Apr 24, 2020

In (faint) praise of the artwork for Drum Club's Everything Is Now

Drum Club CD Everything Is Now

This week, I bought myself Drum Club's Everything Is Now on CD. I owned it 25 years ago and it got nicked. Fancied a bit of format nostalgia.

Look at this cover (above). The bold patterns, the trippiness, the blobbiness, the suggestion of a face. All very tribal. Only thing is, once you open up the inlay, things get... different.

Drum Club inlay page 2

Inside front cover. So far so good. A nice pretty picture of a record box frolicking in a field, some weird shapes. The text at the bottom is a bit difficult to read, but things aren't so bad, right?

Drum Club Inlay page 3

Pow! Things take a curious direction. Dark pink blobby text against a green background. I *so* remember owning this CD; it's all coming back to me. Squinting next to our hi-fi unit in the living room wondering if my eyes were broken.

Drum Club Inlay page 4 and 5

On the next two pages pictured above, we even have the muddy pink overlaid on the eye creature. Even for the druggy days of Megadog and Tribal Gathering, this was a, er, bold design choice.

Drum Club Inlay page 6

Are these inlay credits? Are those blobs letters? I respect the commitment to narrowing the paragraph for easier reading, but this feels like playing Scrabble in the middle of a food fight. I *will* read this, dammit.

Drum Club Inlay page 7 and 8

Actually, momentarily things get easier. The orange arrives like a ray of light, as does the pretty Technics record deck nestling in some grass. Although the orange phases awkwardly against the green, the gangrenous pink is over. Except... except...

drum club mailing list

What do we have here? This is a proper old school CD inlay - you can write off to a mailing list. Oh joy! Let's see the form, shall we! *eyes fall out* This further pink-green tomfoolery might be horrific, but how CUTE are those dots?!

Maybe the pink wasn't the best choice. Yes, I've taken the mickey, but this most alien of techno albums wouldn't be the same with any other artwork. I scanned this inlay for a good reason: I am hugely fond of this difficult artwork. 

Back in the day, great techno was all about being obtuse: wonky beats, anonymous producers, dark smoky rooms, wild originality. This Drum Club CD is all about that. An album for the weird party kids. 

So I want MORE pink scraped from the innards of a hippopotamus. I want more weird blobs. I want more credits you've got to make a real effort to read — and you do make the effort, because you love it. I'm so glad I ordered this CD with the strangest of designs.

Final thing. You may have spotted it along the way but credit to designer Ged Wells who's still going strong at InsaneEmporium.com (see picture below). The bold patterns, the trippiness, the blobbiness: it's still there. Drum Clubbing forever.

Insane Emporium

No comments: