Thursday, May 30, 2013

TIMR 13: staalplaat material series

Staalplaat is a innovative and interesting label. Early supporters of muslimgauze, the Morte aux Vache live series plus many more; they have always appreciated varied formats and presentation. Picture disks, sets, individualized covers (Muslimgauze Azad with a piece of newspaper), limited editions - reflecting the range you would expect from a medium sized small label. 

But in many respects the high point for me was the material series. Not explicit like the Morte series or Muslimgauze releases, this was a subtle grouping tied together by aesthetics. And by what I think represents a pinnacle of what can be done with a jewel case. I present my case:

The disk itself was a little used beauty called AB-CD I think. It was a full 5 inch disk made of transparent colored plastic (a shade that was appropriate for that release). In general the music was about 20+ minutes - or what would normally be a 3" cd. Only that part of the disc  was silvered, giving a darker central region with a lighter coloured halo. Simple but very effective. 

The jewel case was clear plastic see-through - nothing special there - but it was etched with the details. Generally artist/release & track titles on the front , recording details, staalplaat info etc on the back (with some variation). Subtle minimalism (though a pain if the case broke [see below] as it was unique).

Finally, instead of cover insets, there were pieces of material, different for each release - the ones I have are:

  • Massimo: minimo - gold brown card with a wave pattern on it giving a 3d effect - the disk is gold yellow
  • Kozo Inada -  a[] was that plastic sheet with ridges that is used to give postcards depth or movement - this is blobby parallels, red disk; d[] is in a yellow transparent case, yellow disk and the insert a small yellow plastic mesh
  • Goem: Punik - insert an orange card with regular small holes
  • Heimir Bjorgulfsson: "Machine natura(...)" - clear case with green tray, green disc and a green wallpaper insert
  • Pure: low - full length CD with speckled copper label, the insert is a fine copper mesh
  • Thilges 3: Polka - clear disk with white label, the insert is thin sheets of polystyrene
  • Radboud Mens: "Sine" - the disk is dark blue and the inserts are incredibly heavy metal mesh which just about destroyed the case on the trip over here (big picture at top)
a[] open (top), Goem (bl) d[] (br)

Discogs lists one I haven't got, and you can go there to see better pictures.

Bjorgulfsson (tl) Massimo (tr) Thilges 3 (bl) Pure (br)

I have a couple of other releases using the same format

  • Pimmon: Orquesta del arrurruz - is listed in the series at Discogs, but I don't agree. The AB-CD format is used, but the information is printed on the cover not inscribed. It is a lovely piece though, as instead of inserts it has green truf-like material , a light green disk and some green felt instead of screenprinting on the disk, in a green jewel case (without the disk-insert).
  • Muslimgauze: Ayatollah dollar - uses much the same format without a cover insert (there is a back one) and a number of his releases came in cases that had the information etched on.
  • Radboud Mens: Pulse - printed on the cover is radiating grid which together with a similar print on the disk gives nice moire interferance patterns.
  • Banabila, Vennik & Bobby: "Cards on the table" - clear case, printed information, clear AB-CD but in the disk tray there is a piece of plastic table cloth and a playing card (and the catalogue number, like Pimmon, is in the right range.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Enjoying your TIMR and various reflections Jeremy
Keep up the good work!!