HARDHOUND

The Hardy Tree – The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

Author: Colin | Published: 30/10/10

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

The Hardy Tree - The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

Artist The Hardy Tree
Title The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath
Label Clay Pipe Music
Year 2010
Design Frances Castle
Music “… an orchestral jigsaw puzzle of sounds that hint at audio memories from lost kids ’70s TV programmes, ghost orchestras, cinema organs, folk song, static and crackle.”
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Notes The title ‘The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath’ echoed my own interest in the landscape below London’s concrete and brick. The hidden course of the Fleet river is perhaps the best known of Londoners’ fascination for the subterranean, but there are many more examples. I was immediately charmed by the first image I saw of Frances’ work.

Beneath the smoking clay pipe and frowning fox flow dark undercurrents: a zeppelin hangs in the night sky and a fatal accident is described in which a man shoots himself in the bowels. Lyrically many of the songs act as a wistful threnody for times past – ‘We Waltzed at the Astoria Theatre’ refers to the Charing Cross Road venue built in 1893 and demolished last year to facilitate Crossrail’s “… congestion relief, delivering a bigger ticket hall, additional escalators, step-free access, and interchange with Crossrail services”.

Frances writes:

The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath Is the first CD by my musical Project ‘The Hardy Tree’ and the first on my label ‘Clay Pipe Music’. I’ve been making music for a long time now, but always put it out on other peoples labels. This time I decided to do it myself. I am a freelance illustrator, so the idea of starting my own little label as an extension of that really appealed – an escape from the constraints
of commercial work, and to get back to doing things by hand again. The cover is printed with a Gocco (*), so because of fluctuation in print quality each one is slightly different.

Inside is a hand made booklet of my drawings, the CD is a sort musical story based on the (imagined and real) history the area of London where I live, and the illustrations and text in the book complement this. My plan for next year is to bring out music by other people, I’m looking forward to creating sleeves for music that I love, but wasn’t involved in making.

* Frances explains that a Gocco “is a kind of tiny screen-printing machine”. More info here.

Buy your copy from Clay Pipe Music.

New collection: Prospective 21e Siècle

Author: Colin | Published: 28/10/10
Previous Self Expression and Conduct: The Humanities Next The Hardy Tree – The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath

Prospective 21e Siècle

After much foraging, I’ve assembled a collection of images of the beautiful covers for Philips’
Prospective 21e Siècle. The label was established in France in the late ’60s. Its releases are
highly coveted and sell for interesting figures on the secondhand market.

View Prospective 21e Siècle

Self Expression and Conduct: The Humanities

Author: Colin | Published: 27/10/10
Previous Music-related design of a sadder kind Next New collection: Prospective 21e Siècle

Seen on the rather fine Toys and Techniques blog
(one to follow if you’re interested in ’70s culture, PIFs, PSAs, etc.)

Music-related design of a sadder kind

Author: Colin | Published: 25/10/10
Previous Mika Vainio – Time Examined Next Self Expression and Conduct: The Humanities

Black granite headstone designed by Peter Saville, Ben Kelly, Paul Barnes and Matt Robertson for the much lamented founder of Factory Records, television presenter and genial raconteur Anthony H. Wilson.

Full details on the Creative Review blog.

- Peter Saville on Hard Format

Mika Vainio – Time Examined

Author: Colin | Published: 23/10/10
Previous Taiga Records production shots Next Music-related design of a sadder kind

Mika Vainio - Time Examined

Mika Vainio - Time Examined

Mika Vainio - Time Examined

Mika Vainio - Time Examined

Mika Vainio - Time Examined

Mika Vainio - Time Examined

Mika Vainio - Time Examined

Mika Vainio - Time Examined

Mika Vainio - Time Examined

Mika Vainio - Time Examined

Artist Mika Vainio
Title Time Examined
Label Raster Noton
Year 2009
Design Denise Walther
Music Music composed for installation and performance works
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Notes I can’t help suspect a dash of Finnish deadpan humour in the placement of the title on the rear cover and its reversal on the spine. Similarly, the portentousness of the embossed gold serif titles is undermined with a very straight face by the edge to edge image on the front endpaper which portrays Vainio smartly attired in a three piece suit and gold tie. Seated on a flowery sofa surrounded by what appears to be ’50s furniture and a stack of coffee table art books. On the floor. Could this be the Finnish noise/techno minimalist caught relaxing in the comfort of his own home? Probably not, but this is surely the sort of deadpan humour also found in Aki Kaurismäki’s films.Vainio’s frank and rather unsettling gaze seems initially to be directed straight at the view, but on closer inspection his eyes are looking subtly downward. The two CDs are held in paper sleeves that blend with the images on the front and rear endpapers. On the latter Vainio is pictured with hands clamped firmly over his ears – a final source of amusement in light of the ear-splitting noise he’s often capable of.

Large images of Vainio’s installations and related details are laid right to the margins throughout. These are dotted with short, explanatory texts. In the middle are 18 pages of essays, discography, bibliography, etc printed on a much thinner paper stock. Time Examined is a subtly amusing, informative and rather wonderful object.

The design is more reminiscent of the approach taken by Linger Decoree and Michaela Kessler for Atom TM’s Liedgut – which makes an interesting alternative to the predominantly cool and modern approach of most of the label’s designs. Both strands do, however, share a tremendous elegance and attention to detail.

Here’s hoping for a similarly interesting take on Carsten Nicolai’s gallery work in the not too distant future.

See also:

- Mika Vainio – Sahko Recordings reissues
- Raster Noton
- Various Artists – Recovery
- My review of Pan Sonic’s Kesto

Taiga Records production shots

Author: Colin | Published: 22/10/10
Previous Tomasz Stanko – Balladyna Next Mika Vainio – Time Examined

Nice to see such behind-the-scenes images:

Kayo Dot jacket ink at Studio on Fire

Jacket letterpress plate & roller detail

Coyote paper on press front cover detail

Via Taiga Records’ Twitterstream.

See also:

- Map – Douglas Quin

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