Colourful infographic on the growth of Vinyl
Diggin the Blogosphere is an original compilation of the best in new music from artists now working in the digital realm. Produced by young Parisian record label Heavenly Sweetness, The compilation presents a selection of discoveries from all corners of the worldwide web including Shigeto, Chet Faker and AbJo. The cover artwork is illustrated by French visual artist Jean-Louis Duralek. Diggin the Blogosphere Volume 2 is available now on Vinyl and Digital release only. “For many artists, the web is the only way to spread their music, without the help of any record labels”. This is a significant move which is signals the end of the CD-Era and further establishes vinyl and digital in the ‘digital’ music industry today.
‘The Next Day’ is David Bowie’s 24th studio album to be released after a surprise announcement at the start of this year on David Bowies’s 66th Birthday. This month sees the special edition release on vinyl.
The original cover for ‘Heroes’ is used as the background for the cover with a white square obscuring the front. Jonathan Barnbrook designer for the ‘The Next Day’ explains the thought behind the reworking of the original cover after receiving critical responses to the Design. Barnbrook describes the obscuring and reinvention of the cover as being about “spirit of great pop or rock music which is ‘of the moment’, forgetting or obliterating the past”1. The use of a white square and aesthetic is also a reference to David Bowie’s changeable identity over the years.
Heroes was selected for ‘The Next Day’ as being the most revered “it had to be an image that would really jar if it were subverted in some way”1.Heroes as is one of Bowie’s Best known tracks and is considered one of the best by critics. Released in 1977, Heroes features portraits of David Bowie shot by Photographer Masayoshi Sukita. Masayoshi is a long time collaborator with David Bowie with a career spanning 40 years.
One direct influence for the cover artwork is the Painting Roquairol by the German Artist Erich Heckel. The painting is part of the Expressionist movement, a movement in modern art which originated in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. This was a becoming influence for Heroes, which was recorded in Germany and was the third album to be produced in Berlin. Bowie reflect on his time “by now I was living full time in Berlin so my own mood was good. Buoyant even. But those lyrics come from a nook in the unconscious.”2 Contrasted with today’s release of ‘The Next Day’ the cover contemplates and reflects on David Bowie’s career over the years.
Paul X Johnson illustrations feature on the recent release of ‘Anna’ The third studio album by The Courteeners. “It’s just got such a cinematic feel; it’s elegant and dark, kind of stoney, but also quite beautiful in parts. This embodies the whole record for me.” Liam Fray describing their choice of image for the album. Paul also illustrated the Single ‘Lose Control’ released in 2012.
Jason Pierce, the creative force and only constant member of Spiritualized describes his work, sleeve by sleeve. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space’ is available on artvinyl.com
Despite the naysayers, it seems that 2012 was another great year for the vinyl record. According to the stats released by Nielsen Soundscan, sales of vinyl records hit another, modern-era record in 2012 with 4.6 million units.
For U.K. Vinyl fans, it was The xx’s second album, Co-Exist which topped sales, whilst Jack White’s solo effort, Blunderbuss headed up the U.S. charts.
What was YOUR vinyl record of the year for 2012?
As an annual celebration of the best in record cover art, the Best Art Vinyl award has featured some of the biggest names working in the visual arts today. Alongside established artistic heavyweights, the lists of nominees and winners since the inception of the award in 2005 has also proudly championed designers who are only just embarking on their visual career. As a double 2012 nominee for his stunning work on Holograms self-titled LP and Wild Nothing’s ‘Nocturne’, designer Ryan McCardle deservedly takes his place amongst the likes of previous nominees Damien Hirst, Peter Blake and Anton Corbijn as one of the most exciting new voices in record sleeve design today.
“A crazy madman was decorating the walls of his secret dungeon with photos and drawings. It looked unidentified and somehow unreachable, it felt forbidden and even dangerous. Something was missing. Something that he would be obsessed with and that he would try to rebuild, so passionate but without success. Maybe he was intentionally creating a monster, a thing he thought was beautiful and real.”
Jesse Auersalo, sleeve designer 2012
Vote for Lorn, ‘Ask the Dust’ for the Best Art Vinyl 2012 award HERE
“The image is a rendering that depicts the connections in a human brain, the wiring diagram, if you will. These images are made from data collected on a MRI machine and are part of a large project to map the connections in humans. I can only say that the distance between art and science is often very small indeed and that the beauty and wonder of the human brain and its inner workings inspires all of us that work to discover it.”
Arthur W. Toga at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, UCLA School of Medicine sheds some light on the captivating images which make up Muse’s ‘2nd Law’ release. See more of their amazing work here.