the ARCart logo

A comment was posted on the ARCart label art gallery which I posted about a few days ago:
I've wondered where the label logo comes from and what it actually depicts.
It's over ten years since I created the logo, so I hope that any explanations I give are historically accurate and are not obscured by a somewhat foggy memory.

The logo is a silhouette of a man in a stretching position, which I crudely produced from a source image using a photocopier and possibly some software manipulation:


I wanted to use an image that conveyed something about humanity and its endeavours in a simple way. By that I mean that I didn't want any sort of clich├ęd techno related symbology; no robots, no computers, no future XY-408 bla bla bla. While I have nothing against all that stuff, and although the music necessarily involved the use of machines, to me what we were doing was inherently human and I wanted to reflect that somehow.

It's not massively different to the original logo of Oliver Ho's Meta label:


...which had been running for a couple of years prior to ARC's launch, and on which my first record was released. While this wasn't entirely deliberate it was not inappropriate that some kind of association was suggested. Both labels were being run out of the same flat, and of course the musical paths of the artists involved were very much intertwined.

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Incidentally in my previous post I forgot to mention another gallery I set up. I've had a bunch of magazines hanging around for years now. In an attempt to clear out some clutter I scanned all of the reviews and other articles that I had copies of and put them online. In each case I also scanned the front cover of the publication in which the appearance featured....many of them are really quite depressing reminders of how cynically commercial much of the dance music scene was (and still is? It's been so long since I paid attention to "the scene" that I couldn't comment on whether it's still the same. Do any of those magazines still exist?).

Anyway, if for some reason anybody wants to read them, they are all accessible here.


a couple of Nadler photos published

Two of the photos I took at the Marissa Nadler gig have been published as part of a review on an Italian website.

The Ver Sacrum site is the online incarnation of a fanzine which has been in existence since the early 1990s. One of its authors contacted me after I blogged about the photos on last.fm.


label art

I've just made a small but very rare update to the ARCart site, adding links to commentaries on the centre label art used on ARCart releases and other releases I did on various labels.

You can reach the commentaries from the
releases section of the site.


Marissa Nadler gig

A few days ago Marissa Nadler performed at The Luminaire in London. She's an American singer/songwriter of ethereal folk-ish sounding music, mostly acoustic but using occasional electronics in the form of the reverb ever present on her dreamy voice. I saw her at the same venue last year so it was interesting to compare the shows, which were quite different.

For a start, this year she was performing with other musicians. Her new album contains drumming, which has been almost entirely absent from previous material, and a lot more electric guitar than has appeared previously in her work. Last year she performed solo, with three microphone stands, each mic providing different levels of reverb, and she would sidestep between them. Personally I think the earlier material is stronger in its simplicity, and that the additional instruments have not brought anything extra to the music.

That said, she sang as enchantingly as ever this week....definitely a singer who can carry off a live performance without worrying that there's no studio trickery to help hide or re-take the bad bits. The competent backing musicians didn't play on every track, so we got to hear a few favourites from earlier years in their pure form (and also managed to pick up a copy of the recent vinyl reissue of the excellent "Ballads Of Living And Dying" too - bonus!).

Her appearance and demeanour were different this time too. She seemed a bit out of it at times, but if she was it certainly didn't effect her performance, and she interacted well with the audience in this intimate venue (incidentally - The Luminaire operates a laudable policy of audience silence during performances).



a couple of photos I took on the night:



see the rest here


update: 24/05/2009: as posted here two of the photos from this set have been republished by the Italian website Ver Sacrum.


some hawks, a swan, and other friends

I recently accompanied a friend to a bird of prey centre where he spent an afternoon hawking:





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In the Norfolk Broads during a recent stag weekend, a swan swam close by. It was late into the evening and almost dark. Managed to capture a few shots that have a strange vibe to them:





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Some portraits of friends at a house party. There was only one part of the room with an unintrusive background, so these were taken throughout the day as people randomly moved into that area. It was a light coloured wall which produces an almost "studio" effect: