about in Photoshop and this is the result - unbelievably banal comment from such an intelligent man. The Horrors cover is eminently forgettable. Weren't Boards of Canada doing this sort of thing more interestingly years ago? Not an impressive crop this month, here's to better next time.
Hard Format - thats what Eno does best - messing about - what is he supposed to do - sit and read the photoshop manual?? The end result looks pretty good to me , I dont care if he was messing about or, what? being deadly serious.
The Locussolus artwork looks every bit as good as it sounds.