HARDHOUND

Ghost Box

Author: admin | Published: 7/8/07

ghost box

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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…

Non Visual Objects: Extract – Portraits Of Soundartists

Author: admin | Published: 4/8/07
Previous Venetian Snares – Horse And Goat Next Ghost Box

Extract Cover

Extract Inside Cover

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Extract CD

Extract Rear

Artist: Various
Album: Extract – Portraits Of Soundartists
Label: Non Visual Objects
Year: 2007
Designer: Raphael Moser

Type of music: Minimal
Notes: A 2 CD set, enclosed in a 96 page hardcover b&w book with a spot UV varnish cover. Numbered, limited edition of 500. Each artist has contributed text, photos or drawings to accompany their tracks, giving a real insight into the creative process at work. Care and attention to music and the people who make it.

Venetian Snares – Horse And Goat

Author: admin | Published: 1/8/07
Previous Fennesz: Endless Summer Next Non Visual Objects: Extract – Portraits Of Soundartists

Horse And Goat Cover

Horse And Goat Inner Sleeve

Horse And Goat CD

Artist: Venetian Snares
Album: Horse And Goat
Label: Sublight Records
Year: 2004
Designer: Trevor Brown
Type of music: Breakcore, experimental
Notes: Celebrating art rather than design. The only release I own that has been censored, coming packaged with the overlay black cover to hide Trevor Brown’s pedophilic artwork from view.

Fennesz: Endless Summer

Author: admin | Published: 29/7/07
Previous Matthew Herbert Big Band – Goodbye Swingtime Next Venetian Snares – Horse And Goat

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Artist: Fennesz
Album: Endless Summer
Label: Mego
Year: 2001
Designer: Tina Frank
Type of music: Melodic noise
Notes: Tina Frank’s a genius. This is the limited edition version of the popular classic.

Dock Boggs – Country Blues

Author: admin | Published: 20/7/07
Previous Spekk Next Deathprod – Deathprod Boxset

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Artist: Dock Boggs
Album:
Country Blues, Complete Early Recordings 1927-29
Label:
Revenant
Year:
1997
Designer:
art direction: Jeff Hunt at Tote Design Laboratory, design and layout: Susan Archie at World of AnArchie
Type of music: Country Blues
Notes: Boggs’ rasp rings out from beyond the grave. I hope he’s found some peace there. This is more book than CD case. What colour is that, silver blue? Fine paper, lots of details, both visual and biographical and that young, smart-dressed man looking out at us across time from the cover, forever ready to play, but long gone.

Spekk

Author: admin | Published: 14/7/07
Previous The Missing Ensemble – Hidden Doors Next Dock Boggs – Country Blues

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Artist:Taylor Deupree, Andrey Kiritchenko, Boca Raton, Various Artists
Album: January, True Delusion, Enzo/Further, Small Melodies
Label: Spekk
Year: 2004 to date, featured 2004
Designer: ackaging and design Nao Sugimoto (as mondii), featured: photograph uison
Type of music: Minimal, ambient
Notes: There have been 11 releases on the Japanese Spekk label so far. Each arrives delicately clasped in an absolutely beautiful card cover whose dimensions recall that of a small book. The actual size and the touch of the materials are delightful. I very much look forward to new releases from Spekk. Label boss Nao Sugimoto clearly has impeccable taste and has achieved a consistent label identity without imposing a visual straightjacket upon his roster. The format remains the same while the graphic design differs each time.

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