A collaborative, ongoing and wide scope body of work that is not easy to summarize. I was approached by Boreta and Ooah in 2013 to help out with logo and art design for their sophomore album, "Love Death Immortality". Since that time my role has expanded to the role of Art Director, I'm involved in all aspects of the visual language of The Glitch Mob including but not limited to merchandise, album artwork, music videos, online presence, tour posters and admats.
Many of The Glitch Mob's brand elements such as the logotype and Love Death Immortality cover and accompanying art pieces were created by the incredible artist Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic in collaboration with myself and the band. Working with Lex we were able to set the foundation for the TGM brand and create this beautiful, cohesive world for the fans to experience.
I believe that releasing music is about story telling. With The Glitch Mob my role is find ways to help tell that story with the visual experience. And because music is less and less about physical artifacts, I see every interaction point as an opportunity to tell the story, from the Facebook header to the texture of the sleeve of the record.
“The Glitch Mob – the Los Angeles-based trio comprising Justin Boreta, Ed Ma, and Joshua Mayer – continues their forward movement into 2014. Boreta, edit, and Ooah came together around 2006, passing through various members until settling on this core trio of musicians. Together, they combined their different skills and aesthetics into the compellingly collaged whole that has become one of the most beloved live electronic acts, and distinctive recording artists, working today. The trio released their sophomore album, Love Death Immortality, in February 2014 followed by an international tour schedule including appearances at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Ultra, and EDC.”
I was honored when Eskmo approached me to do the packaging for his forthcoming sophomore album "Sol". It's an amazing piece of music and we were able to work with these incredible organic sculptures to adorn the front and back of the packaging.
SCOPE: Graphic Design, Packaging, Logo Design, Painting DATE: 2014
In 2014 I was asked by edIT to help repackage his seminal 2004 album 'Crying Over Pros For No Reason' as a deluxe re-issue including five unearthed and remastered tracks.
My approach for the cover was to focus singularly on the iconic and emotive image from the original album, adorning it in red metallic ink printing. For the rest of the packaging elements I put together a customized logotype and created a series of gouache paintings to embellish and exaggerate the personal and hand-made feel to the music and project.
"In 2003, Ed Ma retired The Con Artist and renamed himself edIT, a name that arose during the making of his debut album, Crying Over Pros For No Reason. Released the following year on UK label Planet Mu, a seminal home for more experimental electronic works, Crying Over Pros… drew on Ma’s hip hop work as The Con Artist, his love of drum n bass from the Konkrete Jungle residency and an interest for the experimental electronics of Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada and Squarepusher bestowed upon him by his roommate at the time.
Over its ten tracks the album melded the three influences into a new whole, a singular vision of what hip hop and electronic music could be. It combined organic sounds – drums, guitars, found sounds – with digital processing that was at the time still largely attached to the so-called IDM scene. The rhythms and melodies were put through a series of processes and effects that spew them back out into shards of their former selves, shards that seemed to at times evolve like a strange beast let loose in your eardrums. The way that Ma made sense of it all – hip hop’s organic grooves, IDM’s digital mind bending and the booming bass of dance music – is what sets the album apart from its peers. It was instantly accessible in a way other experimental works weren’t.
“It’s really a record about heartbreak and loss,” he admitted in 2008. “It’s about all the ones that could’ve been, all the ones that’ll never be and all the ones that got away. And I think everyone has experienced that feeling before.”
SCOPE: Logo Design DATE: 2014
I created this fully custom logotype and logo mark for an LA-based band called Active Sun. They'll be launching in 2015 so keep your eyes peeled.
SCOPE: Graphic Design, Typography DATE: 2014
My friend Salva asked me to help him launch sophomore "Peacemaker" album featuring collaborations with some of the hottest rappers in the game. Salva wanted to use this digital portrait painted by artist Mark Hammermeister and I embellished it with this customized type and layout.
"LA-based producer, Salva, released his sophomore LP Peacemaker last week, boasting 13 undeniably West Coast tracks with spitfire verses served up by some of the best rappers in the scene. Producing and co-writing lyrics, the hip hop slayer worked closely with each featured artist while recording at Red Bull Studios here in Los Angeles over the past 6+ months, putting in hours and hours of work into what has become a completely free release. If it wasn’t clear before that Salva is a key player in the rap production game, Peacemaker is now his reference point.
Leading off the record is “Freakin U,” a funkified slow burner featuring Teeko and B. Bravo from Starship Connection whose seductive talkbox-infused vocals roll smoothly along shimmering, groovy elements. After easing us in with “Freakin U,” Salva cranks up the intensity with “Child Pak,” where heavy bass steadily rains down as Ballout & Tadoe take turns tearing up verses.
The next track is one we’ve been familiar with for a bit now, following its premiere back in July. “Old English” features rap all-stars, Young Thug, Freddie Gibbs, and A$AP Ferg, whose now-signature vocal styles collide with an avalanche of booming low end. Then Paul Fisher scoops in to drench some fire on the ticking snares, airy claps and dark synths of “Trap Back,” followed by the flawless raps of Freddie Gibbs and Pysde of PyschoDrama in ”Magic,” and the super sexy R&B dreamscape of “Freaky Dancing,” with Ruckazoid on the vox.
“Young Gotti Speaks” gives us a breather as the West Coast legend issues a string of shout outs. Next up, “Motel” goes off, acting as perhaps one of the biggest tunes on the release thanks to some wicked kicks, murky atmospheres, and an aggressive tag team from Kurupt & Yay Area don, E-40. “Drop that Bitch” takes a classic Salva instrumental and fits it with iconic West Coast reps, Kurupt, Schoolboy Q, Problem, and Bad Lucc.
The record continues to seamlessly flow as Salva and Problem link up again for the next two tracks: the epic NWA-style, beat-ridden “Moves 2 Make” and crowd favorite shout-a-long, “Motivated.” The following rolling, squeaky-clean percussion in “A Lotta” gives MPA Shitro’s vocals a boost of raw energy as he flows from verse to verse before Paul Fisher takes the record home with “Baking Soda,” a violin-enhanced closer anthem with piercing snare work.
Peacemaker is 100% a product of Los Angeles. Influences from multiple eras of West Coast hip hop run deep in nearly every track, and Salva has found a way to absorb these sounds and collaborate with a host of prime talent while still offering up his own recognizable style. Yes, Salva has made club records in the past for the dance world, but Peacemaker has solidified his spot amongst the new wave of rap/hip hop producers in Los Angeles. Hands down."
SCOPE: Logo Design, Creative Direction, Graphic Design DATE: 2014
A music project and label I started with my friends Eprom and Hej Fund.
"Sister City is a group comprised of producers Dean Grenier, Hej Fund and EPROM. Together, they construct electronic environments inspired by brutalist urban architecture, improvised hardware session fever-dreams and new frontiers in an immersive venue experience. In addition to forming as a production unit, the trio have inaugurated Sister City Limited as a creative outlet to feature and release works as Sister City, as well as solo and other collaborative material with like-minded artists.
First up on Sister City Limited is Dean Grenier with a pair of collaborations featuring producers Max Ulis and Sergio Levels. The tracks were created with each producer in individual sessions while Grenier was touring Canada earlier this year. On “The Face You Wear Is Not Your Own”, Grenier and Max Ulis deliver an ever-so-slightly swung weapon that orbits around a haunting yet inviting vocal sample that eventually evolves into the track’s title. Track two has Grenier paired with Sergio Levels on “Hard Water”, another dart aimed at the floor, tinged with metallic percussion and an industrial-owed bassline for good measure. SCL001 is available in limited digital release via the Sister City site now, and will be available widely across all digital retailers in January 2015.
Next up on Sister City Limited will be a solo EP from Hej Fund in February, followed by the first official release from the trio as Sister City in March 2015."
SCOPE: Logo Design, Graphic Design DATE: 2014
In 2014 I was approached by Yaarrohs to help create a logo and identity for her debut EP. I explored a number of fully custom and customized logotype approaches which led to the final treatment.
“New York native, Los Angeles convert, citizen of the milky way galaxy; Yaarrohs creates Ethereal Electronic Pop music textured with moody vocal layers and intimate storytelling. Her first EP titled Flesh & Blood (produced and written entirely by Yaarrohs) will be released on November 11th, 2014 through The Glitch Mob’s own, Glass Air Records.”
SCOPE: User Interface Design DATE: 2014
My role on this project was more along the line of face-lift than full UI upgrade, but the main focus was to infuse the companies brand into the experience of Curby's app.
SCOPE: Logo Design, Creative Direction, Graphic Design, Fashion Model (obviously) DATE: 2014
NEVERMIND is a music project featuring myself and Petey Clicks. We've released a couple EPs on New York label Trouble&Bass, remixes for Foreign Beggars as well as a series of bootleg remixes via Soundcloud. I made this fully-custom typeface for our logo. The second image down I made by taking a photograph of one of my wife's dresses.
SCOPE: User Interface, Branding, Logo Design DATE: 2014
In 2014 the makers of the popular iPhone app "Mirrorgram" were forced to change their name for legal reasons. They decided at that point to also change directions for the app to become more of a creative platform, aiding in the ability for users to create beautiful products from their digital art.
In collaboration with their leadership I helped out with the initial UI/UX rounds (from wireframes to full mockups), and also developed their new logo and brand.
"On a hazy, early spring afternoon in the basement of an art gallery in San Francisco, four musicians met with nothing but the goal to produce ideas. The Brooklyn trio Archie Pelago and the then San Francisco based producer Grenier had been introduced to each other’s work by proxy, and though there was an inherent synergy underlying their aesthetics, they could not have known the profound results of their union; a plaited, sweeping work, gestalt in its exploration of the dynamics between the electronic and organic.
Archie Pelago, formed by Greg Heffernan, Zach Koeber and Dan Hirshorn in 2010 and with releases for much-loved NYC club-cum-label Mister Saturday Night under their belt, spent much of 2013 making some of the most contorted, intriguing live electronic hybrids out there. Melding their on-paper incongruous arsenal of woodwind, horn, strings, turntables and digital software together, they created some of the most gorgeously smooth tipped electronica around.
After years DJing and operating in a unique space beyond dubstep, techno and club music, Dean Grenier was moving onto further plains still, injecting a more soulful take on his comparatively synthesized sounding Voids project, focusing on deep textures, playful melodies but retaining a dose of rhythmic ballast.
Combined, though, Grenier Meets Archie Pelago pushes both parties into the unknowns of their sound, bringing together the hallmarks of their recognised traits, and creating something altogether more singular still. “Working with Dean allowed all of us to feel comfortable departing from a more rigid dancefloor structure stretching everything out and letting it breathe better,” says Hirshorn. “The limitlessness was empowering.”
The record was put together out in San Francisco over one long hazy week, and its creators admit there is something of the west coast’s warmth in its contrastive blend of glottal beats and soft-edged instrumental strains. It’s a record that you can almost jump into, swimming among the lapping current of its crystalline mix of analogue and digital sound, drawing parallels to the likes of Bonobo, The Cinematic Orchestra and even Pantha Du Prince, but never once losing it’s uniqueness along the way. This hive of recording took place in 2012, but the seeds of the collaboration came about earlier than that.
“By the beginning of 2011, I’d spent the last few years of my life in the underground club music world, finding a musical home and identity and ultimately feeling disillusioned with the narrowness of the medium,” explains Grenier. The producer starting immersing himself more in the more open-ended world of jazz and was put on to Archie Pelago by friend and fellow producer Distal. “They’d done a remix of a track of his called ‘Buoyant,’ and it sounded so cool and advanced. It blew my mind,” he comments. The first time all four of them met, they started to write music together from the off.
The album recording session in San Francisco, which took place in the basement of an art gallery, saw Grenier meld the sketches and skeletons of Archie’s work together, his production work giving the record its intimate, personal feel. Each crackle and creak of instrument can be heard, almost alien on music that, like the liquid grooves and subtle drops of ‘Navigator,’ or the more hard-lined minimal ‘Phosphorent,’ felt like it had been taken off the dance floor.
Individually and as a trio, Archie Pelago are no strangers to sonic journeys; all picked up various instruments from clarinet, to trumpet, to cello and saxophone from as early as eight years old, their transgressions into electronic music coming through hip-hop or, as Dan points out “just wanting to branch out and explore other musical forms, both academic and performative.” Forming after Greg met Dan at party he was DJing in 2009, the two joined up with Zach and took off on a journey that’s already seen stylistic twists and turns together on the path to meeting Grenier.
It’s a rare collaboration that results in a body of work as rich, varied, dynamic, and as simply beautiful as Grenier Meets Archie Pelago. But perhaps the most stunning element is the singular nature of their combined output. It’s a work that began with a chance meeting, and culminated in utter harmony."