Another year of our favorites in Top Album Cover Artwork, and once again, we interview musicians and artists on the often-underappreciated work that goes into creating a product that not only tickles your ears, but speaks to your eyes and hearts. Album artwork, though often only viewed on tiny screens...

REDEFINE magazine and Holocene present their fifth annual SXSW 2015 Unofficial House Party at House of Commons, on Friday, March 20th, 2015, featuring Rome Fortune, Beacon, Yumi Zouma, Ellie Herring, Young Ejecta, J Fernandez, Doomsquad, Phedre, Grandparents, and Golden Spun. Audio-visual delights from Vision System and vVv Stardust....

Album Covers of the Year 2014
In contrast to modern patterns in music consumption comes our annual Album Covers of the Year feature, where, instead of forgetting album artwork even exists, we hyperextend ourselves to assert that it is an artform that is vitally connected to the spirit of the music. This feature, which is divided at times into thematic elements and at times into artistic medium, incorporates interviews with not only musicians, but also artists involved throughout the artistic process. We pride this list in being diverse and multi-faceted, as well as philosophically exploratory. See all of our entries from previous years or get started by choosing a category below. Happy travels through the artistic universe we've crafted for you.
Every year, we interview a number of musicians and artists about the intimate details and philosophical underpinnings of their album cover artwork. It's an ever-massive undertaking, but we make sure to include every genre, from doom metal to disco, minimal electronic to mainstream pop, with the intention of highlighting the best visual art, regardless of why or who created it. You can see entries from previous years here, and browse 2013's entries by either scrolling down or selecting a category below. > Narrative & Mythological Album Covers > Photographic Album Covers > Illustrative Album Covers > Mixed Media & Collage-Based Album Covers
We've raved before about the visual work of San Francisco graphic designer and ambient electronic musician Tycho, aka Scott Hansen -- but how exciting that similarly-styled graphic designer and director Charles Bergquist has now been enlisted to turn both of their still image styles into moving image! Both Bergquist and Hansen are known visually for their use of overlaid imagery and washed out colors, and the video for "Ascension" possesses all of these elements. But unlike any hand-held video edited together by any ol' dream pop band with a penchant for Polaroid dreaminess, this is a well-executed, high-quality visual treat that feels pulled straight out of a fashion magazine universe. It also incorporates the best of both Bergquist and Hansen's graphical tendencies, most evidenced by the constant use of the sunset from Tycho's last release, Dive. The primary difference is that here, worlds of water are left behind, as listeners are lifted into mountains of dry sand. I might also add that it is likely the Ghostly International connection, but the slowly-expanding paint splotches used occasionally in this video are reminiscent of the genius abstractions from Matthew Dear's Headcage EP... and you should definitely view this in 1080p HD.

 

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
 
Remix City sifts through mountains of remix trash so you don't have to, in an attempt to find the ones that contribute to their originals.
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Matthew Dear + Michna

Michna's 4-track Moving Mountains EP comes out early next week on Ghostly International, and has remixed a track from labelmate Matthew Dear. "Earthforms" upholds Matthew Dear's dubbed-out vocal treatments while entering frequently into drum n' bass territory. Moving Mountains EP is the first release fom the New York producer in nearly four years, since 2008's debut record, Magic Monday. His single "Through The City On The Edge Of Forever" can be heard on Ghostly International's Soundcloud. Pacific Northwest folks can see him live tonight at Barboza in Sattle or tomorrow at Rotture in Portland. Both dates are with Breton. Full tour dates below, along with the original of "Earthforms".
Matthew Dear - "Earthforms" (Michna Remix) [audio:/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Matthew-Dear_Earthforms_Michna-Remix.mp3|titles=Matthew Dear - Earthforms (Michna Remix)]

 

Bleep is a column focusing on varying degrees of electronic music news, videos and MP3s. This week we feature a new announcement from Com Truise as well as tracks by Neud Photo and Clark. Read previous Bleep columns here.

 

Com Truise

If everything Com Truise does sounds like it's ripped from a cheesy '80's movie, does that mean his newest collection of early recordings and b-sides should sound like '70s psych rock? Regardless, the analog feind is back at it again in 2012, only this time he's peddling some of his older material for a collection titled In Decay. And although I haven't always agreed with his more recent foray into dub and live performance pandering, the first glimpse of this new -old- material is surprisingly spectacular. "Open" doesn't reinvent any genre, but it certainly shows that the New Jersey artist and designer has an ear for what he enjoys. It's undeniably retro and dripping with '80s nostalgia, but it's energetic and completely now, what with its schizophrenia beats and booming bass. In Decay will be released July 17th on Ghostly. - EB

 

Read our interview with Com Truise

 

Finding an artist like Seth Haley, the man behind the electronic project Com Truise, is quite refreshing. Rather than trying to downplay the ‘80s artists and aesthetics that have inspired him -- for fear of being constantly compared to those references -- Haley venerably turns his influences into transfixing and educational works. "I love to expose my sources; my favorite thing is the source," Haley says. "It's really what drives me or anyone to do any certain thing, whatever that source may be."