The 4th Grey Meta release by Anorak is now available for pre order through Bandcamp. The tracks are exploding with energy, Anorak has crafted a fine fusion of breakcore, dnb and acid with plenty of funk through out.
For this release I decided to create an A3 piece of art using my synesthesia, in which a main square panel in the bottom section of the art would be used for the release art and streaming platforms. The full piece would then be printed as a 4 colour risograph print by Marc the printers in Salford and sold through the Grey Meta Bandcamp.
I really enjoyed extending the art for this release, squares can be quite limiting and having the extra space allowed me to create a piece I felt could illustrate the movement of energy I was seeing from the music.
I found the music so visually dense and intense, with many layers of patterns, colours and angular shapes within each track. I focused on certain tones and forms that appeared as the bones of music. These were never in a solid state for long though, as the sounds in his tracks are constantly shifting, morphing and exploding. As such, it made sense to me to illustrate them in a sequential manner of sorts.
I wanted to use a photo of the actual print for the release as I felt it had unexpected textures and imperfections which the Risograph printer would create.
Below is an image of the thumbnails I created in my sketchbook whilst first listening to the release.
It was a pleasure to have had the chance to create art for Anoraks music, he has blown me away at many festivals and raves with his powerful sets through out the years. I recommend checking out his back catalogue of albums and releases and if you ever see him on a line up he’ll get you pulling all sorts of shapes!
In 2019 myself and a couple of friends had spoke and started to concept the idea of starting a record label in 2020. None of us being psychic, we couldn’t foresee the shit storm coming for the music industry. But when the pandemic did hit, it gave us time to really put things into motion.
We called the label Grey Meta.
To sum up our vision, my talented wordsmith friends couldn’t have put it better on our web site “Grey Meta is a record label that blurs the boundaries of auditory and visual art. A home to experimentation and innovation in electronic music and the interpretative visual art it inspires. Conceptualised by a family of misfits looking to give expression to the inexplicable, seeking to make sense of the slippery spaces that exist, coiled between music and art, sight and sound, machine and heart.”
I am very fortunate that my three friends trusted me with taking on the art for this project. I created the type face and our symbol which is a take on the ouroboros.
Grey Meta 001 – Technoist – Mesmerism for the Masses
The first release was by my close friend Miike Teknoist under his techno alias Technoist. Miike had contacted me asking if I could do some abstract art based on a release he was working on. My work with record labels up until this point had been in very illustration/comic based style. Miike had seen my abstract sketchbook work, sometimes based on my experiences with synesthesia and asked me to paint a piece based on three tracks he was writing at the time. This was the first time i properly painted a piece based purely on a release, before this my synesthesia pieces were based more on experiences on the dancefloor or single tracks.
It felt like it was a collaboration between me and Miike, he would send me the tracks as I was painting and letting my chromesthesia take full effect, I could see acid stabs flying as sharp spikes, melodies flowing in many different colours, kick drums were creating engines and were snares banging like fireworks.
The art and music would become the first release for our label Grey Meta, which Miike was setting up with my self, Jon (Macheen Boi) and Nancy (Acid Rephlux). The release consists of three genre blending tracks, taking the listener on a journey across a landscape built on techno, jungle, breakcore and psychedelia.
As it was the labels first release it felt only right to have it pressed on to vinyl, one orange and a variant of grey marble both coming with the art work on the sleeve.
Grey Meta 002 – Jacob – Fear and Loathing in a Quaint Balearic Village
Grey Meta 002 would see us putting out another line blurring release, this time by Jacob who was venturing in the realms of drum and bass, breakcore, jungle and acid.
When I first heard Fear and Loathing in a Quaint Balearic Village I knew straight away what I wanted to focus the art on. I could see so much going on throughout this EP. Cliche Jungle Track Title for instance instantly projected warm colours, with the vocal feeling like a white-yellowish light gleaming from the sides and occasionally from within. The pitch changing subs were massive colour changing bumps which fed into a point at which emerged a enormous wave created by the reese that warped, swept and crashed throughout the track. I could see the amen and snares hits in bright yellow, snapping brightly in regular rhythmic patterns but suddenly switching up at times into frantic hits and carving lines above everything else.
I love this release so much and even though ive listened to it many many times, I never tire of it. There is style for miles within tracks.
Grey Meta 003 – ReturnCodeZero – Memory Programme
“Memory Programme is the debut album from Manchester based ReturnCodeZero. Greg Veryard has been honing his skills as a producer and a DJ for well over a decade. His passion for music is insatiable which is clearly evidenced in his emotive, technical and detailed compositions.”
This was the first time I have created a piece for an album. I listened through many times, seeing the tracks individually and then stepping back in my mind I could see them all being part of the same entity. With different complex rhythms reaching out in varying angular forms, layers of noise covering the beats like skin, and synth melodies shining throughout as purple beams which felt like the soul. Having learnt about the experience that led to Return Code Zero writing the album it makes sense that I could see the whole body of work travelling through a dark space whilst carrying light.
Having known Greg as a friend for a decade and seeing his evolution as an artist it was an honor to create this piece of art for him. I feel very lucky that these great artists have trusted me to create art based on their own.