Whether you know it or not, you have likely stumbled across the work of British photographer Shaun Bloodworth before. Sometimes referred to as the photographer of dubstep, his long-lasting involvement in the music scene goes far beyond that. You might remember his L.A. Dope series we wrote about some years ago, in which he portrait then-rising producers from the city of angels. Among his work are collaborations with GiveUpArt‘s Stuart Hammersley, like The Green Series and North/South/East/West, and of course the many portraits shot for the Rinse mix series.
So today, three years after GiveUpArt took turn, we’re very happy that Shaun took the time to pick his favourite record sleeves from 2014.
I like the idea of providing a recipe almost, that you can follow to make your own SYRO, and also the bonus track that can’t be played because its a cardboard record. The idea has equal importance to the visual, something that has always run through Ian’s work. Design & art direction the Designers Republic.
This was a tie in with Universal Everything exhibition at the Science Museum with a track by Matt Pyke’s brother Simon. There are 4 different covers based around the organic animated doodles you may have seen at the Museum. The inner vinyl is illustrated with black & white organic doodles.
LuckyMe have produced some amazing sleeves this year —Rustie, Clark, Cid Rim— but this is the best I think, although I wish the mock Photoshop version that was floating around with HudMo in the centre had been released. Design & art direction by LuckyMe, photography by Zhong Min.
I love this sleeve so much, Matthew and his daughter Love as if they are posing for a 17th century old master. The photograph also reminds me of a Brothers Grimm etching by David Hockney — The Enchantress and the Baby Rapunzel. There was also a really amazing video that went with this on pitchfork as a teaser. Design by Seth Ferris and photography by Logan White.
Venetian Snares – My Love Is A Bulldozer (Planet Mu)
No idea who is responsible for this, but I wish I’d done it, great idea for a portrait. Traditional simple arresting cover, where photography is the key factor. Design by Arnold Steiner.
This started out as a press shoot in a pub near Islington, but it worked so well that the photograph was used for the cover. Nozinja turned up the the torrential rain wearing a white spandex tribal two piece, didn’t really have to do much, the picture made itself. I also shot them outside in the rain holding bright dayglo umbrellas. I was asked to design this sleeve, but thankfully I bottled it, and handed it to my friend and collaborator Stuart Hammersley at GiveUpArt who used his trademark bright colours and tight typography. Wish we’d done more this year together.
Bleep’s brand colours (green & blue) are used through everything including the NSEW and BLP/GRN series Stuart and I did with Raj Chaudhuri and Dan Minchom at Bleep. The custom logotype is based on a really basic 3×4 grid and carried onto some type details on the rest of the packaging, the chunky 10 is lovely.
ALSO is Laurie Osborne (Appleblim) & Alec Storey (Second Storey). The glitchy type represents the choppy rhythms found in the tracks. The sleeve is printed simply in a metallic purple and pale minty blue, I think this is 1 of 3 with an album to follow in the same style. Very simple and beautiful. We’d planned to do something similar with the press photography but it didn’t come off unfortunately. Design and art direction GiveUpArt.
Saw this at the Novation/Walls gallery in all its glory at their ADE exhibition, really beautiful and unlike most covers I’ve seen over the past few years. Has a lovely hand made quality to it. The box set had lots of tie dye/Rorschach type ink illustrations by Leif Podhajsky.
I know Ryan (Illum Sphere) paid a lot attention to getting the correct photographer for this cover, I thought the whole set worked really well. I did some press shots which were in black & white too, it was nicely directed by Ninja Tune. Photography by Silvia Grav.
Shaun Bloodworth’s work can be found on his website and Vimeo. He shares good music and other wisdom on Twitter.
Following the first part curated by Colectivo Futuro, it’s Stuart Hammersley of GiveUpArt taken over the second. The London-based graphic design studio was founded in 2006 and since then helped shaping the face of dubstep – from the logos and identities of Rinse and Tempa, including cover artworks including both debuts from Skream and Benga, or my favourite – the entire Apple Pips catalogue. Further examples of GiveUpArt’s work can be found here, here and here.
Below you can find ten of Stuart’s favourite artworks from 2011, and I’m sure many of you will agree on his selection. Let me point out that it’s worth clicking the images, as they sometimes reveal a different view!
Rustie – Glass Swords (Warp)
Reminds me of a Roger Dean prog cover – crossed with an eighties Athena art – in a ‘good’ way… Designed by the very talented Australian Jonathan Zawanda
Toddla T – Cherry Picking (Ninja Tune)
I think is a limited editon 12″ released on record store day this year. A lovely idea – a screenprinted clear plastic sleeve combined with some gorgeous red vinyl makes a sexy cherry. Designed by Peter & Paul in Sheffield… Clever sods. : )
Julio Bashmore – Batty Knee Dance (3024)
Addison Groove – It’s Got Me / Minutes Of Funk (3024)
Jon Convex – Convexations EP (3024)
Really liked the last few 3024 12″ house sleeves from Erosie – a great colourful mess of pattern and texture – that manages to look individual yet easily recognisable at the same time as a 3024 release.
Balam Acab – Wander / Wonder (Tri Angle)
I just love the simplicity and mystery of this cover shot… [photo by Emmette Murkett]
Blues Control & Laraaji – FRKYS Vol. 8 (Rvng Intl.)
FRKWYS is a sister lable to RVNG records out of New York. This series started before last year, but they put out a couple of lovely sleeves in 2011. Tipped on single colour print on coloured paper stock, containing the track list and cover imagery – onto a leatherette’ style cover stock.. It has the feel of a private pressing, or a fanzine – and reminds me of single-colour photocopied flyers that I used to make for parties we put onwhen I was at college. By Will Work For Good from NY. Superb…
Jamie xx – Far Nearer / Beat For (Numbers)
You’ve just got to love a pink and red gradient… Nice play on the original minimalist artwork for his Gil Scott-Heron remix album. Well done Numbers… and hello to the Remote Location boys!
Massimiliano Pagliara – Focus For Infinity (Live At Robert Johnson)
Cover image looks like it’s some VHS video feedback shot from a tv screen… That analogue lo-fi oddness matches perfectly the woozy, hazy sounds that Matthew makes… This EP and the album he realeased as well was one of my highlights of 2011. Matthew’s a really great guy.. (Check his label Leaving Records, too)
Scratcha DVA – Madness (Hyperdub)
Not sure who’s designed this cover for Scratcha‘s latest EP on Hyperdub. But I love the Weird, disorientating, psyche-y colours… [artwork by Optigram]
“Bleep:100 Tracks 2011 (Bleep)
A bit of a shameless plug I’m afraid (sorry!) – and not technically a sleeve design as such… Bleep approached us to design the packaging for their digital compilation of the 100 best tracks of the year. Instead of just purchasing a download code for a Zip file – we made a package that you would receive or could buy as a gift. It comprised of a fold out poster with a unique download code on it, that came in a recycled card wallet stamped with clear foil text details. The poster contained loads of data that Bleep had collected from their site over the year – best seeling tunes, most searched for artists, most popular labels and so on.. so the design derived from all of this data that was presented in a (to my mind at least!) beautiful way.
I hope you enjoyed this feature! For more of this, feel invited to (re)visit lastyear‘s features, the Cover Culture blog, and for vintage records Project Thirty-Three is always worth a visit. See you next year!
Always interested in the artwork that packages the music, I have collected some record covers I particularly liked in the first half of 2010. These are not necessarily records I listen to or write about, in fact I’ve included some I’m not even familiar with, stuff I came across through newsletters and some other websites. Most of them came out this year, with some exceptions from 2009.
As you can see, I’m fully backing current trends like triangles, pattern-based designs or symmetric compositions.
Bleep teamed up with British photographer Shaun Bloodworth and designer Stuart Hammersley (GiveUpArt) to create a “musical and visual document”, titled North / South / East / West (NSEW).
Both artists have built their reputation in the dubstep scene, Bloodworth being the photographer for the iconic album covers from Skream or Benga or the L.A. Dope series. In most cases, Hammersley does the graphics for the mentioned products, but he is also responsible for the (corporate) designs of Tempa, Apple Pips or London’s FWD club.
On 14 prints, NSEW documents artists from the North and South UK and the East and West coast of the United States. In addition to that comes a CD with 12 tracks from those artists, including Flying Lotus, Daedelus, Hudson Mohawke, FaltyDL and Headhunter among others (full tracklist below).
01. Daedelus – A Bloodworth
02. Hudson Mohawke – FUSE
03. Geeneus – Ultrafunkula
04. Flying Lotus – Comet Course (Matthew David Alternative Mix)
05. Headhunter – Collecting Butterflies
06. Falty DL – Some Day My Queen Will Come
07. Flying Lotus – Rickshaw
08. Skream – Slumfunk
09. Mike Slott – Giants Meet
10. Kotchy – You Know You
11. Rustie – Bad Science
12. Taz Buckfaster – Au Revoir
The entire package is available in two limited editions, the only difference is the inclusion of an A2 poster. You can pre-order both editions from Bleep, the release-date is December 1st