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wild light_100313

65_wildlight_cover_750

creative review?asked?to include 65daysofstatic’s wild light album cover in their monthly round-up of great album covers. in doing so they interviewed us about what went into the making of the sleeve –

could you tell me more about the inspiration for this design, how it relates to the music and how you came up with the idea?

65daysofstatic have always had a strong socio-politcal mindset whether that has directly influenced their music or not. therefore it came as no surprise to me that whilst in the studio they’d read and discussed a wide array of contemporary and historical political and artistic literature. for this reason when they approached me to create the artwork for the album i was given a good deal more than just their definition of the term ‘wild light’.

leading with ezra pound’s imagist poem ‘in a station of the metro’ they lead me down a path of minimalist, suprematist and futurist thinking including snippets of conversations they’d had over instant messenger, photographs of sculptures, scans of paintings and lengthy 20th century manifestos. my favourites of which were a book called ‘the vagrant light of stars’ which depicted a memorial to albert einstein being launched into deep space traveling on a beam of light, and a supremacist, communist, modern art children’s book called ‘about 2 squares.’

i’d had the demos for the songs for a while and around the time I received the above documents from the band i’d been given a near final version of the album. what struck me immediately was that whilst minimal in its conception, cinematically speaking the sounds on the record created some incredibly beautiful, richly coloured and vibrant images in my head. tracks like ‘heat death infinity splitter’ and ‘the undertow’ took my mind from a sense of something vast moving through the chaotic depths of outer space, right down to microscopic organisms and cells living in our oceans and under our skin.

bearing all of this in mind I made the cover you see now. appropriately adopting where possible various lines in supremacist, futurist and imagist visual thinking, i created a wide-format piece that i felt resonated with the music as much as with those old explorations of artistic expression. if those were one band of hapless, anti-establishment types trying to evolve our way of thinking about and perceiving the world, here was another band with their designer in tow – trying his best at the impossible task of visualizing music for those who’ve seen everything before.

i understand you’re a fan of 65daysofstatic – how important is it, do you think, that the designer creating cover art engages with or enjoys the music?

in 2006 i wrote to 65 and asked if my business partner giles and I could make their website. i’d seen them live in 2005 in london and knew that – like many of the bands I’ve asked to work with over the years – i’d make my best work if their music was the soundtrack to it. little did I know we’d become such good friends and that I’d be sitting here today having finished not just my third album cover for them, but also the best record cover I think I’ve made to date.

from my perspective being a fan of the music is essential. i give talks to independent filmmakers here in New york on the same subject. I implore them to not pay money to anyone that isn’t already immediately and very clearly a fan of the film they have made. money cannot and will not ever be enough motivation to make a truly beautiful and appropriate design or piece of artwork. despite having worked over 10 years in this role, i continue produce some of my worst work when I am not a fan of the film or music i’m working to support.

the graphic designer david carson pointed out that it’s a gross misconception that you should not judge a book by its cover. everything about how a band presents itself is a reflection of the amount they have cared for and thought about the the music they have made. a record cover is a huge responsibility, particularly so when you’re handed a record like ‘wild light.’ something this good demands to be heard and it’s my job to make sure someone clicks on that cover on the net or picks up that record in the store, even if just out of curiosity. It’s debatable to this day whether an image can represent a sound, but I work based on the belief that you can at least try to achieve such a thing.

an excerpt from this interview can be found on the creative review website here, along with some write-ups of some other great covers. we hope the above interview gives people some further insight into what it’s like working with a band like 65daysofstatic, who’s intense worth-ethic continues to push us to new levels.

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caspar vs. monocle magazine_022813

monocle march 2013 cover

caspar was recently interviewed for monocle magazine. here’s an excerpt from the piece –

describe your work with bands.
i am responsible for visually creating their sound. i get images in my head from listening to their music and create everything from sleeves, posters and videos to documentaries. i only work with bands i like.

is art more influential in the music business now?
record labels have faded. bands work with us on artwork and we in turn can become a catalyst for them working with each other. it’s a creative nucleus. we all talk online but it’s as though we’re meeting up in a bar. it’s unusual that so many bands are grouped around us, linked by interest in our design ethic rather than necessarily sharing a musical theme. i’m treated like a band member – i’ve even gone on tour.

we’d like to thank belinda bamber for conducting such a wonderful interview, and of course?joshua simpson?for taking the great photographs.

you can read the rest of the interview here. the magazine itself is in stores now.

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caspar vs. black book magazine_021612


caspar was recently interviewed for black book magazine. here’s an excerpt from the piece –

how do you go about your creative process?
i?d say for me, it?s just read / watch / listen to anything you’ve been given a hundred times over until your brain is utterly saturated with and then just lie on your back and let your brain subconsciously do the work for you, and it will. it will tie, much the way dreams do, all manner of strange elements together based on personal experiences of old and the new elements you’ve introduced to it. in this way, i love the way david lynch?s writes his films. he?ll have one scene that?s just come to him out of nowhere that for some reason means a lot to him, and then another scene after it that?s this completely different — an unrelated thing that he also loves. he?s then compelled to put them in a film together and somehow find another scene that will perhaps connect them or explain why that was happening. it was the power of the two original scenes that lead to this new scene being made, rather than any sort of linear thinking process where you start with one scene and try and think of what might happen next. this is a hugely important way of approaching things because people don?t necessarily think ideas work like that.

you can read the rest of the interview?here.

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tron soundtrack –
javascript site of the month in .net magazine_032911


we’ve just had it confirmed that the site we did for daft punk’s TRON: legacy score,?tronsoundtrack.com,?was javascript site of the month in the january issue of .net magazine. click here to read the full PDF including a short interview with us about the making of the site. huge thanks again to remy sharp, mr doob, topspin and disney for the hook-up!

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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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03.01.08_010308


we have just launched our website for the vietnamese fashion house ipa-nima. we hope you dig it! also, caspar has just been interviewed by wise elephant over on their blog. you can read the full transcript here. happy 2008, everyone!

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