U2 – I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight

David O’Reilly was asked to create the cover of U2’s single, I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight, (with type by Jon Klassen) to complement their amazing video work that I mentioned previously. Apparently there is an alternative cover using a photograph, but it isn’t nearly as interesting as this. Also, for the heck of it, I’m going to post O’Reilly’s “Octocat” short, because it’s brilliant and you should probably watch it.

David O’Reilly
Jon Klassen

Hudson Mohawke – Butter

I had to share this artwork posted by Warp Records today for the upcoming Hudson Mohawke album, Butter. It’s pretty ridiculous and I love it. You could toss this on a kid’s Trapper Keeper and it would be perfect. There’s nothing better than iguanas, hawks and hippos to let you know that this music is going to be wild. All it needs is three wolves to go with that giant moon. Also, that logo type is gnarly.

The artwork was a collaboration between Dom Sum of the Scotland-based LuckyMe collective and Kon-om-Pax, who’s done work for DFA, Warp, Planet Mu and others. Kon-om-Pax is also responsible for the cover of HudMo’s Warp debut EP, Polyfolk Dance (below), which used fingers as type. You can check out his show-reel here. Butter is being released on October 12th. You can listen to and download the sampler below.

Download: ♪ Hudson Mohawke – Butter Sampler

Hudson Mohawke
Dom Sum
LuckyMe collective
Warp Records

Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3

As a lot of people already know, Jay-Z is releasing his eleventh studio album next Tuesday. Despite the amount of searing hate and frustration I’ve encountered over this release on Twitter and message boards, I’ve enjoyed the tracks I’ve heard so far. Of course, I’ve never been a die-hard Jay-Z fan, so my opinion’s not going to be as strong as others. But no matter how much you dislike BP3, at least give the album cover some credit.

In an interview with MTV, Jay-Z explains how the mass of instruments on the album cover were used to remind people that hip-hop is still about making music, rather than focusing on radio hits, gimmicks and money. Thanks to Nah Right posting scans of the full CD insert, I found out who’s responsible for the cover. Along with art direction by Greg Gigendad Burke, the image was taken by UK-based photographer Dan Tobin Smith who, according to BronImagingBlog, has been shooting professionally since 1999 after graduating from the London School of Communication. Much of his portfolio includes imaginative still-lifes, often set up to play tricks on the eyes of the viewer.

It is similar in execution to what Axel Peemoeller did with the Eureka Tower Carpark, or the popular chalk tromploi street drawings, where standing at a specific angle is necessary for viewing the piece properly. Smith has in his portfolio another piece, “Letter E”, very similar to the cover of BP3 (second image), created in 2008, with set design by UK-based set-designer and interior stylist Nicola Yeoman (I’m wondering if she had a hand in the cover as well). The image above shows the set from a different angle. Below is another similar image created for the Creative Annual Review in 2007.

A friend of mind posted this to Facebook. It’s a great video of the process behind the cover photo.

Dan Tobin Smith
Nicola Yeoman

CoverCast #2: Jazz Epic

Download: ♪ CoverCast #2: Jazz Epic

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Very soon after I put together the first CoverCast, I decided to pull out some of my favorite records and stay up until 5 AM to create an epic 45 minute long mix of loud, soul-churning jazz-fusion. This is the end product. The plan was to make a non-stop blend of heavy jazz-rock, like tracks two through five. But I decided to spread it out a bit, eventually splitting the mix into movements (ala the epic fusion suites of yore) with appropriately epic titles (I’ve never heard the word “PEREGRINATION” before). Fusion was a staple of my music diet in high school and on, so I hope you enjoy it. I know I did… Click the link or covers to downloat the zip file, which includes the tracklist.

1. Laurence Welk & Orchestra – Moon River / Soundcraftsman – Instructional Test Record

Movement I : The Vivication
2. Tony Williams – Some Hip Drum Sh!t
3. The Mahavishnu Orchestra – Vital Transformation
4. Jean-Luc Ponty – Enigmatic Ocean, Pt. 2
5. Al Di Meola – Morning Fire

Movement II : The Peregrination
6. Weather Report – Scarlet Woman / Trazana Beverley – No Assistance
7. Airto Moreira – Wake Up Song
8. Larry Corryell & The Eleventh House – Yin
9. The Mahavishnu Orchestra – Inner Worlds / Arthur Ashe – Learn Tennis
10. Tony Williams – This Night This Song

Movement III : The Ascension
11. McCoy Tyner – Fly With The Wind
12. Flora Purim – Open Your Eyes (You Can Fly)
13. Ashok Ingle – Raga Darbari / Devadip Carlos Santana & Turiya Alice Coltrane – Guru Sri Chinmoy Aphorism

Movement IV : The Resurrection
14. Stanley Clarke – Life Is Just A Game

Georgia Anne Muldrow – Umsindo

In July Georgia Anne Muldrow released a new album, Umsindo, featuring 24 tracks of her trademark heavy funk and soul music. Around this same time her partner, Dudley Perkins, also released a new album, Holy Smokes, solely produced by Georgia, focusing more on his rapping skills than his former Stones Throw releases had. Both Georgia and Dudley seek to send a message trough their music, which Dudley explained in this very interesting interview with LA Record.

The cover art for both releases complement each other, painted by Seatle-based artist Tokio Aoyama. Aoyama’s portfolio is filled with music-inspired portraits, with artists ranging from Miles Davis to Questlove to Kenn Starr. It’s easy to see where his influence comes from. I love his psychadelic treatment of both covers. They also work well as a continuation of the work he did for Dudley and Georgia’s previous release, The Message Uni Versa. You can see much more of his work on his MySpace page.

Tokio Aoyama
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Dudley Perkins

Jay Z Rhapsody Commercial

I’m actually impressed with this new commercial, featuring Jay Z posing through imitations of his album covers. They all end up being pretty accurate and recognizable. Now let’s see them try that with the cover of Blueprint 3! Heh. Speaking of his new album, I’ll be posting that once I figure out who’s responsible for the cover art. I think it is pretty successful, being the first Jay Z album to not feature his face.

Jay Z

CoverCast #1: G4G4

Download: ♪ CoverCast #1: G4G4

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Today I’m posting the first ever Cover Up mixtape (I don’t want to call it a podcast), G4G4. I’ve wanted to create a mix for a while, so I pulled together some of my favorite tracks and artists from this year to see what I could come up with. It’s mostly a selection of hip-hop and electronic music. The track list is below and you can click the covers to download. I plan on doing some more mixes later. For the front and back cover I used photos I took at the Freer & Sackler Galleries in D.C. I hope you guys listen and enjoy.

1. Triorganico – Balloons
2. Blu – Amnesia
3. Prefuse 73 – Regalo
4. Mabanua – Liquid
5. Misel Quitno – Pull It Down Somewhen
6. ZKPRZ – Phantasmagoria
7. Flying Lotus – Parisian Goldfish (Take Remix)
8. Harmonic 313 – Dirtbox
9. Willie Isz – Shine

10. Samon Kawamura – cp2sk (Featuring Christian Prommer)
11. J Dilla – Spacecowboy vs. Bobble Head
12. CO$$ – Be Like You (Featuring Terem)
13. Exile – Stay Tuned (Here)
14. Dak – fortheSUN
15. The Gaslamp Killer – Baiafro
17. Luke Vibert – Computer Complex
18. Squarepusher – Seb-1.02
19. 9DW – Begin To Sing For Appetite