The herbs of the province, “Ahh, the great outdoors!”, eighty fingers playing improvised music: Kräuter der Provinz is the latest installment among about 30 releases of Datashock, a music project based in Saarlouis (Saarland, Germany).
Kräuter der Provinz was released on May 25th of 2018 via Bureau B, who are also the home label of Krautrock legends like Conrad Schnitzler, (Q-)Cluster, Moebius, H.J.Roedelius or Peter Baumann. It is Datashock’s thirtieth release since the collective founded in 2003 (depending on the source, the numbering may vary).
In December 2014, eight friends and collaborators met at Oettinger Villa:
“Pizza delivery number dialled, bottles opened, lights, camera, action. Machines bleep, a violin cries out, a clarinet howls, guitar and bass weave their way around the drums. The spell lasts for several days, then the postmagic goes back in the box, the recording is done.” (press release by Salvador am Ei)
The gatefold double LP is printed in three colors (PMS Gold, Pastel Rose and Hunter Green) on glossy cardboard. The front cover shows a golden Messiah-like figure (a Datashock guitar hero at age 19). The typography uses Lÿno Jean throughout. This typeface, designed by Karl Nawrot and Radim Peško between 2009 and 2012, is set in various colors, sizes and interlocking grids for all media. The Lÿno typeface family was introduced in the booklet Newer alphabets: Another introduction for a programmed typography, itself a supplement of Korean magazine Graphic #16, “Type Archive Issue” (Winter 2010). James Langdon wrote:
Digital production permits us to exploit the mutable and the itinerant. These are the characteristics of a maturing digital language. We can build unstable alphabets. […]
These characters negotiate the digital freedoms of their production through playful typologies of form. They are open and various, and their spirit is this: to resist normative tendencies and to reject the idea of definitive form.
The black album labels indicate the sides 1, 2, 3 and 4 with huge numerals. These numerals, derived from Lÿno, also appear on the insides of the gatefold cover where they form two mystic symbols.
Since the LP has two bonus tracks, the CD and promotional CD-packaging have a slightly differenty layout on the back cover. We simply striked through the tracks that did not make it onto the CD.
In the meantime, friends of Datashock produced two video clips. One of them provided inspiration for the cover of the digital single “Langustenclown (am Atlantik)”. The other one (“Hullu Gullu, wir liefern Shizz”), recorded during the aforementioned release party, features cameo appearances of all Datashock family members, including us designers Cone (right) and Manu (left) — check out the GIF!
June 2018: The first pre-orders were sent out with a surprise gift: We asked Knust (Nijmegen, the Netherlands) to print a limited edition poster on their infamous Risograph A2. An auto-translated poem and a family picture (out of the “Hullu Gullu…” music clip) come together in overprinting fluorescent pink and grass green colors.
Further design work for the Kräuter release includes a tour shirt, printed in 2 silkscreen colors, and numerous digital flyer or banner files for social media usage and their bandcamp page. All of them derived — some more, some less — from the original LP artwork and all of them, of course, use Lÿno Jean only.