So, recently I was over in Sweden visiting IKEA HQ (more on that, later-ish…) IKEA is located in Älmhult, a small picture postcard of a town. Quaint cobblestone square anchored by statue of Carl Linnaeus (you remember Linnaean taxonomy, yes? — three kingdoms, divided into classes, orders, families, genera, and species, eighth grade or so, feathered hair, Toughskins jeans, 3/4 black sleeved Cars T-shirt…sorry, pardon my corduroy reverie…)
Anyway, I’m wandering around and happen upon a gas station / burger & ice cream hut / thrift store (!) where, between fan belts, spark plugs, a row of swedish potboilers, needlepoint, and axel grease, I spot these 10″ records in a crate.
What a score! Each one of these Swedish type compositions is gorgeous — and each anchored by a contrastingly dense, filagreed record label. Häftigt!
A boxed record set spotted in a motley pile at the Cackleberry Farm Antique Mall in Paradise, PA… Funny, Swing has always struck me as hopelessly wacka wacka, a square pantomime of exuberance and abandon – but this New Wave Cinema poster style composition and the freeze frame cutouts invest them with a crackling energy and style… a sock hop away from the iconic poster for Antonioni’s Blow Up and a frug and a boogie-woogie away from Robert Longo’s skinny tie 80′s series Men in the Cities, about which I’m reposting, below.
What dandy cover art! With Cluster, it is the wonderfully plump, shiny, hand wrought type. It actually looks frosted – perfect considering Zuckerzeit is German for sugary. The Cure’sThree Imaginary Boys cover is dead on deadpan pop art. Both covers embody perfectly their respective contents – Cluster’s warm, gently insistent, pulsing analog electronics feel practically glazed in liquid sugar. As for the Cure, it captures the detached, nervous, pop vibe that lasted for one only odd and awesome record (and it’s American counterpart Boys Don’t Cry) before all the gloomy gloom…
Score! Boundless delights here – from the great spy, bossa nova soundtrack (with a killer Shirley Bassey vocal, check the opening credits here), to the cover collage itself (by pulp, movie poster and advertising art titan Bob Peak.) The movie itself, a second rate In Like Flint like spy spoof, so far has proved elusive….