🎵 IT067: In the Garden / Up the Hill
✏️ Parallel Teeth
🗓 10.07.20

Parallel Teeth aka Robert Wallace is an animation director & illustrator from Makuri, New Zealand and currently based in Eastbourne, (also NZ).

Hi Rob! Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

This tape is a collection of instrumental tracks that focus on atmosphere, movement and world-building. It starts with ambient synth landscapes, then weaves into pulsing rhythms, before ending with digital maximalism. They are united with lots of fleshy bleeps, woozy bass, squeaky squeaks and metallic drumming throughout.

Ambient tracks and strong rhythms help me get into a focused state. I like to listen to this kind of music when focusing on stringing together sentences for an email (ugh) or napping (yay).

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

I wanted the artwork to convey the rich sounds of the track list. It mixes dense linework with layered figures to create a abstract landscape. The figures were drawn separately, without a composition in mind. The characters were sketched on paper before rearranging and redrawing digitally.

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

Sonic Citadel – Lightning Bolt
2019, Thrill Jockey
Artwork: Brian Chippendale

The album covers of noise rock duo Lightning Bolt immediately come to mind. Their music is so intense and playful, and their album artwork always perfectly communicates that visually. The artwork is created by Brian Chippendale, the drummer, who is also a visual artist. I grew up seeing their artwork so small on my computer screen as a teenager. I’ve been slowly collecting their releases on vinyl, and it’s a lovely seeing all of the intricate details up close.

Pika Pika Fantajin – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
2014, Warner Music Japan
Artwork: Steve Nakamura

I’m also a big fan of Steve Nakamura’s art directing work for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. I love seeing musicians and visual artists collaborate over a long period of time, evolving and developing the music and visual aesthetic in tandem. The artwork is great; lots of playful imagery, soft colours and surrealism. Also the covers always feature expressive and playful typography.

Liqid Bacon – Golden Axe
Artwork: Imogen Taylor

Another one that stands out in my collection is painter Imogen Taylor’s artwork for Golden Axe’s Liquid Bacon. After listening to the hyper-manic lo-fi synth pop music, this visual approach isn’t the immediate art style I would expect for the cover, but I love how it doesn’t rely on pastiche and instead brings out the unique aspects of the music.

“Tesco vs Sainsburys” – Trans Am

In terms of motion, one of my favourite music videos, and one that was a key influence in me moving into animation, is “Tesco vs Sainsburys” by Trans Am which was directed by LUNG. The song features a relentless rhythm that is perfectly matched with a series of scenes, featuring a variety of objects travelling across the screen. This onslaught of setups prioritise quantity over quality, which I think is an often overlooked creative direction.

What did you listen to growing up?

As a kid growing up in rural New Zealand, my parents were really into new-age music like Enya, Enigma and Deep Forest. They were also big fans of a Swiss electronic duo called Yello. Sometimes in the evening my dad would play one of their albums so loud the whole house would vibrate (Pinball Cha Cha was a standout track favourite).

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

Lately it’s been a lot of The Garden, 100 Gecs, Jerry Paper, Shawn Wasabi, plus the new Charli XCX album ^-^

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

My partner and I were meant to be moving to London back in March, however that got put on hold due to the current pandemic. So we are currently living a bit of a limbo lifestyle right now, making the most of it. Animation work has been quite busy due to the restrictions on live-action shoots lately. I have a few commercial projects on the go at the moment, as well a handful smaller things too. Plus a super secret, hush hush, personal project, but that keeps getting pushed back due to work, heh.

Where can we find you?


Cheers, Rob.

Kate NV - yxo EAR / Cosmic Neighbourhood - Faeries / Cool Maritime - Climbing Up / Lucky Dragons - Mirror Friends / Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - Telassar / Helena Hauff - Tripartite Pact / Steven Julien - POT808 / Jlin - Hatshepsut / Don Gero - Wind Cutter II / Flying Lotus - Jurassic Notion/M Theory / Why Be, Elysia Crampton, & Chino Amobi - Dummy Track / Fatima Al Qadiri - Hip Hop Spa / Oneohtrix Point Never - Boring Angel / Matmos - The Crying Pill / galen tipton - whisper ︎