Nobody – And Everything Else…

This is a beautiful cover for Nobody’s last album, featuring a henna design by someone named Gabriela Lopez. Design work’s by Keith Tamashiro of Soap Design, who I will get into later.

Beastie Boys – To The 5 Boroughs

I came across The Beastie’s album To The 5 Boroughs while looking through my CD collection in my hometown. Since the album never managed to fully impress me, I never got to appreciate the beautiful artwork. The panoramic drawing of NYC was done by Matteo Pericoli, an architect-turned-artist who has become well known for work like this. He has published several books of his work that can be found on his website, along with quite a few interviews by big-name publications. The digipak folds out to 7 pages, revealing the scroll drawing of New York on both sides. You can view the entire image by clicking the first image below. The package design was done by Nathanial Homblower. I have no idea who that is. MCA’s pen-name?

Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble – Miles Away

This album cover showed up in Stones Throw‘s latest newsletter today. No information on the album, other than it being a continuation of Madlib’s Yesterday’s Universe work. Maybe something to do with Miles Davis? The release is sometime in the Fall. The cover is more Jeff Jank greatness, of course. The series of 12″s from various Yesterday “artists” are worth looking at as well, all by Jeff.

Edit: I found out that the cover illustration was actually done by an artist named Radek Drutis, thanks to the Stones Throw forums. I’m having trouble finding information on him, unfortunately.

De La Soul – Buhloone Mind State

This is the front and back of the insert for De La’s third album. I’m of the opinion that the illustration should have been on the front. It’s weird, a little disturbing but cool. It has aged a lot better than the actual cover, I think. I’m not sure who Jermaine “Griff Dogg” Griffin (the illustrator) is. A quick search on Google gives me nothing.

Junk Science – Feeding Einstein

Junk Science is a hip-hop duo on Embedded Records. I saw them perform with label-mate Cool Calm Pete, Asamov and The Perceptionists back in 2005. They all put on a great, fun show, but Cool Calm Pete was my favorite overall. Either way, the cover of JS’ LP has a hand shoveling a collage of things into a puppet-Einstein’s mouth, taking the album’s title very literally.

The album packaging was done by Brent Rollins, a member of the Ego Trip Creative Collective, well known for their series of specials on VH1. His website is under construction, but judging from the small sampling of work he has up, he’s been in the business for quite a while. The earliest logo is for Boyz in the Hood back in 1991. The two album covers suggest to me that he’s done a long list of others that I don’t know about. Hopefully, when his website is finished, I’ll be able to see what else he’s done. He also worked on the book Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. If you feel the need to read up on hip-hop history, it’s worth checking out.

Dr. Who Dat? – Beat Journey

One of my favorite albums of 2006 was Dr. Who Dat?’s (aka Jneiro Jarel) Beat Journey. It was a beautiful instrumental hip-hop album, perfect for an afternoon stroll through the Amazon on a rainy day. Jneiro Jarel is slowly becoming one of my favorites and I am very excited about his new album coming out this month, Craft of the Lost Art, from his “group” Shape of Broad Minds. Other than the music being amazing, Beat Journey also stood out because of its artwork. The designer behind it and much of Lex Record’s catalog is none other than EH?.

EH? (or Ehquestionmark) is responsible for most of Lex’s artwork. I I remember correctly, the first Lex album I owned was Danger Mouse & Jemini’s Ghetto Pop Life. For me, the music did not meet the hype, but the cover art blew me away. Like most of Lex’s packaging, it came in a digipak. The cover featured a cartoon cat and mouse rolling in diamonds, printed in gold, black and white. Worth mentioning are the barcodes that EH? turns into a design element, stretching and swirling the lines, something which has become his signature.

As you would expect from a designer who goes by “EH?”, I haven’t been able to find more personal information on the artist. Although Lex did have news of a art show put on by EH? and a few fellow artists in Bristol, UK called “P-Origins of Pommery“.

EH? fortunately has a MySpace. His website has been under construction for more than a year.
More about Lex can be found here.

Ahmad Jamal Trio – The Awakening

This is Ahmad Jamal’s The Awakening on Impulse Records. Impulse’s first major signing was John Coltrane who’s influence can be seen as the label grew. It became well known for its free-jazz releases and the orange/black motif of their album packaging.

As for the album cover, I’m not able to find information on the cover designer, who did a wonderful job. The design is colorful, graphic and modern, much like the music. I couldn’t find a lot of info on the photographer either. But he did pop up a few times on Google. I recognize a few of Chuck Stewart’s photos, specifically the ones below.

Also, if you want a 2006 calendar of Chuck Stewart’s photos, has some. Nevermind. They’re unavailable.