Illustrated Tapes 063: This Unrest

Curated by ArtHole
18.05.20

spoti.fi/2X49YnB



Sequenced playlist, made to be played in order.

* * *

Elliot and Kay are ArtHole, a lowbrow warrior art collective based in Cardiff, UK. 

Hey team ArtHole! Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

Wassup! We’ve chosen to curate a playlist exclusively in the Welsh language. We believe that Welsh is a severely under-represented language in the UK, both in terms of how it's viewed, and by how much it's used in modern popular music. Even though neither of us speak Welsh, we’re drawn to these songs through the tone and mood suggested by the melody and composition. We believe this reflects the fundamental joy of discovering new music. We hope to invite others to explore this culture, and reach their own understanding of what the songs mean to them, as well as shine light on a language that is largely ignored by people outside Wales. We’ve curated the tape as a kind of winding path through different musical approaches and genres, so hopefully it’ll take you on a little journey.

What direction did you take with your cover art, and what was your process?

This was a really fun one! It had to be Welsh enough, but without any of those annoying stereotypes. Sheep, dragons and leeks were strictly forbidden! We’ve both been drawing from nature (the bush in our garden) a lot recently, so wanted it to be an extension of that way of working. We visited the Devil’s Bridge in Ceredigion last year, which has a great balance of nature, spooky Welsh folklore, and sentimental value to the two of us. We thought it best represented our joint experience of Wales together, so ended up doing the cover based on that. Kay got a Wacom tablet the other week, which we’ve had a lot of fun playing around with recently – working digitally is very new to both of us! We’ve been drawing loosely in the garden with inks, before scanning what we do into Photoshop and colouring digitally. As a collective, we definitely have a set visual approach (lots of drawings of geese), but didn’t feel much pressure to conform to that for this piece, it’s been real nice experimenting recently.

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

Elliot: I’m super into musicians that really explore the relationship between sound and live visuals. Massive Attack’s collaborative work with Adam Curtis instantly springs to mind – lots of left wing sloganeering and archive footage. I also really admire their use of live data during their shows too. Both times I’ve seen them they show live flight departure boards and local news headlines, which works really well with a lot of the themes in their music. Proper nerdy stuff. Aphex Twin’s work with Weirdcore is really cool too, where they film the crowd and use facial recognition to project the audiences faces and play with them in real-time.

Massive Attack V Adam Curtis
AV: Adam Curtis
Park Avenue Armory, 2013



Aphex Twin, Field Day
AV: Weirdcore
Victoria Park, London, 2017


Kay: I’m really big on bands that use illustration as part of their visual identity. Iron Maiden all the way! Eddie has so much cross-over appeal and is iconic. There’s also a big nostalgia element to it as well. Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit is also a big one because of how raw and simple it is, which is very similar to the way I work. Also Courtney Barnett drew it herself, which is neat!


Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit 
2015, Milk! Records
Artwork: Courtney Barnett


What did you listen to growing up?

Elliot: I grew up listening to what my parents did mostly – a lot of Hole, Bikini Kill, Nirvana, Pavement, all that crowd. Guitar music was the name of the game until I hit about sixteen-ish and found stuff like Public Enemy and Aphex Twin. I totally worshipped guitarists like Graham Coxon and John Frusciante when I was really starting to get into music. I also have Bikini Kill and Riot Grrl in general to thank for getting me into zine culture. Depeche Mode, Daft Punk and Johnny Cash also deserve honourable mentions. Growing up in Brighton, there were lots of cool little punk gigs popping up all the time, and it felt so cool to be a part of that scene. I met the majority of my friends through jam sessions held at The Blind Tiger Club, which has since been forced to close, and turned into a Brewdog.

Kay: Hmmm, Muse, Korn, Evanescence, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue – all of those rock classics I guess. Scuzz and Kerrang! were always on at our house!

And what’s on heavy rotation for you at the moment?

Elliot: Still Pavement to be honest, man. Stephen Malkmus released a really good solo album recently called Traditional Techniques with lots of folkier stuff on it. Thundercat and The Lovely Eggs also released great records this year!

Kay: Probably Courtney Barnett! I’ve also been stuck in a mad Cranberries phase since Delores O’Riordan died. No Need To Argue is my favourite. We’re (hopefully) going to see Joe Hisaishi in September so lots of Ghibli Soundtracks as well.

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

After we had to cancel our event on April 12th due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we launched ArtHole Isolation Club, as a kind of initiative for us to keep engaged with everyone. We’ve launched a few giveaways/drawing challenges, and collaborated with Pop-Up Arts Fair Falmouth on a virtual event. We’ve also been working on our first publication since January. Coronavirus put it on halt for a bit while we all adjusted, but it is pretty much finished and we’ll be releasing it digitally soon, so keep an eye out, yeah?

Where can we find you?

︎ artholecardiff.bigcartel.com
︎ @artholecardiff

Thanks Elliot and Kay!

Mark