🎵 IT030: Echo Chamber
✏️ Pencil Bandit
🗓 03.05.19

Pencil Bandit is an animator and illustrator based in east London.

Hey Mr. Bandit, can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

Oh hey! This is a 24-track tour through the kind of stuff I listen to while I work, from atmospheric soundscapes to electronic weirdness; things that settle my brain chatter and get me in the zone. I’d say my musical knowledge is pretty flimsy, so honestly many of these tracks and artists were originally discovered through telly and animation, from David Firth to Monkey Dust, Spaced to Jam.

They all feature some kind of looping element, and often sound like they’re coming from a strange, dark little cavern, so ‘Echo Chamber’ felt like an appropriate moniker.

How did you go about the artwork?

While listening through the finished playlist, I just started noting down ideas for nice umbrella titles (‘Loop Soup’ and ‘Grey Matter’ hit the cutting room floor), before scribbling out some ideas in my sketchbook that felt like they encompassed the various tones in the playlist (and that title).

Then I scrapped all those ideas when I got into Photoshop and birthed these squishy nesting doll things. Standard.

What are your fave album covers, records with a great music and artwork combo, or musical projects with a visual component?

Well I can’t resist a good box set, so shout outs to recent releases Brainfeeder X and (as more of a comedy boffin than a music one) The League of Gentlemen’s Cinyl Cuts, with pretty spectacular sleeve paintings by Graham Humphreys.

Brainfeeder X – Various artists 
2018, Brainfeeder
Artwork: Charles Munka

The League of Gentlemen’s Vinyl Cuts - The League of Gentlemen
2018, BBC / Demon Records
Artwork: Graham Humphreys

And speaking of Brainfeeder X’s die-cut sleeves, it would be remiss of me not to mention album illustration king Ghostshrimp, and his beautiful die-cut artwork for Factor Chandelier.

Factor Chandelier - Factoria
2016, Fake Four Inc. / Side Road Records
Artwork: Ghostshrimp

In terms of general music/visual combos, I urge you to watch the short films and music videos of Cyriak, David Firth and Felix Colgrave. They are weavers of dreams.

‘SOURCE’ [music video] – Fever The Ghost 
2014, Heavenly Recordings
Animation: Felix Colgrave

What did you listen to growing up?

When I was really young, I’d stick on old classical music tapes we had when I went to bed; a bit of “Blue Danube”, “Carnival of the Animals”, “Peter and the Wolf”... Later on, I remember listening to things like Rocky Horror and Meatloaf in the car with my mum. That probably led to my grungey teenage years: Nirvana, White Stripes, Foo Fighters and all that. Then eventually I moved into a steady rotation of indie rock, comedy albums and movie soundtracks, before fully realising my love for ambience and electronica in the past few years.

What’s happening in your creative world at the moment?

A couple of really fun client projects over late 2018 and early this year, which haven’t been released so I sadly can’t talk about them yet. I’ve also got an idea bubbling away for an animated short film which is something I’ve always wanted to do; being self-taught, I never came out with a graduate film or anything. Meanwhile, I’m exhibiting at ELCAF again this year, as well as my first stall at Print Stuff in York, so perhaps I’ll have some new things up for sale soon...

Where to find Pencil Bandit:

︎ pencilbandit.com
︎ pencilbandit
︎ @pencilbandit
︎ /pencilbandit

Locust Toybox - Drufloc / Justice - Alakazam ! / Bonobo - Flashlight / Flying Lotus - Putty Boy Strut / Portishead - Glory Box / Datach'i - Synthetic Metals / Everything Everything - Undrowned / The Third Eye Foundation - Lions Writing The Bible / Woodkid - Volcano / Mr. Scruff - Get A Move On! / Lemon Jelly - Soft / Aphex Twin - 4 / Daft Punk - Giorgio by Moroder / The Dresden Dolls - 672 / Gramophonedzie - Why Don't You (Original Mix) / Barry Adamson - Something Wicked This Way Comes / Massive Attack - Black Milk / Boards of Canada - Turquoise Hexagon Sun / Ralfe Band - Bruno Mindhorn / The Cinematic Orchestra - As The Stars Fall / Goldfrapp - Lovely Head / Squarepusher - Beep Street / Eels - World of Shit / Brian Eno - An Ending (Ascent) - Remastered 2005 ︎