ECM cover art never fails to intrigue me.
Like many others, I was first drawn to the world of graphic design through record sleeves by the usual suspects – Vaughn Oliver, Peter Saville, Storm Thorgerson, Blue Note Jazz covers etc. Yet I place ECM in a different league. Firstly, it is rare to see ECMs in Malaysian record stores – they aren’t marketable like Miles, Ella, Herbie or Kenny G.
However rare they are, you do know an ECM when you see one. For a graphic designer, it is the unmistakable visual language of transcendental photography and minimalist typography. But for a curious soul, they were covers that stare at one hauntingly, asking the question “Do you want to hear my story?”
“Do you want to know what those people were doing?”
“Whose shadow is that looming above the feather?”
“What is that melody at night, with you?”
Always mysterious and mesmerizing, ECM covers seldom give a clue about the music – that is probably for the buyer to discover. Throughout the years, I have randomly bought ECM music, and along the way, discovered some great music – all thanks to good design.
First published on Kyoorius.com, Nov 8, 2013