London Fields – collaborative artwork

Author: Colin | Published: 29/6/10

Rather nice project spotted on the Creative Review blog:

The design, packaging and promotion for This is Yours, the debut album by The London Fields, was achieved through the industrious efforts of family and friends who all donated materials to be recycled for the project…

The campaign, overseen by designer Phil Bold, used 250 cereal boxes cut to size and painted white to make the CD sleeves. The accompanying labels were then made from donated parcel tags and string. The material for the inlay cards was also donated with the track listing rubber-stamped on top.

Read on…

Dollboy – Ghost Stations

Author: Colin | Published: 27/6/10
Previous Rammstein box – comments Next London Fields – collaborative artwork

Artist Dollboy
Title Ghost Stations
Label Second Language
Year 2010
Designer Oliver Cherer and Glen Johnson
Music Resonant ambience
Desktop Download image
Notes Have you ever felt a change in pressure as you whoosh along on the underground (subway, u-bahn, etc)? Darkness remains outside the carriage window, but momentarily it’s a deeper darkness as though the tunnel’s dropped away to a larger space out there. That’ll be a ghost station. My first experience, of what I later learnt to be the long-closed York Road station, was on the Piccadilly line between King’s Cross and Caledonian Road. Dollboy has used the fascination of this kind of experience as the basis for his album. It’s a typically lovingly created release on the Second Language label.

See also:
Ghostwriter – The Continuing Adventures Of The Strange Sound Association
London Underground History – disused stations on London’s Underground
Subterranea Brittanica – large helping of subterranean goodness!

Rammstein box – comments

Author: Colin | Published: 25/6/10
Previous Ghostwriter – The Continuing Adventures Of The Strange Sound Association Next Dollboy – Ghost Stations

Every few weeks I check Google Analytics to check things are ticking over. Hard Format gets about 10,000 visitors a month, but I just noticed a sudden spike from 400 visitors one day to over 12,000 the next. For a moment I was puzzled, then after checking I realised that the Rammstein news item had been posted on Metafilter and Reddit. It’s well worth reading the Metafilter page as there are some very funny comments.

Ghostwriter – The Continuing Adventures Of The Strange Sound Association

Author: Colin | Published: 19/6/10
Previous New edition of one from Antonymes Next Rammstein box – comments

Artist Ghostwriter
Title The Continuing Adventures Of The Strange Sound Association
Label Second Language
Year 2010
Designer Glen Johnson, Angele David-Guillou and Mark Brend
Music Archival collage
Desktop Download image
Notes This is genuinely delightful – so much loving detail and sense of play. It feels wrong to tear the old newspaper to access the contents, but discovering that the reader’s ticket was actually addressed to me made it both wonderfully personal and just a little eery. I love the disembodied hand reaching out, arched like that. The track titles are as resonant as the music itself and the supporting website provides much detail about its recording.

And for the first time here on Hard Format, courtesy of the wonder of Ghostwriter and Second Language, is a making-of video:

This is what the label has to say:

Released in highly limited editions, Second Language records are designed as cherishable artist multiples as much as conventional music albums. In an age of ubiquitous, de facto ‘free’ music, Second Language releases restore the primacy of the record as precious, audio-visual object and are enjoyed by those who prize enigmatic musical packages which are aesthetically dazzling and inherently collectable.

Inspired by the ingenuously homespun but elevated production values of record labels such as Factory, Les Discs Du Crepuscule and Constellation, Second Language is a London and Copenhagen-based, subscription-funded, imprint. The label specialises in the best in innovative contemporary music which cuts across international boundaries and genres, from post-classical composition and electronic sound design to singer-songwriting, soundtrack music, plunderphonics and all stations in between.

Lovingly hand-packaged in recycled materials, and replete with all manner of beguiling inserts, these records are the product of a new kind of arts & crafts aesthetic; a 21st century cottage industry that attributes equal value to the homespun and the cutting edge.

New edition of one from Antonymes

Author: Colin | Published: 16/6/10
Previous Big box sets Next Ghostwriter – The Continuing Adventures Of The Strange Sound Association

31 will be available as a 1 track CD between 1st – 10th July 2010, and will be auctioned on ebay. It will be an edition of just one. It includes “Before the Light Fails” Pt.2 and 31 full colour prints, in a lovingly crafted box. Photos here.

– Full details here
Antonymes – Beauty Becomes The Enemy Of The Future

Big box sets

Author: Colin | Published: 12/6/10
Previous PAN Next New edition of one from Antonymes

Flavorpill’s Earplug is a regular e-newsletter focusing on a variety of music news which link through to their website. One particular article caught my attention recently which I thought would be good to mention here on Hard Format: ‘Smashing Pumpkins’ Teargarden and 10 Other Over-the-Top Special Editions’.

There’s the venerable – Pixies’s Minotaur – and the ludicrous – the special edition of Hole’s Nobody’s Daughter which includes “the CD; a digital download; a bright blue, Miss America-style Nobody’s Daughter sash; signed LP; “cassette USB w/album and unreleased photo collection”; messenger bag; thermal shirt; and makeup.” And then there’s Rammstein’s Liebe Ist Für Alle Da…

Here’s what Flavorpill have to say about this set:

It includes the album itself, five bonus songs the band admits isn’t as good as what did make the final tracklist, a hard metal case, handcuffs, lube, and (get ready for it) six pink dildos modeled after the, uh, band members themselves. How’s that for a pleasurable listening experience?

An amusing detail is the way that Amazon displays the box:

Now that I’ve set eyes on this visual feast, I’m wondering whether there’s any point in continuing with Hard Format?

Visit ‘Smashing Pumpkins’ Teargarden and 10 Other Over-the-Top Special Editions

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