I’ve updated and tidied up my website a little more now, I’m also officially resident at voidone.uk, but I now want to cover some of my most recent digital work as it links in nicely with some of my musical endeavours. As I’ve mentioned before, I produce electronic music under another alias; TERRORBYTE. It’s through my music production that many of my most recent commissions have come about.
Working with UK Glitch Hop to broadcast weekly 2 hour radio sessions and releasing a few albums on Beta Birmingham / Beta Test has brought me in contact with some great musicians, labels, and all manner of characters along the way! UK Glitch Hop fry the fattest chips and battered beats on the UK circuit, served up with a dope dollop of whomp sauce for your fish and glitch. This all came about just around the time I had launched the first compilation album under Beta Birmingham in April 2011, Graffic Equalisers. Yes, that’s one of my pieces too!
I had sent the album to a music blog called Musical Mana and it transpired the guy running it had been working with some labels I knew of, Skanky Panky Records and Colony Productions, and intended to put together a weekly radio show on Glitch.fm to be called UK Glitch Hop. I’d brought William Breakspear up to represent Skanky Panky and had done a Colony Productions showcase with Moudly Soul and Mike Wallis for a couple of shows for Beta, it was at this point that Chris Ra Baker aka Morbidly Obese Midget or M.O.M suggested I could take a show too. Over the years we’ve interviewed and hosted guest mixes by a swathe of artists from the Glitch Hop, Neuro Hop, Ghetto Funk, Electronica and down tempo scenes. Respect to everyone involved for their efforts in helping to keep the sound evolving in the UK!! Check out the UK Glitch Hop Soundcloud for the archives. If you’re new to Glitch Hop, this is a great place to start! My Beta shows are listed below:
So, the first of my music related commissions came from 4bstr4cker, who runs Parisian Glitch Hop label Digital Whomp. I had interviewed him for one of my shows and after he saw some of my work I was asked to produce something for a forthcoming release. The brief was simple: glitch girl. I’ve been really getting into more abstract work lately, almost surreal. I started by making some shapes for the background, like screen tones, to give the picture some depth. I messed around with a couple of images for the girl but this one sat well so that the eye met at the vanishing point. I now wanted to make it look like the eye was exploding and make her look a little 3D by layering some of the details of her face and playing with the blending options. I wanted it to look like light was emanating from her eye. I love working in Photoshop because of the freedom there is to mess around with the colours and layer blending. It’s similar to music, in that smashing layers together can create some incredible glitches and perfect accidents. It was agreed that the blue one was the most striking. That was the original colour anyway, so I was happy. I think there’s a better contrast between the face and the background.
I fully support the tunes these guys are putting out and it was great to work on this piece. It was nice to try to envision someone else’s concept for a change too. I’m going for a super clean abstract style at the moment, so that the more you look at the images, the more fine details there are, yet at the same time without over complicating the composition. It’s a fine balance, but I think it worked with this image. Subsequent to this release one of my tracks was featured on their second Whompadelic Trip compilation album, I love the artwork for that release too! This, along with the vinyl I produced for Beta Test Records are both short listed for this years UK Glitch Hop Awards. Please take a second to vote here: UK GLITCH HOP AWARDS 2014
Following on from that, I randomly put myself forward when I saw a post asking for graphic designers by Roo Raptus who runs another label I know through UK Glitch Hop: The Glitch Shop. They wanted a revision of their logo and a wallpaper for their social media. The only real brief was to have their name encapsulated by a circle, like the original.
My first thoughts were to do a HUD style graphic behind the text and then it just went all Tron. I was pretty happy with this so I moved on to the wallpaper. As far as mech and digital HUD effects go, you can’t beat Tron!
I wanted to create some kind of abstract alien technology to be almost projecting the HUD logo. I’m getting much faster at making the abstract backgrounds now, again using my process of creating simple abstract shapes repeated at varying scales to form an emergent complexity. I added a few more HUD details to tie it all together and then did a few colour tests again. The plan for these was to have each colour represent a different genre on their You Tube channel. I often get to a point where I’m over working an image, so I stripped down some of the designs for the different colours too for a little variation.
It was decided that the dark grey background with green HUD was the one to use for the social media avatars and such. I had to fill in the text to make it stand out more.
The above are a couple of banner variations I made for their social media. Again, really happy with the results for this project and given the brief I think I nailed it again. I’ve had some amazing feedback about my more abstract work and it’s something I’m beginning to find quite easy, so there’s plenty more of this style on the way! For the future, I think I need to focus on my typesetting and letter work. I highly recommend checking out some of their releases anyway, they too are nominated for a few UK Glitch Hop awards, so don’t forget to have a look at the link listed above and check out some of the nominations. Obviously vote for Beta Test Records though! *twists arm 😛
So yeah, I am now taking commissions for album artwork and a little re-branding amongst other things. Loads more art / music crossover projects are approaching completion, lookout for another update soon! I can’t wait to go public with my Shadow Work ninja comic for another forthcoming release. That’s more hand drawn and in keeping with my samurai work, there’s plenty of blood! The summer is looking incredible! It’s going to be another busy year!