Rumors of the death of physical media
January 16, 2009 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Hard Format celebrates the art of record and CD packaging.
posted by box (13 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Eponmysterical. This is cool. I count three Revenant releases! I'm surprised not to see anything from Numero Group, but I get the sense that these are artifacts from a personal music collection.
posted by OmieWise at 12:09 PM on January 16, 2009

Beautiful. Even the design choices that should be flubs (what, no image HEIGHT or WIDTH attributes?) work; I love the way the images spazz around until everything's loaded.

Also it reminded me of how much I want that Albert Ayler box set.
posted by ardgedee at 12:10 PM on January 16, 2009

Thanks for this. I've only browsed a little bit, but liked all that I've seen so far. The mystery of the packaging and what's inside a record or CD is what keeps me buying music in physical form. It's just such a treat to see what's hidden inside. Nice to see that others share my enthusiasm. The photography is really great too.
posted by friendlyjuan at 12:11 PM on January 16, 2009

I don't have any of these. :-(™

My favorite package that I do own in the Miles Dave Complete Bitches Brew, with the blue anodized metal binding. It has a heft equivalent to the music it holds.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:13 PM on January 16, 2009

I don't think that it is coincidental that most of these releases are by late-90s experimental electronic musicians or avant garde musicians who intersect their work with the electronic crowd.

It was about the entire design, merging new packaging, new typography, and new artwork with novel forms of musical expression. Raster-noton, in particular, had some clever and fun designs. Their magnetic storage system for the 20'-2000 series was inspiring.

But physical media is definitely a thing of the past. To me, Autechre's Quaristice will probably be one of the last gasps: a heavy steel case, meant to unsubtly remind the listener about the material aspect of holding the record in one's hand.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:17 PM on January 16, 2009

Thanks for this. I totally approve.
posted by davebush at 12:21 PM on January 16, 2009

Neat. My copy of The K&D Sessions is in pretty much the same condition as this one ... and it's only spent time in my collection -- moving from place to place over the last 11 years -- not a public library.
posted by grabbingsand at 12:27 PM on January 16, 2009

This is great.
posted by Jairus at 12:36 PM on January 16, 2009

Sadly, none of the early zoviet-france packages.
posted by davebush at 12:37 PM on January 16, 2009

Sadly, none of the early zoviet-france packages.

Indeed...but it was good to see Hafler Trio represented.
posted by malocchio at 12:47 PM on January 16, 2009

Smell the Glove
posted by Poolio at 1:06 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Fantastic! Thanks for the post.
posted by Shepherd at 1:38 PM on January 16, 2009

Everything Somnia puts out is gorgeous. It's the sort of thing that wouldn't be doable if they did even 2000 cd runs; a lot of hand printing and sewing.

Chain Reaction loses a lot of points for having their tins CRACK their cds.
posted by aubilenon at 2:11 PM on January 16, 2009

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