Album Covers of the Year 2014 Interviews

In contrast to modern patterns in music consumption comes our annual Album Covers of the Year feature, where, instead of forgetting album artwork even exists, we hyperextend ourselves to assert that it is an artform that is vitally connected to the spirit of the music. This feature, which is divided at times into thematic elements and at times into artistic medium, incorporates interviews with not only musicians, but also artists involved throughout the artistic process. We pride this list in being diverse and multi-faceted, as well as philosophically exploratory. See all of our entries from previous years or get started by choosing a category below. Happy travels through the artistic universe we’ve crafted for you.

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Yoshi Sodeoka Video Artist Interview: Psychedelic Apocalypse in the Digital Realm

New York City-based video artist Yoshihide Sodeoka is known for his disquieting psychedelic videos, which are characterized by saturated colors, mythological references and a tense expression of time. Working often on an intuitive level, Sodeoka often allows his audio-visual creations to assume their shapes through a combination of spontaneous assemblage and aesthetic choreography. His video art is unique for its translation of noise music into a visual language, and for the close relationship of his moving imagery to principles of stillness. Polarizing aesthetics and themes in particular lend a spiritual tendency to the artist’s work — though not overtly, and perhaps not even consciously — yet the fine line between good and evil is channeled into intense representations of such

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Nathan Hayden Artist Inteview: On Nature, Ritual Dance & Induced Visions

“I’m just trying to access the possibilities of other things, and in the same way that I look at art throughout history and nature for little pieces of those other realms, I’m hoping that I can be a part of that process and for people to get a peek into other realms by looking at my stuff, that might bring about stuff that I can’t even imagine.” - Nathan Hayden

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MSHR Art & Music Collective Interview: Pathways In & Up

“Where we’re at right now, it doesn’t make sense for us to join a preexisting community or culture that has a set of rules or traditions. That can’t happen for us, but we want that — everyone wants that — and with this project, we’re creating our own sacred spaces and traditions. Pathways in. And up.” - Brenna Murphy, MSHR

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Phebe Schmidt Photographer Interview: The Plasticity of the Mundane

“My aim is to draw the viewer in with bright cheesy colours and curious props, on second glance they realise that something is not quite right, floating razors or a melting block of cheese often placed together with a profiled product. Conceptually, my props are generally exploring concepts of stylised beauty. ” - Phebe Schmidt

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Chad Wys Artist Interview: Colorful Blurs of Digital & Analog (Colorburst 003)

Multi-disciplinary artist Chad Wys is all about tricks of the eye that then tickle the mind. Whether by splotching paint on fine porcelains or enhancing vintage reproductions with pixel paint, his works live within a blurred space between the digital and the analog, via additions that also subtract — or subtractions that also add. Color is Wys’ primary tool and thrift store objects are his irreplaceably unique canvasses — and one need look only to his long-standing readymades series, which he began in 2009, to understand that the aesthetics which thread through his work are both unified and quite disparate. Every block of color, every well-spaced line, and every speck of glitter Wys endeavors possesses rich associations that run deeper than their simplistic look.

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Mark Dorf Artist Interview: Scientific Approaches to Artistic Practice (Geometric Spaces 002)

“Whether we intend to or not, as creators, we react to everything that we come in contact with either consciously or subconsciously; we are a product of our environment. As a result, the more science and technology that is present in our everyday lives, the more and more I think it will become present in contemporary art. In the past few years, there has been an incredible amount of new art based around technology and the internet, which unsurprisingly reflects the incredible rise of technology and the omnipotent presence of the web that we have in our day to day experiences.” - Mark Dorf

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Sam Songailo Artist Interview: Sci-Fi Futures & Electronic Beats (Geometric Spaces 001)

“Music makes sense to me much more than art. It doesn’t make any claims to anything, it just is.” - Sam Songailo

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Torkil Gudnason Photographer Interview: Hot Bodies & Electric Blossoms (Colorburst 002)

Forward-thinking and striking to behold, Danish design is known around the world for its clean lines, simple shapes, and its refined attention to experimentation. With such ideas naturally engrained into the cultural identity of the country, it seems only natural that photographers like Denmark’s Torkil Gudnason, now a transplant to New York City, would extend such aesthetic qualities into his portrait and still life photography, which explores the many contours and colors of human and floral forms.

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Brian Vu Photographer Interview: True False = No Rules For Psychedelia (Colorburst 001)

Like a subtle play off its name, dichotomies are rich within True False, a series of photographic works by Brooklyn-based artist Brian Vu. It’s a confusing series, to be sure; first glances and even repeat glances make one question why each of its individual images are indeed a part of the larger series, for the unifying thread is indistinct and absolutely evasive. While some symbols reemerge and some photographs find similar compositional articulations, the common denominator between each and every image is vague — a shared quality that sits on the end of your tongue, eternally waiting for the right descriptors.

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