The Art of Vinyl

Do you love the vinyl record? Well, we certainly do. Caution: geek alert.

In this iteration of our blog we’ve decided to celebrate the Art of Vinyl. This enthusiastic homage to the humble record is for no particular reason other than the fact that those ’round music things’ bring joy into our lives. That’s a fact. They’re not just black either; they also grace our world in all colours, picture-discs, etched, and in 12″, 10″ and 7″ format… and that’s not to mention the actual cover artwork. It’s all too much to contemplate! We’re salivating just at the thought!

Anyway, if you fancy exploring the vinyl stuff that we have then look no further. Here’s our top picks especially for you

Hot off the press and very limited edition is David Shrigley’s Goat Music. It’s exactly what it says on the cover. The white picture disc comes in a gate-fold LP style package with a rather fab 12″ format book of his drawings. That’s all you need to know, right? One nugget of trivia we’ve gleaned from Mr. Shrigley’s new release is that goats in Scotland are happier than goats in Malta. You’ll have to get the LP to find out why.

From the pastoral environs of the goat, to the landscapes celebrated in the work of Tris Vonna-Michell. This former Turner Prize nominee’s Capitol Complex / Ulterior Vistas piece is permanently installed within Focal Point Gallery in Southend. This beautiful hardback package contains the script for the spoken word performance and, of course, a 10″ vinyl recording of it.

Arne Reimer’s Long Play photobook really is perfect for the ‘vinyl addict’. Page after page of absolutely superb photographs to satisfy the heart of any record connoisseur. Or, on the other hand, it could also be seen as some kind of cruel temptation because Reimer’s book is filled with images of people wistfully browsing through the racks of dusty old record stores in search of a gem. Just the thought of that is making us jealous already!

OK, we know you want vinyl. But what about a record inspired by the socialist-musician Ewan MacColl, busking and brass bands? Well, it seems that Ruth Ewan’s noisy Jerwood/Artangel Open commission gives just that. Did You Kiss the Foot that Kicked You? is a nice 12″ pink vinyl release of the artist’s music performed around London by 100 buskers from an Oompah band.

Jem Finer was once in the band, The Pogues (you’ve probably heard of them, right?). But then he eventually decided to turn his hand (and ears) to making a different kind of music. In the case of Longplayer he’s made not just different music, but also very long music. 1000 years long to be precise. It’s currently running continuously and without repetition from its start on 1 January 2000 until its completion on 31 December 2999. This 12″ vinyl features three 20-minute fragments of the music generated by Longplayer. You can visit the Millennium Dome in London to actually hear the real thing. Tempted? No rush, you’ve got another 981 years yet.

Disclaimer: this book is written in German only. But, it’s fine because (unless you’re fluent in the language) all you need is the fantastic album artwork imagery anyway! 33 1/3 Cover Art is a celebration of exactly that – the record cover. From the Beatles, to the Rolling Stones, to Patti Smith, to U2 and beyond this exhibition catalogue packs in masses of classic pop/rock music heritage.

Dave Muller’s creative practice is a cool hybrid of artist, curator, cultural agitator, DJ and record collector. His equally cool 12″ format monograph, I Like Your Music I Love Your Music brings these creative passions alive. This American artist is probably most well known for the sardonic cartoons he makes for The New Yorker and New York Times magazines, but he’s also a brilliant painter. His paintings of LP spines piled and cassette mix-tapes are done with great sensitivity and love for the material of pop culture.

“This is the End” as Jim Morrison once famously sang. It’s also the title of a funky book and 12″ record release on the work of French music design collective, H5. They’ve made work for lots of major lables such as Sony, BMG, Virgin, EMI, and Island. This is the End: Cover Art by H5 highlights the collective’s aesthetics with the ‘French Touch’.

Right, it’s time to plug-in that turntable!


Photo credit: (detail) taken from the book, Arne Reimer: Long Play 
Posted on 15th February 2019
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