Speed & Ecstasy

This winter I worked concurrently on two album projects: John B’s Light Speed and High Contrast’s The Agony & The Ecstasy. Both projects are for different artists and evolved in different ways, but since the art was completed and wheels were set in motion, I’ve been noticing increasing unintended parallels between the two projects and their artwork.

Both album covers were driven by the artists themselves and both had different motivations- High Contrast rather controversially wanted the baroque Caravaggio classic The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew to represent The Agony & The Ecstasy, while John B had some press photos done last year complete with full make-up and styling, one of which he wanted to use for his album cover.

Both albums use transitional serif typefaces – I tend not to use serifs very often in my line of work, so two at once was a rarity! HC pushed for Perpetua on his – I have to admit this wouldn’t have been my first choice (the upper-case U having a tail bugs me) – I was angling for either Garamond (historically appropriate) or Bodoni (classical Italian), but Perpetua works in the entirety of the project. John left it up to me so I took the extravagant haute-fashion stylings of his photos and decided Baskerville fit that aesthetic and the more grown-up sound of this album quite well.

As well as both being driven by the artists’ own motivations for the cover image and both using transitional serif typefaces for different reasons, the most curious parallel that struck me was in this interview John B did with This Is Drum & Bass:

TiD&B: If you could compare your sound, and your new album to perhaps a work of art, what would it be?

John B: No idea… Maybe one of those crazy Renaissance scenes where there‚Äôs loads of stuff going on; someone dying from a dagger wound, a bunch of sexy Renaissance ladies with their boobies showing, some angels, and a lion or two.

I’m reasonably sure John hadn’t seen HC’s album cover at the time he did this interview, but it struck me as curious that he pretty much described it (minus the boobies and lions, of course) to analogise his own sound!

Lastly, both albums were a long time coming! It has been six years since Electrostep and five since Tough Guys Don’t Dance, both of which facts are a slightly alarming reminder of how long I have been doing my job now!

Light Speed is out now on Beta Recordings, and The Agony & The Ecstasy is out tomorrow on Hospital Records.

Something Creative for 28 Sporadic Days Between November 2011 and February 2012

Well here we are, more than a month late, with a roundup of the latest and greatest in daily creativities! To explain the uselessness, I had to take a bit of a pause to finish NHS200 after the last roundup. By the time that was under control, I was jetting across the ocean for my winter break, where I spent three weeks contemplating how easy it is to get comfortable doing absolutely nothing, shamefully managing only four posts the entire break. Damn.

I continued to be useless upon my return, but as of about a week ago, I’m back into it, and have finally chalked up twenty-eight since the last roundup. There’s some good stuff in here too: The Cash Cow from back in November was pretty awesome, and more recently, Pirates of Yesteryear turned out about as well as I had hoped!

I have now also siphoned off my second year of SCED into a set of its own too – you can now find the daily creativities from September 2010 to September 2011 in its new set here, but the very latest will be in the same place you know and love here.

So now we’re well into 2012, lets hope this year brings more creativities I’m proud of! Yeah!

After the fold are all the old direct links, for posterity’s sake. Continue reading “Something Creative for 28 Sporadic Days Between November 2011 and February 2012”

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