HARDHOUND

Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns

Author: Colin | Published: 30/11/08

Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol

Artist: Snow Patrol
Title: A Hundred Million Suns
Label: Polydor
Year: 2008
Designer: Unstated
Type of music: Indie
Notes: The possibility that I would be doing a post about Snow Patrol here on Hard Format had never crossed my mind – they’re just not my kind of music. However, the About page we wrote at the start of this website ended with “Oh and who knows, perhaps at some point in the future we may even need to set up a parallel site to celebrate brilliant virtual design…” and this iPhone app is an interesting glimpse of the possibilities of new media.

Potential:

Pitfalls:

Ultimately, this is a toy (it is free after all), but there’s no reason why another group shouldn’t go all the way by releasing a paid-for album, single or EP in this format. Rune Grammofon, Spekk, Warp, Ghost Box, Raster Noton? All of you, c’mon – what are you waiting for?

PS, at time of writing there’s one other iPhone app like this one – it’s by Pink. Though less interactive, it does provide 30 second music previews, the ability to buy tracks, pictures, news, discography and biography.

Link: download Snow Patrol app from the iTunes Music Store.

Farben – Starbox

Author: Colin | Published: 24/11/08
Previous Szam Findlay – Die Hautfabrik Next Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns

Farben Starbox

Farben Starbox

Farben Starbox

Farben Starbox

Farben Starbox

Farben Starbox

Farben Starbox

Farben Starbox

Farben Starbox

Artist: Farben
Release: Starbox
Label: Klang Elektronik
Year: 2002
Designer: tbc
Type of music: Electronic
Notes: 4 x 12″, all of Jan Jelinek’s releases on Klang Elektronik. Funky and minimal, the music like the graphic design.

Szam Findlay – Die Hautfabrik

Author: Colin | Published: 16/11/08
Previous Best vinyl cover art of 2008, Art Vinyl Next Farben – Starbox

Szam Findlay album cover design

Szam Findlay album cover design

Szam Findlay album cover design

Szam Findlay album cover design

Szam Findlay album cover design

Szam Findlay album cover design

Artist: Szam Findlay
Title: Die Hautfabrik
Label: Todtenschlaf
Year: 2001
Designer: Szam Findlay, Dandilion Schlase, Sculpture: Dandilion Schlase
Type of music: Gothic
Notes: Seemingly in thrall to the dark delights of the Brothers Quay, this is a tactile pleasure in its use of tracing paper, card and metal ring binding. My review of the music is here.

Best vinyl cover art of 2008, Art Vinyl

Author: Colin | Published: 12/11/08
Previous Portishead – The Rip Next Szam Findlay – Die Hautfabrik

Vinyl Art

Art Vinyl, based in east London, specialise in frames to display your vinyl treasures. They’re running a best of 2008 vinyl cover art competition with votes from the public. Check out the nominations here.

Portishead – The Rip

Author: Colin | Published: 10/11/08
Previous Albert Ayler – Holy Ghost Next Best vinyl cover art of 2008, Art Vinyl

Portishead vinyl record cover design

Portishead vinyl record cover design

Portishead vinyl record cover design

Portishead vinyl record cover design

Artist: Portishead
Title: The Rip
Label: Island
Year: 2008
Designer: Marc Bessant, original drawings: Nick Uff
Type of music: Pained
Notes: Vinyl art, literally. I like the innocently smiling skull on the lower right. What’s s/he got to smile so good naturedly about?

Albert Ayler – Holy Ghost

Author: Colin | Published: 2/11/08
Previous Bargains ahoy! Next Portishead – The Rip

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Artist: Albert Ayler
Title: Holy Ghost
Label: Revenant
Year: 2004
Designer: Art direction: Noel Waggener, production design, layout, direction: Susan Archie, World of anArchie, Chapter Header Silkscreen Design, Execution: Noel Waggener, Satch Grimley, original carved wooden “spirit box”: Reagan Johns
Type of music: Ecstatic
Notes: Ghost Box is really something else. I’ve been aware of this since its original release, but couldn’t quite justify the expense, but recently Revenant have been selling it at a much reduced price (see the news item of the other day). So I finally gave in. There is some music that’s brought tears to my eyes over the years, but this is the first time a piece of packaging has done so. Feel free to dismiss me as a sentimental idiot, but give me a chance to explain. The presence of so much intimate paraphernalia – fliers, notes, the photograph of Ayler as a child, his handwriting and the dogflower all serve to powerfully communicate – even in reproduction – a sense of the man and his absence. This is truly an example of loving design in the service of doing justice to an artistic legacy. It’s a shame that Revenant seem to have gone to sleep now, but this and the other examples featured on Hard Format are things to be grateful for.

See also: John Fahey, Red Cross, Dock Boggs, Country Blues.