Special Problems are New Zealanders Campbell Hooper and Joel Kefali. "What's their buzz?" you say? Well the duo are deft hands at making magic out of misery, making the impossible possible.
Here are some of their choice sleeves.
John Cale - Vintage Violence (cover photo - Isi Valeris)
I love this cover, such a striking portrait. I've always been curious as to how they made this. Wiki just told me that apparently it is a photo of Cale wearing a glass mask over a nylon stocking. Now I wish I was still wondering how they made it.
John Coltrane - Coltrane's Sound (artwork - Marvin Israel)
There is something really frightening about the way his face is painted - what appears to be thick paint strokes and photographic elements of his face cut up and put back together. I''s haunting. This cover is what made me buy this over other Coltrane records. The artist also did a similar cover for Sonny Stitt.
John Lennon / Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy
Such a sad and beautiful cover. John and Yoko kissing in New York. It was the last album released before he died.
Black Dice - Repo (Black Dice)
I'm pretty sure the band have done all of their artwork and Rob Carmichael from Seen studio has been involved. Their music and visuals are spot on. A lot of great covers from them. I love those colours and the unrelated type "Go where new experiences await you".
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (George Condo)
10.0? Big Call? I'd give him that for commissioning George Condo to make a series of paintings for the album. Big dick move.
Talking Heads - Remain in Light
A Tibor Kalman cover - the dude who did Colors magazine. It was one of the first CGI covers, apparently taking up several mainframes at MIT to output it - which, admittedly, sounds excessive. I've always had a love hate thing with Talking Heads though. Like most eccentric people, they're great in small measures. Bongo warning.
Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
This one's by the artist Christopher Wool. It's for vinyl only and I can't find my one so the image is small -apologies. If it wasn't Christopher Wool, would I like it? Dunno. If Sonic Youth wasn't Sonic Youth, would we like all their albums? Maybe not, right? Credibility makes us second guess our opinions. Like, I'm not enjoying this but it's Sonic Youth so shut up and take it like a man.
U2 - Boy
What's interesting with the Boy cover is that, if you released it now, you'd be hit up for being a goddamn paedophile. I doubt it would have crossed anyone's minds back then. A sincere and honest cover - back when U2 were a sincere and honest band.
Panda Bear - Person Pitch
This one's by Agnes Montgomery who mostly does collage work. It mirrors the album so well - melodic, nostalgic and perfectly imperfect. And I like the auto kerned type on the back cover.
New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies
By Peter Saville. His work should be so much uglier than it actually is. Like how could something so wrong be so right? (Except for the Republic album cover - that shit's just straight up wrong).
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