I love to see when an artist arrives musically and settles into his/her bones proper. And this is what happened with Dubokaj’s “Alpine Dub”, which dropped recently on Mouthwatering Records. It started out as a side project, as a soul remedy of sorts and took four years to make, and million versions till it was done. And it was only done, when it felt right.

The great thing about working on this project was figuring out how to present something that’s already formed, but just needs to be presented / framed right. When Daniel approached me, he had a whole set of photos that he wanted to use for the Dubokaj project. They were all monochrome and lo-fi; mostly made with an old school cellphone. I didn’t want to over-ride this natural style, but I also didn’t want the final product to look trashy or makeshift, as that’s not what the sound is about. Because Daniel likes a lot of the very graphic, early 60s design and art, I decided to literally make the core of the work a graphic framework for the photos that he delivered (think of all the spirals and concentric circles used back then / 007?). That way we could keep the core ID present across the board, but we could use different photos as slides to modify each new “product”.

Once again I got to work with the hyper talented and soulful Animiesiewasz Startt. The original briefing I put together talked about this strong graphic framework that should create a clean backdrop for the lo-fi imagery. And that we should give an updated head-nod towards the classic 60s designs. Animisiewasz took the whole idea to the next level by grounding it in the LP title by creating the framework from a  map of a glacier found in the Swiss Alps. See the results below. We’re very happy with how it all fell into place.

PS: Daniel had a serious of titles for the record, none of which were “Alpine Dub”. But he described his music with this phrase. I convinced him and the label that this is the best choice as it pulls all the essential info about the artist and the music together in a phrase that anyone will get. I’m glad they finally acquiesced.

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