HARDHOUND

James Blood [Ulmer] – Tales of Captain Black

Author: Colin | Published: 27/2/10

James Blood [Ulmer] - Tales of Captain Black

James Blood [Ulmer] - Tales of Captain Black

James Blood [Ulmer] - Tales of Captain Black

James Blood [Ulmer] - Tales of Captain Black

James Blood [Ulmer] - Tales of Captain Black

James Blood [Ulmer] - Tales of Captain Black

James Blood [Ulmer] - Tales of Captain Black

Artist James Blood
Title Tales of Captain Black
Label Artists House
Year 1979
Designer Album cover and liner art: Shelby McPherson; booklet art: Chief Z.K. Oloruntoba and Sarah Penn; booklet photography: Deborah Feingold; art direction: Carol Friedman
Music Harmolodic punk jazz
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Notes This record was released on Ornette Coleman’s short-lived Artists House label which also produced Ornette’s Body Meta and Soapsuds, Soapsuds. It’s a rare example of Ornette guesting on someone else’s album. The cartoons reveal an affinity with Parliament/Funkadelic, but also illustrate the influence of UK punk in the guitar-wielding figure on the inner sleeve, blaxploitation, outsider and African art. Captain Black soars away from all the mayhem, beautiful companion on his arm, towards the calm of a future world.

David Sylvian – Secrets of the Beehive

Author: Colin | Published: 21/2/10
Previous Russell Haswell – Wild Tracks Next James Blood [Ulmer] – Tales of Captain Black

David Sylvian - Secrets of the Beehive

David Sylvian - Secrets of the Beehive

David Sylvian - Secrets of the Beehive

David Sylvian - Secrets of the Beehive

Artist David Sylvian
Title Secrets of the Beehive
Label Virgin
Year 1987
Designer Design and typography: Vaughan Oliver, artwork: 23 Envelope, still-life photography: Nigel Grierson, portrait photography: Yuka Fujii
Music Elegant, acoustic, haunted.
Notes My original vinyl version of this album thankfully lacks the CD ‘bonus’ track Forbidden Colours, addition of which is an insult to the delicate balance of the original album sequence. More is not always better. Okay, end of rant. Hard Format has featured all too few Vaughan Oliver designs (see also: Scott Walker – The Drift and Scott Walker – Who Shall Go To The Ball? And What Shall Go To The Ball?). It’s a fact we intend to rectify in the hopefully not too distant future. Oliver’s typography and layout is typically lovely here. The record cover doesn’t provide any design acknowledgements, the credits above are gleaned from discogs.com. It’s still not clear who created the delightful illustration on the cover – Vaughan or Sylvian or someone else? It reminds me of the Quay Brothers, Breugel’s Fall of Icarus and autumnal trips to the seaside. It’s a beautiful design for a gorgeous album.

Russell Haswell – Wild Tracks

Author: Colin | Published: 13/2/10
Previous Money Will Ruin Everything 2 Next David Sylvian – Secrets of the Beehive

Russell Haswell - Wild Tracks

Russell Haswell - Wild Tracks

Russell Haswell - Wild Tracks

Russell Haswell - Wild Tracks

Russell Haswell - Wild Tracks

Artist Russell Haswell
Title Wild Tracks
Label Editions Mego
Year 2009
Designer All photographs and design Russell Haswell. Design support Tina Frank
Music Field recordings
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Notes This design begs the question: why doesn’t more music packaging come with its own carry handle? It’s a kidzbox by the way. Haswell’s design is a thorough, playful pleasure with the fold-out poster chockful of details about the field recordings. Possible highlight: ‘A Horde of Flies Feasting on a Rotting Pheasant Carcass (Extract)’ – which bears the explanatory note “… if anyone in the RSPB [Royal Society for the Protection of Birds] is reading, Haswell did not kill the bird – it was already dead when he found it.”

Ah, humour, horror and scary noises all wrapped up in one delightful package. File alongside Chris Morris’s Jam. I advise you to run don’t walk over to either the Editions Mego shop or the Touch shop (the latter’s cheaper for UK readers – only £9.05 + p&p!)

Thanks to Sheikh Ahmed over at Fail for the heads up on this one and thanks again to Gabes for modelling.

Money Will Ruin Everything 2

Author: Colin | Published: 7/2/10
Previous Handmade! Next Russell Haswell – Wild Tracks

Money Will Ruin Everything 2

Money Will Ruin Everything 2

Money Will Ruin Everything 2

Money Will Ruin Everything 2

Money Will Ruin Everything 2

Money Will Ruin Everything 2

Artist Various
Title Money Will Ruin Everything 2
Label Rune Grammofon
Year 2008
Designer Kim Hiorthoy
Music Rune music, all Norwegian except Skyphone who are Danes
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Notes Money Will Ruin Everything 2 is a lovely object, a book, a double CD album, a poster, a set of reflections, visual essays, photographs and memories. The poster wraps around the outside of the book like a shrunken dust cover, its folds ensnare the two compilation CDs, one in the front, one in the back. The folder is an essay as well.

Unlike the long out of print first Money Will Ruin Everything, this edition is still available (for only 399 Norwegian Kronor!) from the Rune Grammofon website.

Thanks a lot to Gabes for helping me out.

See also: Money Will Ruin Everything (1)

Handmade!

Author: Colin | Published: 5/2/10
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Galleta Records