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65daysofstatic.com
& the japanese EP_121810


65daysofstatic.com is one of those sites where the work on it is continuous and so we’re never sure when to stop for a second and make a record of our progress. fans of the band will know that major redevelopments began back with the release of their last full length studio album, and that it’s taken on 2-3 guises since then.

based primarily around the original wordpress foundations that the band laid themselves back with the release of one time for all time (their second studio album), the open-ended nature of that fantastic (and free) platform has meant we can keep reskinning, redesigning and evolving the site whilst keeping the core database.

the latest version of the 65 site is more of a hub that incorporates not only their blog, tour dates and forum, but also their twitter, flickr, soundcloud and vimeo feeds. the design is of course based around their new album’s rather?fotografik aesthetic and was intended to allow the band a freedom from making multiple updates across their various outlets, and give fans a one stop shop for all information about the band.

in other news, with the japanese heavy sky EP tour on the horizon and a special edition of the EP in the works, we got talking to the band about a possible variation on the established cover design. after some deliberation we agreed that a design that felt more in sync with the japanese release of their single?weak4 would be appropriate. keen to explore that release’s more geometric artwork styling, we set about developing a design that echoed the original EP photography whilst exploring the implications of the EP’s title further. the resulting cover (above) was inspired in part by a series of early drawings and paintings by the artist thomas newbolt.

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love & glamour honours_102710


we just found out that our website for jennifer lopez’s love & glamour fragrance entered at number 14 in the design charts last week, and subsequently rose to number 12 this week.

once again, a huge thanks to all involved in making the site.

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65daysofstatic –
heavy sky EP_102610


65daysofstatic’s heavy sky EP pretty much has to be heard to be believed. it’s a collection of songs that for one reason or another just didn’t make the cut for we were exploding anyway, their last album. perhaps its most intriguing quality is its slightly erratic nature, in terms of sounds and styles. in and of itself this is nothing new for an EP, however when it arrives after an LP in this fashion, it offers an exciting insight into the band’s thought process when they made that album – sonic directions that for one reason or another they didn’t pursue.

therefore our task this time around was to create a sleeve that echoed the artwork of the album, but that had a more abstracted, less direct narrative. as such we kept the same design template as before, but looked into an entirely different style of photography. one that was more transient, and that focussed more on mood and ambience.

after sifting through 50 odd photographs we’d taken that echoed this sentiment, we put together a sleeve design that had this texas chainsaw massacre / halloween type vibe about the setting. which isn’t to say it was about horror, but looking at it now it certainly has a darker, almost voyeuristic tone to its domestic leanings. a tone that is of course balanced by the record’s title and the warm, evening glow that permeates through each photograph.

you can download a track from the EP for free here:

65daysofstatic.com

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hot coma –
hold onto the good that you got_102610


it was through our work with kevin mcmahon (PRICK / lucky pierre)?that we first came into contact with robert cherry. rob used to write for alternative press magazine back in the 90s (when it was good) and his old band,?ethernet, had supported PRICK during their mythical final run of shows in 2003.

back now with a new more streamlined and considered concept-based band, hot coma, rob called us and asked that we might create a record cover for his first EP. discussing various concepts to do with the band’s name, we developed this idea that the hot coma was a state of epiphany one fell into. a state which somehow lead your eyes to glow bright white for a moment. it was a concept that we attempted to illustrate and that the band developed further into a longer, written narrative through which their songs lyrics could flow.

He couldn’t risk a blow out, not with all he needed to do, not with M. returning from her assignment on Tuesday, and not with the Hot Coma, as the media had dubbed it, sweeping the streets. Did anyone really buy that crap? Did he really buy that crap?

the final look of the artwork was an attempt to touch on a future time that had passed. something that felt like a photograph in a newspaper or a poster documenting the hot coma anomaly.

stay tuned for future sleeve artwork from us that will illustrate more of this band’s developing, bladerunner-esque, science-fiction narrative. in the meantime you can download the first track from their EP from their bandcamp site, and of course listen to the rest of it streaming:

hotcoma.bandcamp.com

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TRON_090910


well, where to even start? it was 20 years ago when my friends and i first saw the original TRON film. my parents rented it?on VHS for my birthday party back home in england. the TV sat at one end of the table and about 8 kids sat around the other end, which was otherwise covered in food, streamers and wrapping paper.

we all adored it, but more importantly a seed had been sewn and over the years i found myself playing TRON games on all manner of gaming systems. the first time was on my best friend’s ZX spectrum 48k+ back in the late 80s (seen above) and the latest, years later, when we stumbled across an?original?TRON arcade machine living out the end of its days at barcade in brooklyn.

now as for?daft punk … it was about 4 years ago that we finally sat down to watch the?interstellar 5555 animated film in its entirety. i was taken-a-back at the quite brilliant and moving concept behind it. consequently i swiftly purchased their second film?electroma, and it was even better. ordinary house DJs these guys were not. requiring further validation for my new found obsession i called my friends?the protomen (with whom i shared a great love of concept-based music) and consulted them on the matter. pretty soon my?entire line of thinking on what?daft punk was about had done a massive U-turn. then, as if waiting for my undivided attention, it was announced that they?were going to score the new TRON film.

tronsoundtrack.com

so there it is. a small testament to years of love for that great old movie, and to the incredible potential of the new one and its soundtrack.

all the site does right now, formerly speaking, is register your interest in the forthcoming soundtrack release. however in order to satisfy the fans out there of the original film, daft punk or both, we packed it with as many tricks and secrets as we could. ?we also made it work on ipads and ipods as well as it would on any desktop. this involved giving a suitable nod to the generation of internet users that would have grown up with the original film. i.e. we threw ASCII art imagery in the source code, built out all the site animations using .gifs, and included another element … but since no one has worked that out yet we’re not about to spoil the fun here.

the look and feel is of course taken from both the dusty desktop computer in the second TRON LEGACY trailer and the sites some of you will have seen when playing the flynn lives ARG. that is of course with the exception of the boom / ripple animation, which was adapted from a piece of code that?mr. doob (of arcade fire video / harmony fame) wrote. all we did beyond that was build it all out using HTML5 and javascript rather than video or flash. we did this so that you can?move the windows on the site with your fingertip on a touchscreen, as well as with a mouse. a touch that again we felt true to the world of TRON.

what’s to come after this? well even we don’t know right now. such is the mystery of these things. in the meantime we wish to extend our?thanks of course to?topspin and?disney for helping us be a part of all this, and hope that we’ve done?enough for now to satisfy even the most rabid fans out there.

end of line.

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love & glamour_090910


it seems like forever ago that we were first asked to work on this. watching the campaign go live now, it’s fair to say we still can’t believe we’re responsible for it. it’s easily the most elegant, refined, high-end and sophisticated website we’ve ever put together. a long time ago we did an interview where the journalist theorized that we just needed that one project to prove what we were really capable of. never in a million years did we think jennifer lopez of all people would be giving us that chance.

in short, the concept speaks for itself and since the campaign is still running, we won’t ruin its carefully crafted mystique by going into too much detail here. however to really get a feel for it we suggest you read the campaign blog post here and play around with the small, interactive scenes we built. completing each one brings you ?a step closer to the prize whilst simultaneously giving you a flavour for the overarching old hollywood, classic film noir aesthetic of love & glamour.

above all we’d like to thank all those at selectNY for being so fantastic at what they do. it’s not often you can get great ideas made. all those times you see something original, excellent and thought provoking in the mainstream media, someone will have fought very hard to make it happen. much harder than you think. selectNY believed in us and worked hard to make this happen, providing us with idealogical support and some truly excellent photography along the way.

loveandglamour.com

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big black delta poster_081710


big black delta’s first EP just got posted in full on their site. you can grab it right now, for free. no strings attached. this is of course excellent news as it’s a particularly stunning mixture of lush vocals, pulsing beats and far out science-fiction soundscapes.

for our part, we are continuing to ensure that it’s dressed as smartly as possible for its various voyages through the internet, off the walls and into your ears. the above, massive, glossy, film poster is the latest in a line of offerings that you can decipher whilst listening to the music.?in fact there are 24″ x 36″ editions of it available right now from their website. each one signed and a steal at just $20.

bigblackdelta.com

however if you just want the FREE EP. that’s cool. no hard feelings.

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sonoio blue_072810


alessandro cortini, who the vast majority will have seen singing backing vocals and playing guitars / synths for nine inch nails or muse, is of course a formidable musician in his own right. if you haven’t heard the song problem me by his band modwheelmood then you’re one jam short of a damn good mix.?SONOIO is the name of his new project, and it’s a 9 track album created entirely on?buchla modular synths.

a fan of our record sleeve and poster work for mellowdrone, alessandro got in touch with us with regards to creating artwork to accompany his new music. we say ‘artwork’ as opposed to ‘design work’ because he was particularly interested in the looser, more painterly / emotional elements of our work over some kind of cleaner, tighter design effort. modwheelmood had been heavy on the minimal design / die-cutting and this time, the record being much more personal to him, alessandro wanted a more cathartic, hand-made quality.

we talked for a while and decided that we should try to create something that had a european quality to it – something that harked back to alessandro’s roots. combining this with a visual device that we felt was most honest to the lyrical content on the record, we came up with the two matisse-esque characters you see on the cover, who are trying to cover up the holes in their chests. the colour choices were then informed in part by the colour of the buchla synth itself. the pencil marks are that of my father thomas newbolt,?who’s drawings we cut up and relocated elements of for the sake of adding more movement / life to the collage.

it was a long process – many versions were created and many strong ideas hit the cutting room floor. after much deliberation we all agree that the cover you see above though is the most profound and succinct description of the record’s musical content that we could come up with. as ever we hope you can form your own interpretations of the artwork’s relationship to the music and can let it grow with you as you get to know the songs.

the album, prints and t-shirts are now available in multiple formats on the SONOIO website, which was created by crosshatch.

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IFUCKINGLOVEYOU short film_072210


we just finished work on a short film to accompany the release of the next track from big black delta. it was shot over a couple of days around independence day in los angeles. the idea was simply to capture everything we got up to in the short time we had, be that searching the night sky for flashing lights, watching dan akroyd talking about UFOs on youtube or jonathan bates making strange noises on his studio floor. we hope the end result, if nothing else, makes you feel like all these things are related. not forcibly, but maybe with a little serendipity.

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big black delta_062710


jonathan bates, better known for his part in the fantastic band mellowdrone, recently got back in touch with us regarding a ‘new thing’ he was working on. as luck would have it, it was ?some seriously rich and rewarding new music. the kind which fills the mind with images pretty fast. well,?the next thing you know we’re watching the thundercats intro in total awe, debating wallpapering our apartment walls with TRON screenshots, and obsessing over UFOs. how one thing lead to another is neither here nor there, but it turns out we were all down with this new thing … and it was taking us places.

what then ensued was the constant, rapid exchange of music for artwork, much the way a choir does their psalms and responses. there’s no question in our minds now that?big black delta was the only name you could use to sum up the music, what inspired it and everything we’d ultimately made together from that point forward. cut then to just a few days ago. cut right to the moment when we slung the cover you see above onto the proverbial coffee table. cut to us all looking at each other like we knew it was time. yep, ufologists were about to get some melody in their google.

it’s been two days now since the first song was released and people seem to be?really digging it. there’s more great material on its way and we only hope, as ever, that people enjoy the unity we’ve strived for between sound and vision.

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