Weekend links 346


Red Queen (no date) by Jo Brocklehurst.

• Happy birthday to Kenneth Anger, 90 years old this week. In 2008 Anger was interviewed by Nicolas Winding Refn at the National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen.

• “Fabeness be to the Auntie, and to the Homie Chavvie, and to the Fantabulosa Fairy”. “Church ‘regret’ as trainees hold service in gay slang.”

Andrew Male on Michael Chapman, an exceptional guitarist, and “the man who connects Elton, Bowie, Nick Drake and Sonic Youth”.

• A trailer for A Life In Waves a documentary about synth composer Suzanne Ciani by Brett Whitcomb and Bradford Thomason.

• The website for design company Barnbrook has been relaunched, as has the site for Jonathan Barnbrook‘s personal work.

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 209 by Umwelt, and XLR8R Podcast 475 by Melina Serser.

Ryan Gilbey: “From Sean Connery to Harrison Ford: actors who secretly played roles gay.”

• Writer and editor Russ Kick is selling his huge book collection.

Lucifer Sam (1967) by Pink Floyd | Lucifer (1968) by The Salt | Lucifer Rising (2002) by John Zorn

Design as virus 17: Boris and Roger Dean


The compact disc for Flood (2000) by Boris.

The music of Japanese heavy rock trio Boris has been soundtracking the past few days hence this addition to an occasional series which has already seen the band mentioned once before. It’s common for rock groups at the heavier end of the spectrum to find a visual identity which is maintained across all releases. Boris have never been interested in this kind of consistency; not only do the band vary their appearance for group shots but their music, and the packaging which attends it, explores a variety of different styles. The album cover which featured in an earlier post was a careful copy of the sleeve for Nick Drake’s second album Bryter Layter. All the releases featured here play with Roger Dean’s graphic style of the early 1970s. All art and design credits are given to the band’s own label, Fangs Anal Satan, so we’ll have to assume that it’s a member of the band responsible for the design and illustration.


Logo for rock group Budgie by Roger Dean, 1973.


Flood CD insert.


A label design from 2006 based on Roger Dean’s first Virgin Records logo.


Virgin Records label by Roger Dean, 1973.


Walrus/Groon (2007).

The most elaborate Roger Dean pastiche is this 12-inch single, a collaboration with Japanese noise man Merzbow. On the A-side the band play a version of I Am The Walrus while Merzbow makes noises in the background; the B-side is named after a King Crimson track but the racket everyone makes sounds little like the original. The sleeve is a gatefold affair based on Dean’s design for Close To The Edge (1972) by Yes, complete with handwritten credits and Dean-like painting in the interior. The vinyl disc came in a variety of coloured formats and used the imitation Virgin label. In all, a very collectable item.



Previously on { feuilleton }
Design as virus 16: Prisms
Design as virus 15: David Pelham’s Clockwork Orange
Design as virus 14: Curse of the Dead
Design as virus 13: Tsunehisa Kimura
Design as virus 12: Barney’s faces
Roger Dean: artist and designer
Design as virus 11: Burne Hogarth
Design as virus 10: Victor Moscoso
Design as virus 9: Mondrian fashions
Design as virus 8: Keep Calm and Carry On
Design as virus 7: eyes and triangles
Design as virus 6: Cassandre
Design as virus 5: Gideon Glaser
Design as virus 4: Metamorphoses
Design as virus 3: the sincerest form of flattery
Design as virus 2: album covers
Design as virus 1: Victorian borders

Weekend links 5


A poster design by Yusaku Kamekura. More here, via A Journey Round My Skull.

First of all this week, there’s a new interview posted which I gave last year to Crows ’n’ Bones magazine. The replies skate around the usual subjects (Cthulhu et al) and you also find out why I don’t think design and illustration for music is going to vanish as soon as some people think.

• A Journey Round My Skull has announced The Raymond Roussel Illustration Contest which is open to all.

• Cover designs: David Pearson on redesigning Cormac McCarthy’s UK covers, a huge improvement on the previous Picador series. Also, The Robert Lesser Pulp Art Collection.

• Last year I discussed Teleny, Or the Reverse of the Medal, the novel of gay erotica attributed to Oscar Wilde, giving a mention in passing to Jon Macy’s comic strip adaptation of the book. That adaptation has now been published and is available via his website.


The Kiss (1896) by Will Bradley.

• More Art Nouveau (because too much is never enough): Will Bradley’s work at Golden Age Comic Book Stories. Can’t understand how I missed this one.

• A discussion: The Magic Mystery and Melancholy of Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake.

• Sandi Vincent’s Flickr pages overflow with Graphis Annual goodness.

• A new edition of the Arthur Radio Voyage is available to download. And Trunk Records’ Jonny Trunk has a mix of obscure vinyl for you.

• Song of the week: We Want War by These New Puritans. Slow motion shots in the video are a plus.

Design as virus 2: album covers


Electric Funk by Jimmy McGriff (1969).

Okay, so the graphical similarity between Jimmy McGriff’s album sleeve and Nick Drake‘s, which appeared a year later, is probably coincidence but I couldn’t help noting it. Electric Funk was released on the Blue Note Records label which was highly regarded for its sleeve design so it wouldn’t be too surprising if someone at Island Records had seen it.


Bryter Later by Nick Drake (1970).

The album below by Japanese band Boris is a copy of Nick Drake’s, of course, a pastiche technique they’ve adopted for a couple of their other releases. The Japanese seem to be especially fond of this approach, Kawabata Makoto and Acid Mothers Temple (also below) having released many CDs which work playful riffs on western rock history.


Akuma No Uta by Boris (2003).


Hot Rats by Frank Zappa (1969); Hot Rattlesnakes by Kawabata Makoto and the Mothers of Invasion (2001).

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Design as virus 1: Victorian borders

Sandy Denny

sandy_denny.jpg“We don’t hear Sandy Denny on the radio these days. Her records, few that they are, don’t fit the current formats, don’t send the programmers into paroxysms, don’t have listeners voting in. She couldn’t be considered for Sixties, Seventies hit nostalgia; she never had hits. Rock album stations? Never sold enough albums. Even Nick Drake sneaks into the odd Easy Listening show, the music lulling and deceiving, with its attractive surfaces hiding the pain within, something romantic for a cult to cling to. But where is Sandy’s cult? Where are the graveside vigilants à la Jim Morrison? The colour supplemental cultural dissections? The South Bank Show eulogies, the bad TV- and film-biopics telling us who should be important in our lives? Somewhere the taste gurus have failed the flock, have failed to tell us, after twenty years of hindsight opportunity, that Sandy Denny was the greatest British female artist of her generation.”

Richard Thompson