FOCUS ON ARTWORK:
MANNEQUIN (EXTENDED) by DATASSETTE
electronic / experimental / analogue synth
When you’re looking at a record cover on the screen and it catches your co-worker’s eye when she happens to walk by, and she stops and says, “That’s cool! What’s that?” – then it’s definitely not a bad album cover, is it? Even if in this case no excessive effort was made to create or have created an own artwork, one has to admit that it fulfills two points: it immediately stands out among a multitude of the most diverse record covers and this despite the fact that it is not at all intentionally eye-catching, glaring or even obtrusive. Completely the opposite, it keeps a low-key look and captivates with its minimalist aesthetics. The photograph, or better to say, the sculpture on it, somehow has something archaic, something significant about it. Yet it is not even an actual sculpture. The so-called “Asaro head” is an almost iconic aid for drawing figures: “The planes of the head” help the drawing student to recognise and understand the plasticity of the human head and the behaviour of light and shadow on it through its angular forms.
What kind of music is hidden under this album cover? Electronic, for sure. Minimal, probably. Perhaps ambient? Electronic ambient? Experimental, one might think, and a bit avant-garde… Maybe something that originated at the same time as John Asaro’s head – late 70s? Early 80s? Such associations are correct. It is “analogue synth music”. A few more “iconic objects” are mentioned here by the artist as working tools: the Roland TR-808, SH-101, JX-3P and the Juno-6. Bingo! So the cover for the album MANNEQUIN (EXTENDED), which was released January 26th, is somehow quite aptly chosen. The musician responsible for the album is J M Davies from the UK, who works under the pseudonym DATASSETTE. A datassette or datasette, by the way, is “a tape drive widely used in the 1980s to store computer data on conventional compact cassettes (CC)”, according to Wikipedia.
If you also have a soft spot for Atari nostalgia, or simply want to enjoy analogue synth sounds, glitch effects, bitcrushes, multi-layered IDM rhythms, deep dub sounds with digital arpeggios, broken beats and many more analogue synth experiments, you’re in good hands on the Datassette Bandcamp profile. Definitely recommendable.