Illustrated Tapes 160: The City

✏️ Ed Cheverton
🗓 05.05.22


Ed is an illustrator based in Bristol, UK.

Heya Ed. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

I’ve had this on and off again project for the past few years called ‘The City’. It’s been a way for me to explore themes of urban planning and development, psychogeography, architectural design, how we think and interact with our cities and what functions they provide (or could provide). I’ve mostly tackled it in the form of comics, writing and some small collections of linked artwork. For my tape I wanted to try and create a sort of soundtrack to this body of work; something to represent the feel and atmosphere of this project. It’s a more abstract theme I guess, at times maybe a little literal, I wanted there to be an eclectic mix of genres and styles. It's a little bit sci-fi, a little bit meditative, not dystopic or utopic - but rather hopeful.

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

For my cover I’ve made a collage that fits into a larger collection of collages and pieces I’ve been making over the years. Suggestions of structure and buildings are placed together, some connect and fit together, others are separate. My collage process is often quite structural but unplanned; I’ll start forming and making these individual elements, little sections that I’ll then bring together into a larger composition.

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

I’ve always had a real soft spot for the more simple and bolder covers. I grew up firmly in the CD era so the format didn't have as much space to capture the eye as Vinyl did. The classic Blue Note covers (which were actually designed for vinyl but were striking enough to work on CD) designed by Reid Miles with photography by Francis Wolff are especially nice:

It’s Time – Jackie McLean
1969, Blue Note
Design: Reid Miles
Photography: Francis Wolff

Also this collage by Duncan Bellamy for Portico’s Knee Deep in the North Sea is simply gorgeous.

Knee Deep in the North Sea – Portico Quartet
2007, Babel / The Vortex
Artwork: Duncan Bellamy

What did you listen to growing up?

I was very fortunate to have so many music influences in my early life. My sister was into the metal, rock and punk scenes of the 1990s and early 2000s which I guess was my first introduction to music. Then a good childhood friend who had the most wide ranging music taste possible introduced me to basically every other genre. Everything from Steely Dan, to Massive Attack, to Marvin Gaye, to Bonobo, to Sade, to Leftfield. The list is simply endless. I have very fond memories of going over to his house and building the biggest subwoofer we could to play LFO at max volume on, I think we were 14. Then in my mid to late teens I became entirely seduced by jazz. I found it the most interesting musical form, so rich and varied and with the ability to register the widest range of emotions. I kind of became obsessed and listened to practically nothing but jazz for maybe half a decade. Until my early 20s and I (thankfully!) started branching out again.

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

I’ve been on a pretty huge ambient and electronic kick for the past couple of years. There’s a bunch of albums by Japanese artists such as Hiroshi Yoshimura, Takashi Kokubo and Haruomi Hosono I keep revisiting. I heard Beverley Glenn-Copeland’s Keyboard Fantasies for the first time last year and the track “Ever New” has been played a lot. When I first heard it I couldn’t stop crying, it was too beautiful. Also The Cranberries, I’ve been really enjoying them this year.

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

I’ve actually been doing a lot of album covers recently, which is kind of dream-come-true stuff. I’ve always wanted to make art for music and I’m so so pleased to be doing it. I did a couple of covers for great London/Helsinki based label Cold Blow last year (, and I have some more coming out hopefully soon (I also put out a cassette with them under their SWIMS imprint last year under the moniker Earth Mother Spectral Pilot which was a tonne of fun).

I’ve also just done the poster and branding for a beer festival here in Bristol with my dear friend Jayde Perkin, which was lots of fun

Where can we find you?

@edcheverton on Instagram and Twitter

Cheers Ed 👋🏽