Archive for February, 2013

Date: February 26th, 2013
Cate: graphic design, Music

In Dance Parlance

poster02

Next week I’m doing a joint DJ night with Frans who joined my at Record Turnover a few months ago. This time we’re using the moniker Dance Parlance, and it might be a one-off unless we’re invited back to Belle Epoque. It’s the first time I’m playing there on a weekend, and we’re delighted to have been bestowed the honour. Expect to hear everything from Can and The Holy Mackerel, to Os Brazões and Illés.  And plenty of SOUL.

Date: February 21st, 2013
Cate: graphic design

Studio Pop

studiopop

My friend Kalle Magnusson (Hybris) has started a design studio in Malmö/Copenhagen together with Henric Claesson. It’s called Studio Pop after the Swedish tv show from a few years ago. They don’t have any work on their site yet, but you should follow them on facebook.

Date: February 18th, 2013
Cate: graphic design

Babian LP design

babian

At the end of last year Swedish garage group Babian’s third LP was released, on Heptown Records. I designed the cover, which is set in Precious Serif and Sans, and it kind makes me think of a late 60s psych-folk band. You can hear the whole record Spotify, but you should probably know the lyrics are in Swedish.

Date: February 12th, 2013
Cate: graphic design

Kontrapunkt vs e-Types II

Both Kontrapunkt and e-Types have started the year by posting a high-profile new project. From e-Types we get the new car design for the Danish police, whose existing identity was created by e-Types in 2003.

polit

Kontrapunkt on the other hand present a new logo package for the Danish broadcasting service DR. The redesign includes an update of the basic logo from 2005, which has been simplified considerably. The new logos include the radio stations, for which e-Types created a system in 2006. The real eye candy lies in the typography for the channel/station identifyers, which indeed looks very Danish.

DR_skriftdetaljer

Date: February 12th, 2013
Cate: new releases
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Jacco Gardner | Cabinet of Curiosities

jacco

I won’t withhold that Cabinet of Curiosities is one my most anticipated debut longplayers of the year. Jacco Gardner impressed everyone with his Trouble In Mind 45 “Where Will You Go” last year. A single deeply ensconced in Curt Boettcher and Gary Usher’s production style, but still with one foot in Gardner’s native 60s sound, known as nederbeat. His first LP is a shimmering wonderland of psych-pop, that includes both of his previous singles. Trouble In Mind should be proud to have put out one of the early contenders for 2013’s best album. Gardner’s vision is complete, he doesn’t do covers and the only outward reference I can find is “The Ballad of Little Jane” which must be a nod to British popsike and groups like Timon (who recorded the classic “The Bitter Thoughts of Little Jane”). In general the lyrical themes are darker than Millenium’s somewhat light fare, and at times approach Syd Barrett’s introspection. One of the most memorable melodies is that of “Lullaby”, driven by a picked guitar. “The Riddle” is probably the track that most resembles Gardner’s previous album with The Skywalkers, and on most of the tracks organs and electric pianos are still prominent. Apart from the single tracks “Where Will You Go” and “Clear the Air”, I think the strongest song is the title track, which could have been an instrumental by Air, almost. The drumming and organ playing also brings my thoughts round to Broadcast at their most analogue. Although there’s track called “Summer’s Game”, the record sounds perfect for early autumn. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it now!

Trouble In Mind are simultaneously putting out a companion album by West Coast studio project Maston, recorded by one Frank Maston. Shadows is a short 10-track album with several instrumentals that bear an almost cinematic quality, much like later Mercury Rev. On the tracks that do have vocals, they blend into the wall of sound and serve little function apart from melody. Most of songs sound inspired by Brian Wilson (just like The Explorers Club were on their first album) but there are also echoes of a folker side (Lee Hazlewood Industries?), especially on “Messages”, which is my favourite track. Maston’s first album is perhaps most interesting as a soundscape, but with more focus on the vocals and lyrics there should be some amazing pop songs lurking in there.

And did I mention that The Limiñanas recent TIM single La fille de la ligne 15 is most excellent? I’ve already played the single by Fuzz (Segall & Moonheart) at my club night, and it definitely turned a few heads.

Date: February 7th, 2013
Cate: new releases

Sapphire Mansions & What Next?

Here are a couple of bands that my friend Serge Pinsky are in currently. What Next? is an ex caUSE co-MOTION!/German Measles group from Brooklyn and they put out their first single last year, all by themselves. They’re about to release a second one soon, but let’s get back to their last one. On “Trip” they mix up the pop-punk we’ve become used to from both previously mentioned bands with a dose of folkrock. The a-side features both harmonica and some loose 12-string playing. Brilliant concept and with a chorus that sticks after 3 seconds, we’ve got a winner. The b-side is more of the ramshackle pop that Dave has long specialized in. Get it/stream here.

cover

Sapphire Mansions started as a home recording project by Jay Hough (Golden Triangle, and recently the Zarjaz live band). Jay works in a record shop and switched from drumming to playing his own songs on guitar about three years ago, backed by a drum machine. The fruits of this was the Whispered In Sparks cassette that came out last year on It’s Raining Tapes (with only one release, I guess it’s Jay’s own label). Jay is playing live with a full band now, that includes Serge, and they’re going to record an album this year with Gary Olson, who recorded German Measles and caUSE co-MOTION! (among a wealth of other groups). Jay was nice enough to send me some rehearsal takes of new songs, and it’s definitely a big progression from what you can hear on this tape. Still, it’s a brilliant debut which definitely lives up to the aspirations inherent in the name, taken from a Felt song. Actually it’s not one of Felt’s best or even most memorable songs (being an instrumental) and some of the songs bear a bigger resemblance to the sound of much earlier Felt recordings such as “Trails of Colour Dissolve” (e.g. on “In the Eyes of Your Friends”). There’s even an echo of Deebank’s guitar style on the instrumentals “Whispered In Sparks” and the formulaic but effective “Go Out In a Week”. The tracks that do have vocals leaves you wishing they weren’t so muffled, since the titles suggest some actual lyrical content that might be of interest.

cover

I believe the tape is sold out, but it’s such a promising release that you really must keep an eye out for future singles and an album. I’m sharing my favourite track “Walking Away From You” below. If you liked the Tomorrows Tulips tape on Burger you’ll love this.

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Date: February 7th, 2013
Cate: new releases

The Masters Apprentices | Undecided 7″

recs

I recently got some great 60s garage reissues, including the Skeptics LP I wrote about earlier. The Modds’ “Leave My House” also came out last year, on Portuguese label Groovie. It’s been remastered from the original tapes, and the infamously lo-fi top side (barely audible rhythm section and insanely loud guitar) now sounds very fat and surprisingly heavy for a ’66 recording.

Another recent one is the new issue of Masters Apprentices all-time classic “Undecided”, paired with (the in my opinion even better) “War Or Hands of Time”. It’s on a label called Ugly Pop, which could have been a spin on the Australian garage comps Ugly Things, but it’s actually a Canadian punk label. All the while they’ve put out several 60s reissues including local legends A Passing Fancy. But here they are committing two sides of the best and loudest Australian beat to vinyl. In fact, I’ve just discovered there’s also a reissue of The In-Sect’s brilliant “I Can See My Love”. Will have to get that one too. The centre label on the “Undecided” disc is an imitation of the original Astor design, fun.

Date: February 5th, 2013
Cate: web

Sennep web

sennep

One of my favourite portfolio sites for any design agency is London-based Sennep’s crisp and wonderfully responsive solution. Sennep work mainly with interaction design and their name incidentally means ‘mustard’ in Danish, but they don’t have any openings listed at Mustard Jobs. The website got ‘site of the day’ on FWA in January, and perhaps the best feature is the animated logo, which picks up colours from the images shown for each project. I wonder who thought of this first, Sennep or the ITV’s inhouse design team?