Leven Signs Hemp Is Here Digitalis (2013 Reissue; 1985) Some records are made before their time. Many things have changed in the 28 years since Hemp Is Here was first released – but even now, with an additional 3 decades of ethnomusicology under our belts, its thrift store Hindustani vibrations still sound freaky. This must've been entirely far out when it was first transmitted. You can hear strains of what would become hypnagogic pop, like James Ferraro's funny globe-trotting uncle returning from Marrakesh with a stack of weird, sun-warped cassette tapes. Perhaps the finally time is right for Digitalis to rescue this one from the dustheap of history.

 

In our 2012 Album Covers of the Year feature, we once again get our hands on everyone we can. Through interviews with designers, musicians, labels, and plenty of others, we take a close look at just how many hands are in the pot when it comes to the album artwork process. Inside this feature are 98 album covers spanning a wide array of sonic and visual styles, each selected for its own unique contribution to the world. They are not ranked; instead, they are broken down into sections based on conceptual underpinnings or artistic mediums, and then are displayed on spectrums. Get started by navigating into any of these six sections: Geometric & Pattern-Based Classically-Influenced Narrative & Symbolic Photography & Manipulations Painting & Illustration Collage, Sculpture & Mixed Media You can also see last year's at 2011 Year-End Respect For Album Cover Art