With music being one of the most abundant art forms in pop culture, it’s no surprise to us that those in the industry have a feel for the traditional route of visual art as well. We here at HBT enjoy it just as much, so we thought we’d give you a little breakdown on album artwork as it takes the dance music world by storm.
With visuals being a driving force in our generation, it’s no easy task for artists to get noticed as they apparently multiply by thousands. The digital era has seemingly made the trade much more competitive as the internet has become a heavy vessel for artists to easily showcase their talent. This has been an amazing thing for album covers—something that we definitely don’t take for granted. Seriously. Song artwork is one of the greatest things to hit the music industry.
While cultural icons in the form of album covers are ostensibly a thing of the past, we’d like to argue that those icons take lots and lots of time to be recognized as such. The music of the 70s, 80s, and 90s are often seen through the images presented on vinyl sleeves. That’s because, although the visual art is amazing in its own respect, music plays a gigantic role in shaping generations. And how else to present entire albums or individual tracks to an audience except through one mesmerizing image? Album covers work as a window to the album—it’s a little preview not only to the ambience of the album, but it’s also an another way for the artists to express themselves. It’s really an extra dimension, so to speak. And as we dive head first into the artistic world of EDM, a couple of labels definitely catch our attention in that department.
Sosumi Records is a label that not only produces some of the top tracks in the industry, but they clearly have an incredibly innovative team working on each album released to the public. The artwork presented on their albums has quickly climbed the ladder in terms of creativity. The crafty images combine bold colours with retro graphics commonly associated with older video games. It’s seriously something to watch out for—these guys have been killing it lately with their designs, which could be collectable in their own right.
Another label pioneering the art subindustry within music is Size Records. Innovative and captivating in all other regards, it’s not surprising Size has this area down to a science as well. The abstract covers, left open to interpretation, are all produced in collaboration with Rebels Studios. They’ve dabbled in a few different styles for Steve Angello’s forthcoming album, but their signature style is the moving paint image. The awesome colour combinations showcase the mood captured in each individual track, allowing you to judge the vibe you’re setting yourself up for without even having to press play. Seriously, we love Size’s take on artwork. Word on the street is that they’re ditching the paint style to go for a new look, but we have faith in their creative vision nonetheless.
With Axtone’s images, we can clearly see what awaits us within the album or track. The lighting featured on some of his best albums is that which is closely associated with EDM raves. The fluorescent glow from purple and blue lights characterizes his classic marketing style. But that’s not all. Axtone Records incorporates some great digital imagery as well, in a way that cannot really be summed into words. It’s so diverse, so atmospheric. Really, Axtone is a label we can truly depend on to provide us with some awesome visual stimuli.
Some of the greatest visual art is featured on these tracks and albums… If you’re one to purchase your music, then you probably have an entire art gallery at your fingertips. If not, well… You still have the entire internet to explore the tastes of your favourite musicians in terms of art. It’s really gratifying, and we can’t express how awesome it is that these artists care enough to present some of it. The creativity, although competitive, is growing endlessly, and that just makes it even more amazing as the standard continues to be raised.