It’s always such a joy when great music and great graphics combine, as we explored recently in our Art + Music series. So when we found out that Manchester agency DR.ME was behind the sleeves for one of our all-time favourite record labels, Tri Angle, it was a happy day indeed. “Happy,” however, is perhaps not so apt for describing the sleeves themselves – or indeed the music of Tri Angle’s roster – characterised by a dark, brooding, experimental sound. Some dub it witch house, others drag, but by any name, it’s downright weird and often rather brilliant. But enough gushing about these strange, cracked-out sounds, let’s talk about the sleeves.
DR.ME began working with Tri Angle thanks to Twitter, when the studio saw the label asking for help formatting two singles to make them print-ready. “We saw it and replied with links to a couple of albums we had designed for Dutch Uncles and D/R/U/G/S and have had a great time working with him since,” DR.ME explains.
While some of the work is straight up graphic designing – “choosing or creating the typography laying it out, creating the back covers” – for others, DR.ME came up with some fittingly strange and obtuse concepts. “The sleeve we created for Evian Christ’s Duga-3 release was in reaction to the use of his sampling of over-the-horizon Soviet radar transmissions and creating a strip collage using four found images of Duga-3,” DR.ME says.
“As the Tri Angle roster is quite varied [the design work] was never formulaic and always required living with the music to understand the correct tone. It sounds kind of obvious but it really helps to be a fan of the music a record label is putting out when you’re working on the visuals for the output. The Haxan Cloak’s album is easily a studio favourite and there are so many others who we’ve come to love from being introduced to them because of designing the sleeves.”
About the Author
Emily joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in the summer of 2014 after four years at Design Week. She is particularly interested in graphic design, branding and music. After working It's Nice That as both Online Editor and Deputy Editor, Emily left the company in 2016.