The resurgent re-arrival of vinyl upon our shelves is pleasing beyond the magic plastic disc. It means we can make that extra connection with the bands we have placed our faith in and investigate their minds. We may no longer be within a time where artwork dictates our purchases, but the art that accompanies our favourite records will live with us forever.
We think album sleeves are something to celebrate, as do Gengahr. We asked them to talk us through the sleeve for their new album ‘Where Wildness Grows’ as well as the artwork for five of their faves! Above you’ll find the brand new video for ‘Before Sunrise’. Shot in Casablanca, it documents the ‘Stunter’ movement where a community escape to the outskirts of the city to practice their bike life movement in peace. ‘Before Sunrise’ is the lead track from the brand new album which is out March 9th.
Gengahr – Where Wildness Grows
This painting is one of a series of works I did in support of our album ‘Where Wildness Grows’. I wanted this piece to have a feeling of spontaneity by building up the brush strokes from background to foreground. This process hopefully allows the viewer to see, in the developing of the image, a parallel to the unfolding of a musical performance. There will be an exhibition of this series and other works from musical friends on the 14-21 of March and A-side B side Gallery in Hackney Central.
Faust – The Faust Tapes
One of my favourite krautrock bands and one of my favourite painters. Bridget Riley is responsible for this artwork, and I think it suits perfectly the kind of music they make- both have a looping contorted nature. My eyes are playing tricks on me and so is the music!
Talking Heads – Speaking In Tongues
This Grammy award winning record sleeve was commissioned by Robert Rauschenberg. Made of three separate plastic discs each with a different primary colour printed on. This, his trademark technique, aligns to create the image you can see here. Rauschenberg’s career was intertwined with music; as a young man he was pally with John Cage. His ‘White Paintings’ served an inspiration for Cage’s most noted composition: four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence, aptly titled 4’33”
King Crimson – In The Court Of The Crimson King
This sleeve has haunted me (in a good way) since coming across it in my dad’s record collection as a boy. It’s a wonderful expression, truly psychedelic. It’s either the worst or best trip this guy has ever had! Not much is known about the artist, Barry Godber, apart from the fact he was a computer programmer and died young. King Crimson’s guitarist Robert Fripp now owns this painting, and you can see why.
David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust
One of my favourite albums and the artwork is very arresting too. I love the contrast between this unassuming London side street and his ‘out of this world’ character. Originally shot in black and white, the photograph was colour tinted, which adds to this unnatural aesthetic. Heddon Street has now gone on to rival Abbey Road in rock folklore. Photographer Brian Ward was shooting the band in his studio above the street and persuaded Bowie to step outside. The other band members thought it was too cold and declined to join him for the picture.
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
I only discovered this album quite recently after a cheeky Shazam in a trendy bar. It’s awesome and everything you’d expect form a Miles Davis album. It’s hypnotising and has a fearless quality that is matched in this artwork. This and many other surreal masterpieces (Jimi Hendrix’s – Unreleased / …And a happy new year) were created by Mati Klarwein, a friend of Davis’. The art world at the time had as much trouble getting their head around the cover as did the jazz world did with Davis’ new direction.
Count Basie – Count Basie
Andy Warhol was commissioned to do this ink-based cover art. I think his brushwork beautifully renders the texture and contours on the face. The photo of the artwork is on the back cover so you can fully admire Warhol’s craftsmanship. In the 60’s and 70’s he was the go to artist for your LP cover but this was one of his earliest commissions (1955).
The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot
This Iconic cover is full of details that really draw you in. I like how the robot’s legs have legs of their own and the fact the adversaries are sharing similar headgear. Our heroine is standing in a shadow suggesting she is standing in an alleyway. And is that the pink blood of a previous robot on the wall behind? A sparse painting but with a feeling of completeness. Wayne Cyone, singer in the band, was behind this artwork and once described himself as “mostly a visual artist”.
You can Pre Order the new album from Gengahr here