Nitrate

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Over the weekend we payed a visit to Liverpool and The Bluecoat Chambers and stumbled across ‘Nitrate’. This exhibition by Barcelona born photographer Xavier Ribas charts the exploitation of the Chilean Atacama Desert for the extraction of nitrate, chiefly led by British companies. Nitrate once processed can be used both as a fertiliser and as a part of explosives. The exhibition traces the route of both paths.

The exhibition will continue to run until July 5th.

Erik Spiekermann by Port Magazine

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Here at the agency we have been working away for over thirty years and in that time the industry we work in has changed dramatically. Today with a mere handful of clicks incredible feats can be achieved, but we remember a time when all was not so simple. Believe it or not computers have not always been here to help us along the way and to achieve the fantastic pieces of design that we see all around us took a great deal of skill and dedication to achieve.

Port magazine thankfully have not and you can see what we mean if you head over to their website and have a look at their feature on typographer Erik Spiekermann.

EVERYTHING IS TURBULENCE

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Legendary DJ and recording artist Justin Robertson will be exhibiting some of his work at Electrik Bar in Manchester. His style is dark but in a strangely fun kind of way, similar to the likes George Condo and Francis Bacon and also similar to his musical style with him being famous for his triply acidic techno influenced cosmic disco. However the exhibition is only on until the end of this week so if you want to catch it make sure you act fast!

Mundial Magazine

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After a special one off magazine for the world cup Mundial magazine has returned and apparently for good. It will now be released as a quarterly magazine and issue one is now on sale. Over recent years there has been a sudden influx of magazines like this, not focussing on the beautiful game itself, but more on the culture that surrounds it. Strange really that it appears to be a relatively new thing even though it is such a huge part of why so many love the sport in the first place, but who cares when there is now so many choose from with other publications like the Green Soccer Journal, Pickles who we have featured on the blog before and Stand magazine.

Mundial has set it’s standards high with issue one so if you have any interest in football culture then this is a regular purchase you should be making.

Little Black Classics

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To celebrate their 80th anniversary Penguin are launching a new series called Little Black Classics. The books are a collection of short stories, poems, essays and poems, coming from a varied array of authors and cultures, many of which have been translated from other languages.

At only 80p a copy you have to commend Penguin for giving back to the people who have supported them over the years.

Alternative Album Artwork

A few years ago we did a post on the blog about some of our favourite pieces of album artwork. With record store day happening Saturday 18th we decided to feature some records that you may not be so familiar with but are equally as impressive visually (and audibly come to think of it).

 

Nine O’Clock Drop – Andrew Weatherall

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Nine O’Clock Drop is a collection of the legendary DJ and producer Andrew Weatherall’s favourite electro inspired tracks from the first half of the 80’s. The songs chosen aren’t just the obvious early 80’s dance influenced choices that we’ve all heard a million times, but instead quite obscure which the artwork definitely cannote’s.

 

Afreaka! – Demon Fuzz

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Afreaka! was the first album by the english funk bad Demon Fuzz. The sound is a mixture of triply soul, psychedelic, laze fusion and Latin Funk, and it certainly makes for an engaging listening experience. The artwork holds on to your attention just as strongly, giving a similarly powerful and controlled feel to the record itself.

 

Personal Space (Electronic Soul 1974 – 1984) – Various

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Personal Space is the second compilation to get a mention on our list but we couldn’t ignore it. The music itself is seventeen tracks of often self produced underground electronic soul. This record is incredibly peaceful yet funky which you can’t help but appreciate and think how ahead of it’s time so much of it seems to be. The artwork is a picture by NASA astronaut Donald Pettit and ties into the futuristic cosmic vibe of the record.

 

Here To Stay – Darrell Banks

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Tragically passing away at the age of thirty two Darrel Banks never reached the level of fame and respect that his work merited. A collection of superbly soulful ballads, it’s well worth a listen if you’re in the mood for some beautifully written crying songs. Not overly sure on the relation between the artwork and the record, but who cares, it looks so cool by itself.

 

Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride – Craig Bratley

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We attended the launch party for this album back in October of last year at Manchester’s Antwerp Mansion so clearly have a lot of love for Craig and his willingness to take take on all the beauty of electro funk, punk funk, acid and balearic and throw it all together to make one well rounded and definitely danceable album. But put all that aside, there is no bias here. you have to say  artwork for this album is truly fantastic. Even if you don’t have a record player it is well worth purchasing the 12″ of this purely for the way it looks, and the nice little tote bag that you get free with the record is just another incentive.

Why I Never Became a Dancer

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Tracey Emin’s collaged video Why I Never Became a Dancer is currently being shown until June 13th at Abbot Hall in Cumbria as part of Face Value, a collection of various portraits in various formats from the Arts Council.

The film was also recently featured on Greg Wilson’s blog, Being a DJ. Along with being a world renowned DJ, it is also very clear that his knowledge not only of music but it’s cultural significance is vast and when talking to him you can feel his desire to educate others around him and spread the enjoyment that he has gained from delving deep into the world of music for over forty years.

If you feel like being thoroughly educated on the history of modern music and catching the Tracey Emin video without heading all the way to Cumbria, we strongly suggest you pay his site a visit.

Also we interviewed Greg just over a year ago which you can read if you head over to the interview section.

 

Everybody Razzle Dazzle

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For the last few years During the Biennial Festival in Liverpool, various artists have created their own Dazzle Ships which we have previously featured on our blog.This year is the turn of Sir Peter Blake, the godfather of British pop art.

Blake has strong ties with the city particularly because of the iconic cover that he created for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band, the eight studio album by the Beatles. Now his Dazzle Ship may not be as infamous as that piece artwork but it looks like it will be just as impressive. If you’re taking a trip down to Liverpool anytime soon, or a ferry across the Mersey, make sure you pay Blake’s Dazzle Ship a visit.

 

Please contact us for a new perspective on your brand.

We are an independent creative agency based in Greater Manchester. Over the last 30 years we have helped create successful and intelligent visual communication for some of Europe’s best known brands and retailers including PING, Hotter Shoes, Henri-Lloyd and many more.