Ghost Box

Author: admin | Published: 7/8/07

ghost box

ghost box

ghost box

ghost box

Artist: The Focus Group, Belbury Poly
Album: Hey Let Loose Your Love, The Owl’s Map
Label: Ghost Box

Year: 2005/6
Designer: Julian House
Type of music: Analogue electronics
Notes: I ordered these CDs via the Ghost Box website and had only seen the booklets reproduced in The Wire. They’re gorgeous pieces of design: self-conscious and resonant in equal parts, courtesy of the hugely talented Julian House who’s done so much wonderful work for Intro. I hadn’t seen the physical packaging before, but 110% expected to receive three covetable card digipaks. Imagine my disappointment when, upon opening the bubble-wrapped envelope, I found standard plastic jewel cases:

ghost box

When stacked together, as above, there’s some suggestion of a newly minted ’60s modernist housing project. But mostly the inability for this packaging to age more or less gracefully, unlike the music it contains which is so deliberately refracted through the prism of time, is a major let-down. Even the paper stock of the booklets is, to my mind, too glossy for its purpose. I originally posted about these designs on my personal blog, to which Justin commented that the original releases were CDRs and Gutterbreakz pointed out that the ideal format by far for Ghost Box would be vinyl. Imagine the thick card sleeves they’d come in and they’d preferably have magically acquired record library lending sheets and rubber stamps…


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