“The Adventurous World of S.W.”
Several years ago I was contracted to do an album cover for Dutch musician Sjoerd Wijdoogen. I posted the artwork under the working title “Vinyl Mushrooms” on DeviantArt.com here.
Well, the CD was finally released last month and it is sweet. The music is amazing (I especially liked the “I am the Walrus” cover ) and the coolest thing is the other artist who worked on the project’s artwork was 60’s iconic artist Marijke Koger from the formative design collective ‘The Fool’, who in the mid-60s established the “psychedelic style” in British rock/pop music with their designs for The Hollies, Procol Harum, Cream and most of all, The Beatles. Just to be involved in a project with Marijke is a huge accomplishment for me and I can’t say how proud I am.
Here is a full description of the project:
S.W. “The Adventurous World of S.W.”
If you are ready to expand your musical understanding and willing to build your new home on foundations as disparate as The Beatles and house, pop and psychedelic, down tempo and dance, you already hold the album of the year in your marveling hands. While beautiful vocal tracks are thrown into an intoxicating mix full of eccentric interludes, sci-fi organ keys and other adventurous excursions in the world of sound, the colorful artwork balances this wild concoction on the visual side. Dutch artist Sjoerd Wijdoogen, who under the pseudonym of Stuart had a massive European club hit with “Free (Let It Be)” (originally released on United Recordings) takes you on a truly breathtaking journey. After the gentle down tempo track “Humans And Gods” he steers free of all restrictions and acquaints you with the long lost world of flower power sound and hippie attitude. While “Aphrodite” and “Flowers of The Night” are still ringing in your ears, he already toys with The Beatles classic “I Am The Walrus” which he then slowly morphs into the deep house track “Cancao Da Noite”.
Bathed by quirky interludes, a number of beatific vocal tracks emerge which have been crafted with the helping hand of Edward Barton, best known for his greatest hit with “It’s a Fine Day” by Opus III and reputed for his lyrics for Kylie Minogue and Norman Cook aka Pizzaman. As one of the album’s many highlights S.W. grits the trip with a cover version of Manuel Gottsching’s “E2-E4”, a tribute to one of the most influential tracks of electronic music history. His knack for catching melodies then shines through in “Dreaming Of Now” a straightforward uplifting dance track. The concluding “Fields of Metallic Funk Part I-VI” owes to the experimental decade of the late 60s and early 70s and grippingly illustrates the whole spectrum of his musical influences. Press repeat and you will eagerly concede that S.W.’s charm and charisma easily beats the industry’s dominating pigeon-holing.
The album’s many facets are sculptured into a fascinating sound experience by Kevin Metcalfe at his legendary Soundmasters studio, where The White Stripes, Roots Manuva, Underworld, The Prodigy, Zero 7 or Rufus Wainwright are among the grateful clients. The amazing artwork relies on drafts and creations by Marijke Koger from the formative design collective The Fool, and from Jeff Hopp from the USA.
The CD is available on the Lemongrass label here.
S.W.’s facebook page is found here.