Illustrated Tapes 069: B.N.E (Big Night-time Energy)

Curated by Chester Holme
25.07.20

https://spoti.fi/3hBeiDr



Sequenced playlist, made to be played and enjoyed in order.

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Chester is an illustrator and artist from South London.

Hey Chester. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

B.N.E is a tape to accompany the listener through the distinct phases of a night burning the midnight oil — from the quiet focus and purposefulness of the first few hours, through the scattered and slightly manic energy of the early hours of the morning, and ending with the tired satisfaction of finishing just as the first rays of morning light creep over the horizon.

Some songs just sound better after dark. When the distractions of daylight and people and traffic noise and stuff recede into the background it can feel like you’re hearing them clearly for the first time. I guess I have quite a romantic view of the night here in London, it feels very reflective, like I can sense the weight of all these people living on top of each other but living completely separate lives. Observing the city while its inhabitants sleep has this kind of mesmerizing quality I think, and these songs heighten that sensation for me.

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

I wanted to set a backdrop for the music and so tried to capture a snapshot of London at night — the heavy quiet air, headlights reflecting off parked cars, the cries of foxes and the rustle of bin-bags and discarded chicken boxes in the breeze.

I really like using multiple frames in a single image. I think this kind of non-linear narrative of small scenes and moments that occur concurrently helps to describe a fuller sense of atmosphere — not just the place itself but the way that it sounds, smells, feels.

I build a layout first, usually centring around a single hero frame — in this case, the tower block — and then expanded upon it frame by frame, image by image until it feels like a satisfying composition and a true reflection place.

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

Sophy Hollington made an amazing cover for Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (I think that’s the right number of pigs?) a couple of years ago, which I bought on vinyl 100% for the artwork. Turns out the album itself is great too, but I’d be lying if I said I bought it for any reason other than the cover.


King Of Cowards – Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
2018, Rocket Records
Artwork: Sophy Hollington


Bjørn Torske’s album Byen has my favourite cover artwork ever, it feels so clean and scandinavian and kind of weirdly old fashioned but not really — very fitting for the music itself. It’s a double LP on vinyl, and 4 sides have different artwork on the label, all equally great.



Byen –Bjørn Torske
2018, Smalltown Supersound
Design: Kim Hiorthøy


I also really like all of Justin Galea’s artwork for King Gizzard. You can tell that him and the band are just on exactly the same vibe, and the proggy psychedelic madness of both the music and artwork are so intertwined that they’re inseparable in my mind. The album covers are great, but the tour posters from last year are even better.





King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
2019 tour posters Artwork: Justin Galea

What did you listen to growing up?

I went through a big punk phase in my teens — Minutemen, Black Flag, Descendents, Hüsker Dü, Dinosaur Jr — pretty much anything on SST. I feel I’ve grown out of it a bit now (although my tape ends with a song by Meat Puppets, so maybe not haha) but I just loved the energy and force of it at the time. Kind of funny that a boy from South London in the 2000s really connected with a group of bands mainly active in the 80s in LA, but there you go!

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

I keep listening to the new Tame Impala album at the moment, it’s quite a weird one but I’m enjoying it more and more each time I listen to it. I’m also listening to Dinner Party by Robert Glasper and various other people which just came out and is predictably excellent. Khruangbin, Thundercat, and Caribou have all released albums fairly recently which I’ve been listening to a lot. Also I can’t stop listening to “Team Sports” by Cory Wong (only that song though, the rest of the album is terrible haha).

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

I’ve been working full time on a long term project since the beginning of March which is looking like it’ll run for the rest of the year. It’s been great having a bit of reliability and structure in what has been a pretty unstructured year (massive understatement) but it has meant that my wider practice has taken a bit of a back seat. I’ve got loads of ideas for stuff I want to make though, so I’m looking forward to spending a good bit of time on some fun and ambitious personal projects around the end of the year/early 2021 if we make it that far (sort of joking).

Where can we find you?

chesterholme.co.uk and @cjholme on Insta.

Cheers Chester!
Mark