Museum quality prints by Shaun and Amy Duncan.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ishan Cooper - Mannequin Moonwalk

So a while ago we wrote a short post about a project we were working on for our good friend Ishan Cooper. It featured a photo of us arranging colourful foam letters on a piece of black cardboard and one of our cats lurking ominously in the background. What was that all about then?  We can explain:

Despite neither of us having any real experience in graphic design, we couldn't resist helping out with this project and figured we had just enough skills between us to make it work.We'd each done album covers before, but had never collaborated on one. In fact, we'd never really collaborated on anything before. We'd helped one another out on various projects over the years but had never designed and created something together from the ground up. It was an interesting experience with it's own unique challenges. We may even try it again some time.

Ishan is a good friend and an incredible guitarist in the mould of Eddie Hazel or Pete Cosey. He's played around for years with other people, but Mannequin Moonwalk is his first solo release. It was self-funded and very much a labour of love, so we were honoured to be involved.  Here's a video of the man himself recording Funkasaurus Maxximus in the studio, with a neat little animated intro/outro made from our artwork!

As a fan of all things Funkadelic, Ishan requested a "psychedelic space funk" collage combining photography and illustration - something neither of us had attempted before but were excited to try. Since he's also a total gear fetishist he wanted the cover to feature some of his favourite effects pedals and custom amps, which were all photographed individually by Shaun. Ishan also graciously posed for dozens of photographs and we experimented with collages of shaving cream, lollies and foam letters in the hopes of creating a piece which retained the charm of a paper-and-glue collage without looking like just another bad Photoshop job.

With projects like this you nearly always go too far before you realise a simpler approach is probably the best, so we ended up discarding about 50% of the original design elements to strengthen the final composition. We're pretty happy with the result, but really the cover is the probably the last reason to buy the album. We're not even going to attempt to review the album here because we won't be able to do it justice. Instead, we'll let one of the guest vocalists on the album - The Legendary Kokane - do the talking:

Listen to the man - he knows what he's talking about. It's a great album and you can buy it on vinyl or as a download. In case you need any more convincing:

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