28 Oct 2013
visceral pleasures 
Visceral Pleasures - Vaughan Oliver

After finally catching up with the excellent Vaughan Oliver/23 Envelope monogram 'visceral pleasures' by Rick Poynor (think FAC 461 for 4AD if you're not familiar) a paragraph which compared Oliver's working influence to Peter Saville caught my eye:

"Oliver is a designer whose most characteristic work is about music. At their most expressive, his designs embody his intense emotional responses to his sensations as a listener. This is by no means always the case with designers of music graphics. Reid Miles, creator in the 1960s of many classic covers for the Blue Note jazz label, never had much enthusiasm for hard bop, even though fans regard his graphic rhythms as perfectly in sync with the music. Peter Saville, designer of sleeves for Factory Records, was engaged more by the subcultural, stylistic and fashion aspects of the post-punk milieu than by the music itself, and this detachment can be seen in the conceptual control of his designs. For Oliver, the connection with music is much more visceral and intimate. Music is a way of twisting the moment, leaving the mundane reality of the here and now, the world of bills on doormat, and attaining a more vital state of being beyond rational understanding, beyond the comfortable habits and orderly procedures of everyday life, where reality can be experienced anew, as if looking back from the other side."

In other words, Vaughan Oliver actually listened to the music but Peter Saville didn't.

Cheers Andrew @ Irk The Purists for the book.

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Peter Saville colour wheel
Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

Factory Records

The Durutti Column