A compilation of Alex McCullough’s art direction for the London based record label Whities
Nic Tasker’s record label, Whities is excellent at producing music that is equal parts unique and mind-bending. The catalogue is very much electronic but its artists will derive their sound from a range of genres. You’ll hear a pan flute there, and a bird song here, and maybe an African drum looped into a house beat. It’s jazzy at times. It’s cinematic at others. The music makes me feel as if it is ushering in a new era of sound. It’s the modern soundtrack to psychedelia.
For a label that is producing truly unique sound like this, it needs an identifiable look as well. Every artist needs to look different, but the roster needs to look like it has come from the same label. Not an easy task.
The design challenge went to Alex McCullough. He’s managed to create a body of album artwork that is as unique as the sound it represents. No two albums are remotely the same but there is a “look” to the collection as a whole. Below are a few of our favorite examples of album artwork from Whities, and the music that goes along with it.
Whities 017 by Nathan MicayWhities 017: Nathan Micay – First Casualty / Beginning Ballads
From Whities: Nathan Micay (formerly Bwana) steps out under his own name for the first time with a pair of glistening panoramas well-primed for those exultant hours of the early morning. The 12” opens with ‘First Casualty’, aka *that* track played by Avalon in her Printworks set last year, before heading into deeper territories with ‘Beginning Ballads’ on the flip.
In Nathan’s words: “These are without a doubt the most personal tracks I have written to date. I made them as a sort of exercise in self-therapy during my first few months in Berlin. As time has gone on, more meanings have unfolded with each listen. For me, these tracks are a rebuttal to the endless churn of negativity in the news and online. They have become my battle cry in the club, something to mobilize while also offering a chance to escape it all, even briefly.”
Sleeve design: Alex McCullough and Kia Tasbihgou
Whities 014 by Jules VenturiniWhities 014: Jules Venturini – Flying Kites / Keep Me Close / Trace of Smoke
From Whities: “Jules Venturini is a Londoner, who via stints working at Record Loft in Berlin and various stores across London, has established himself amongst record heads as a go to guy for exceptional and rare music. He has previously released on burgeoning Polish label Brutaz, as well on two white labels under his ‘Catch’ alias. We’ve got no idea how to classify his Whities release so will leave that to you.”
Whities 021 by BambounouWhities 021: Bambounou – Temple / Tour / Seize-Sept
From Whities: Bambounou makes his debut on Whities with this three track 12”. Taking inspiration from a collection of music that was made specifically for his fantastic set at Freerotation in 2017, the tracks all showcase the Parisian’s flair for minimalistic rhythms and groove. It’s music that feels most at home in that heads down part of the dance, where it pulls everyone into the same collective consciousness.
The sleeve was designed by Kia Tasbihgou and Alex McCullough and features a photograph taken by Oskar Proctor.
Whities 006 by Avalon EmersonWhities 006: Avalon Emerson – The Frontier / 2000 Species of Cacti / The Frontier (High Desert Synthapella)
Whities 012 by Minor ScienceWhities 012: Minor Science – Volumes / Another Moon
The sleeve design for the 012 Whities release is a 12″ accurate scale reproduction from Willem Claeszoon Heda’s painting ‘Still life with gilt cup’ (currently hanging in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum).
Whities 023 by Carl Gari & Abdullah Miniawy
From Whities: Carl Gari are a trio of German musicians made up of Jonas Yamer, Till Funke and Jonas Friedlich. Abdullah Miniawy is an Egyptian musician and poet, currently based in France.
We’re hugely honoured to share their latest release with you, a six-track extended EP due for release on 6th September 2019.
A meditative and provoking listen focussed around the poem in ‘B’aj بعاج’ that forms the lyrical centrepiece of the record. In this song Abdullah is the protagonist, jumping from the 8th floor of a building in Cairo. While falling he describes a unique scene happening on every balcony, painting a dark picture of Egyptian society.
The EP was mixed, arranged and produced by Carl Gari members Jonas Yamer and Till Funke, providing a melancholic backbone for Abdullah’s lyrics and melodies.
Design by Alex McCullough and Noah Baker
Title typography by Noah Baker
Whities 019 by OvermonoOvermono – Whities 019
Whities 019: Overmono – iii’s Front / Quadraluv / Yell0w_Tail (extended cut)