HARDHOUND

Bargains ahoy!

Author: Colin | Published: 31/10/08

ayler patton mute
There are some wonderful box sets currently on sale:

The two Revenants are £45 off list price and the Mute is reduced by £30. All are available at Boomkat and Cargo (the latter’s higher price is offset by free shipping). In case you’re wondering, we have no affiliation with them. The subject of our next post is the Ghost Box (which nearly brought tears to my eyes when I opened it) and some time in the near future we’ll cover the Mute box. The only reason I’m not doing the Charley Patton is that I already own the recordings in a cheaper box set – but I’m really tempted to buy the Revenant set anyway!

Update: Pay day came along and I sprang for the Patton box so there’ll be a post on it in the not too distant future…

Asmus Tietchens + Thomas Köner – Kontakt der Junglinge

Author: Colin | Published: 26/10/08
Previous Album covers in the digital world Next Bargains ahoy!

Kontakt der Junglinge

Kontakt der Junglinge

Kontakt der Junglinge

Kontakt der Junglinge

Kontakt der Junglinge

Kontakt der Junglinge

Kontakt der Junglinge

Kontakt der Junglinge

Artist: Asmus Tietchens + Thomas Köner
Title: Kontakt der Jünglinge
Label: Die Stadt
Year: 2002
Designer: Unspecified, possibly J. Schwarz (the name on the Die Stadt website)
Type of music: See noes below
Notes: Strikingly elegant presentation of a series of gorgeous atmospheric/tectonic collaborations. If memory serves, the individual CDs were released at intervals and then the box (and mini CD) was announced at the same time as the fourth one.

Album covers in the digital world

Author: Colin | Published: 22/10/08
Previous Dane T.S. Hawk – Moods + Grooves Next Asmus Tietchens + Thomas Köner – Kontakt der Junglinge

itunes8

In Adrian Shaughnessy’s latest book, one of the questions asked of each of the designers he interviews is whether they have any examples of interesting digital musical presentation. The responses were generally uninspiringly meagre. Given the migration of music into the digital realm, this lack of creativity is worrying. It’s possible to take the view that services like last.fm, Mog, YouTube, Idiomag, blogs, etc. make for a patchwork quilt far richer than the isolated album cover, but there is something enduringly attractive about the concentrated focus and potential for tactile interaction of the cover. That, after all, is what this website is all about.

A short-lived project I pursued last year was a blog devoted to music in the digital realm: Music Interfaces focused on music applications, recommendation services and so on. The most used digital music programme, I assume, is iTunes. At least I hope it isn’t Windows Media Player which is horrifically unintuitive. Anyway, iTunes received an update (to version 8) recently. I wasn’t particularly enamoured of the incremental improvements until recently, when I realised that the space for the cover had been significantly increased, as illustrated in the above screenshot. On my laptop screen, that cover is larger than a CD. Apple has already delivered Coverflow which mimics the act of flipping through album covers, there’s also a full-screen mode and the latest version also delivered gridview, illustrated below:

grid view in iTunes

These interfaces, combined with touch screens (and in the not too distant future, haptic ones) and all that latent computing power aren’t a substitute for physical media, but nevertheless they do make me hopeful. For example, Coverflow is the iTunes view when the iPhone is turned to landscape, touching a cover flips it to reveal the tracklisting – it’s a small, but pleasing interaction as is the swiping of covers to progress through one’s library. If things have moved this far in the space of a few years, I’m reasonably optimistic about the potential for further developments. I’d love to see Adobe Lightroom-style collapsing menus in the next iteration of iTunes so that covers are foregrounded all the more.

There’s also the not inconsiderable subject of the graphical element of recent developments in interactive music facilitated by the iPhone’s accelerometer and touchscreen. I’ll write more about this in another post, but in the meantime read the relevant posts on Peter Kirn’s excellent Create Digital Music: RJDJ and Bloom. Colour me a fan of both.

Dane T.S. Hawk – Moods + Grooves

Author: Colin | Published: 22/10/08
Previous Icarus – Carnivalesque Next Album covers in the digital world

Dane T.S. Hawke album cover design

Dane T.S. Hawke album cover design

Dane T.S. Hawke album cover design

Dane T.S. Hawke album cover design

Dane T.S. Hawke album cover design

Greetings to guest author Piotr Tkacz! “I was born in 1985 in Poznan (PL) where I still live, listen to music, watch movies, read books and write about this (& other stuff) on my blog.”

Artist: T.S. Hoeg aka Dane T.S. Hawk in collaborations (John Tchicai, Scanner, Goodiepal and many more) & his various projects (Cockpit Music, Great Mongo Dilmuns, Somesax, Tapehead, Sods)
Title: Moods + grooves. Unreleased 1978-1998
Label: Ninth World Music
Year: 2000
Designer: Graphic design and typesetting: Jens Kruse; Pages printed by: Repro & Tryk, Skive; Cover printed by: Allingham & Hansen
Type of music: Improvised, from free-jazz to electronics & beyond to something quite unique
Notes:
Hardcover 2cd set of previously unreleased music from 20 years’ activity of T.S. Hoeg – Danish multinstrumentalist (but mainly saxophonist), old tapes mastered by Goodiepal.

Icarus – Carnivalesque

Author: Colin | Published: 19/10/08
Previous Album Covers Map Next Dane T.S. Hawk – Moods + Grooves

Icarus

Icarus

Icarus

Icarus

Icarus

Icarus

Artist: Icarus
Title: Carnivalesque
Label: Not Applicable
Year: 2005
Designer: Ollie Brown, Sam Britton
Type of music: Improvised
Notes: This might look hand done with a magic marker, but it’s all printed. The choice of an ambient natural sounds CD booklet for defacing is a particular pleasure. The outer wrapper emphasises the appropriation and co-opts the listener into the process by forcing him/her to cut through it to gain access to the CD. A great example of anti design to place alongside Tortoise’s winningly nonchalant TNT CDR cover.

My review of this CD.

After corresponding with Isambard Khroustaliov aka Sam Britton about this release, it turns out each cover was in fact unique, not printed. Here are a selection of the other covers. I like the whole thing even more now. Check out the label’s excellent sampler NON010.

Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover Carnivalesque cover

Album Covers Map

Author: Colin | Published: 17/10/08
Previous Starflyer 59 – Dial M Next Icarus – Carnivalesque

music map

This isn’t exactly music-related design, but it is an interesting example of a music-related information service. It’s a map using Google Maps’ API to enable people to add locations relevant to album covers.

Link: Word Magazine: Album Covers Map
Via: Memex 1.1

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