Titled Waveform, the beautiful screen-printed pieces visualize the sound waves generated by the dance, rave, synth and electronic music albums of British musicians from 808 State to Squarepusher. It’s a passion project that Alex has been working on since 2012, which has resulted in two successful Kickstarter campaigns to bring his artwork to life and sell it.
This latest series is the result of the pandemic when most of Alex’s commercial work was postponed or cancelled, so he set about creating new artwork referencing his obsession with electronic music while finding a way to support those in the music industry who are going through tough times. Launched on Starter earlier this month, the campaign has now reached its fundraising goal and Alex plans to sell the artwork through his store with 50% of profits donated to Help the musiciansa charity providing health and wellness services, creative development funding and a mental health helpline for the entire music industry.
You will soon be able to choose from 40 copies of classic British electronic music albums. Each limited edition artwork is screen printed onto a range of metallic and highly unusual holographic papers. Talking about how he creates each piece of art, Alex says, “Starting with the sound wave generated by a song or piece of music, these are meticulously redrawn in a series of bars and then orbited to create beautiful, elegant abstract shapes.”
Alex’s interest in this subject stems from the fact that he was a promoter of techno and electronic music in Yorkshire from 2005 to 2010. “Any promoter will tell you how difficult it is,” says- he. “Those were the days before everything was promoted online. Four of us would spend three or four nights a week handing out flyers to people leaving clubs at 3am, being ignored most of the time, but you befriended other promoters doing the same and slowly Sometimes we would make a lot of money on one gig and think we broke it, only to lose it all on the next event.
“We had artists coming in asking like they were Mariah Carey, but for the most part everyone was great – people like Andrea Parker, Altern-8, Jerome Hill and Surgeon were a pleasure to meet. It was a time in my life where partying and barely sleeping for three days was completely normal. It sounds hedonistic, but at the heart of it was this music we loved. I remember watching DJ Rephlex Records playing our first event – and I’m absolutely beaming. I’d absolutely bought loads of stuff from his label and here he is, in person, killing it.”
Of the albums Alex has visualized in sound waves, Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works is his favorite: “As a teenager, I was mostly into punk and metal, and the dance music I heard at the radio in college was mostly new. A friend gave me this album along with an Aphex compilation called “Classics” and it was pretty much an overnight transformation. It opened the door to a whole new music world.
As for electronic music itself, Alex admits he’s drawn to things that have a lot of layers: “Especially music made with synths, whether it’s classic Roland hardware or custom modular stuff. I Always discovering new music, there’s so much variety.”
Waveform prints will soon be launched on Alex’s online shop. Keep an eye on them. We don’t expect them to stay long.