Thursday, 23 September 2010

Behind the sleeves

The other week I was listening to Stereolab's Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night and while I sat there, stroking my chin, I admired the sleeve art. It had crossed my mind before that a lot of their sleeves, as well as being dead good, were also often in a similar style.

So I arose from my beanbag to do a little research, and a few minutes later I'd discovered my favourites were indeed the work of one man and on finding this very helpful webpage I realised that I'd unwittingly been into the work of Julian House for ages. Even the little covers he did for those MOJO compilations.

I'd heard of him in connection with the last Broadcast album but I think it was only after seeing the sleeves he'd done that I decided to have a listen to the Ghostbox catalogue. A lot of the music's a little too library for my liking (though And The Cuckoo Comes is one of the best things I've heard for ages). But again I love their sleeves, he's clearly in thrall to Penguin book design,
in particular the Marber grid.

Anyway, back to Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night, this is my favourite song on the album - despite their reputation I don't think tunes really come much more accessible than this.

Stereolab The Emergency Kisses

Oh, and this one as well. Another of my favourite musical moments at 0.10. I don't know what's making that noise but it sounds like the future.

Stereolab Op Hop Detonation


  1. I was listening to Oscillons from the anti-sun yesterday.

    I quite like the Advisory Circle album but have never been able to get into Broadcast bought a couple of albums but it just doesn't do anything for me.

  2. I’ve just got the two but rate both. I bought Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age on the back of the hype (and liked it very much) and it spurred me to go and see them. At the gig they played some more coherent tracks (Corporeal and Black Cat for instance) and so I went out and got Tender Buttons, which again I think is excellent but in a totally different, minimalist way. They’re one of the few bands about that I’m intrigued as to what their next album will sound like.

  3. I can't get Op Hop Detonation to play. Had a similar thing with Mark Millar: read Civil War - loved it. Read The Ultimates - loved it. But it was only following the fuss about Kick Ass, Wanted and Nemesis I made the connection with Civil War and The Ultimates

  4. It seems to be working okay here Mondo - I hate using this player though, I'll rejig them when Odeo comes back to life.

    I've not read any of the things you mention there - normally your recommendations have a triple A rating but looking at his wikipedia entry I see he's the man responsible for Big Dave. I'll have to proceed with caution.

  5. Don't know Big Dave, but you MUST check these out...

    Civil War - When overzealous Reality TV teen superheroes atomise an entire American every-town, cue reactionary goverment enforced registration of all superheroes and split loyalties in the super-community. Satire, social comment, unmaskings, politics and high-powered punch-ups. It really has got it the lot.

    Kick Ass watch for the trailer on the same page. Saw the film last night - loved it.

    The Ultimates. Possibly the greates opening moments of any graph' nov'

    PS - got the tune to work, what a fine piece of swishery

  6. I meant to go and see Kick Ass at the cinema, definitely worth a trip to Blockbuster now though. Civil War sounds a bit like Martial Law by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill, did you ever read any of those? I thought Pat Mills was burned out until I read them - pretty sharp.

  7. I've got a donated Marshall Law book upstairs, but haven't got round to reading it yet...

    Keep an eye out forCLiNT - the new UK comic. It's the only place you can get Kick Ass 2