THE VALUE OF VINYL: THE ALBUM COVER SPOTLIGHT – VOL.1


WRITTEN BY: @ALBUMARTWORKBLOG

06/04/2020


This Week’s Collection

Silque & Dizzee Rascal // Riot // STMPD RCRDS // 2020

The product of a collaboration between bonafide grime royalty, Dizzee Rascal, and Dutch duo, Silque, has been released this week paired of course with distinct cover art. Reminiscent of the Dizzee we saw at the turn of last decade, releasing singles like “Dance Wiv Me”, “Bonkers” and “Bassline Junkie”, the Dirtee Stank founder has once again hopped onto a dancy groove and the cover brings together elements from both the grime and dance scene as well as the song itself.

The cover pays homage to Ross Ball’s iconic “Smiley Face”, heavily associated with UK acid house, techno and many other electronic styles from past era’s, hinting at the hard-hitting house underlying Dizzee’s vocals. The face itself is comprised of a symmetrical smokey street tying to the title of the single as well as alluding to the street culture from which grime was born. Cleverly, the figure on either side makes up the eyes of the face tying the motifs together.

Onoe Caponoe // Voices from Planet Cattele // High Focus Records // 2015

Onoe Caponoe’s psychedelic debut album on High Focus Records is accompanied by an album cover that does a wonderful job of foreshadowing the themes that lie behind it. The album teases the imagination by exploring space and the universe with the common reference being a mystical planet “Cattele”. The cover is comprised of various insignia and sketches, all intertwining and working to formulate the mood of the experimental project. It’s as easy to get as lost in viewing the album cover as it is listening to the record, and both the music and art possess intricate details that can be missed the first time around. 

Roll Deep // In At The Deep End // Relentless Records/Virgin Records // 2005

Back when grime was first making its way into the mainstream, the original Eski don pushed out a record boasting the entire talent on offer by his formidable entourage. This was the debut album for the London based crew and with the backing of Virgin Records was set to be suitable for both mainstream listeners and hardcore lovers of grime. At a time where portrait photos would be the default standard for grime, the artwork for “In At The Deep” depicted Roll Deep in a bright cartoon style, making it more palatable to a mainstream audience, whilst still cultivating the aggressive and stand-offish nature to compliment some of the rawer tracks featured.

Children Of The Damned feat. Brad Strut // Just Drink EP // Blah Records // 2009

Children Of The Damned (who now actually go by Cult Of The Damned) maintained their raw and gritty street style with this 2009 release featuring Australian, Brad Strut. The kill-the-beat spitting over authentic hip-hop beats akin to the 90’s east coast American rap scene conjures thoughts of slow days loitering aimlessly in the suburbs. A theme encapsulated well by the accompanying album cover. The sickly toned sketch features little more than a person drinking straight from the bottle as the main subject, dotted with some other motifs. Notably, the graffiti piece that is half-visible in the middle-left and a couple of font styles that definitively ooze hip-hop. 

Lee Scott // Somewhere Between Here and There // Blah Records // 2019

Another sleeve from a Blah Records product, the cover of “Somewhere Between Here and There” from the Blah Co-Founder does a great job to set the stage for the atmosphere of the songs contained within. On this album, Lee rhymes over boppy melancholic beats with strong influences of lofi hip-hop. The artwork utilises a palette of moody blues and contains only a tall, minimalist, Samurai Jack style structure against an 8-bit evening sky. Both these styles combine well and work as a strong nod to the focus on “aesthetic” which is integrated with lofi hip-hop.


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