HARDHOUND

Junior Boys – Begone Dull Care

Author: Colin | Published: 28/12/09

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Artist Junior Boys
Title Begone Dull Care
Label Domino
Year 2009
Designer Trevor Jackson
Music Subtle pop masterpiece
Desktop Download image (soon)
Notes Junior Boys’ third album has been criminally overlooked in the end of year charts I’ve read  – though I’ve included it in my own review of the year. The subtle playfulness of the group’s music is reflected in Trevor Jackson’s design. The dual language structure – English in one pane, French in the other – is surely intended to be a little tongue in cheek. After all, there’s no French sung on the album itself. I don’t know how the CD version is handled, but I love the eight panes of colour on the inside of the outer sleeve (please forgive the goatse aspect of that last image…)

Season’s greetings!

Author: Colin | Published: 22/12/09
Previous 2009 overview and album of the decade Next Junior Boys – Begone Dull Care

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We’d just like to wish all of you a very happy holiday and sincerely thank you for sending us your comments, designs and recommendations over the past year.

Please feel free to subscribe to our newsfeed to get regular updates as they appear and if you have any ideas or feedback or want to contribute in any way to the website, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

For those of you with Spotify, here are a few seasonal playlists to warm your ears over the coming days:

All the best from Colin and Justin.

2009 overview and album of the decade

Author: Colin | Published: 21/12/09
Previous Ai Records – 10 Next Season’s greetings!

I’ve just published two posts on my blog, A Personal Miscellany: 2009: My View of the Music and my choice of Album of the Decade. The latter features a design already covered here on Hard Format. Comments very welcome!

Ai Records – 10

Author: Colin | Published: 20/12/09
Previous Celer Next 2009 overview and album of the decade

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Artist Pics 1-4: FZV, Dez Williams, Datassette, Najem Sworb, The Third Man; pics 5-8: Pathic, Plant43, EOC, Sinner DC, Michael Manning; pics 9-11: Plant43, Sinner DC, Pathic, Datassette, EOC
Title Various
Label Ai Records
Year 2009
Designer Pic 1: Andrew Townsend; pic 2: www.circledot.co.uk; pic5: Richt; pic6: calligraphy by Luca Barcellona; Inside sleeve design (pics 3 and 6): Michele/Superexpresso
Music Electronic dance music
Desktop Download image
Notes A three record celebration of 10 years of Ai Records sees us featuring the label for a third time. Entirely justified in our opinion, these are further missives from an alien planet plastered in beautiful hierogliphics and peopled by trippy elephants. Here’s to another 10 years for the label!

See also:
Ai Records, part 1
Ai Records, part 2

Celer

Author: Colin | Published: 13/12/09
Previous Pantha du Prince – This Bliss Next Ai Records – 10

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Artist Celer
Title Unknown, Brittle, Mane Blooms
Label Self released, Low Point
Year 2007, 2009
Designer Dani Baquet-Long and Will Long, Photography by Julia Milberger
Music Ambient, drone, minimal, immersive, eery, long-form
Desktop Download image (coming soon)
Notes This has to be one of the most singular designs we’ve featured on Hard Format. There are three releases here: the first contains four 3″ CDs, the second a standard CD and the third a 7″ single. The twin pyramid shapes tied together by a slender thread are deliciously mysterious, they were hand painted by Dani. Between 200 and 250 of them were assembled since 2007. Will wrote to tell me that this is one of the last four Dani made. She died suddenly in her sleep in July. I confess I was extremely reluctant to cut the thread to see inside – I really wanted to leave them unopened, but ultimately thought it best to document them here. You can judge their size as one of them is cradled in my daughter’s hands.

The images used for Brittle and Mane Bloom might pass unremarked but that the emptiness of the unpretentious farmhouse and the strangeness of the man recumbent behind the mound of earth is subtly bewitching. The 74 minute Brittle is hauntingly ethereal, it seeps into the room like dawn or dusk, suspended.

See also:
www.thesingularwe.org
Celer blog
Celer on MySpace
Discogs: Celer

Pantha du Prince – This Bliss

Author: Colin | Published: 9/12/09
Previous Pat Metheny Group – Travels Next Celer

This isn’t news in any way, but I’ve been listening to the darkly melodic techno of Pantha du Prince for the first time in ages. On an impulse I thought I’d check out his Discogs listing and saw these rather fine label images for the vinyl version:

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