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SAW 85-92 & II Graphic Design details

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I threw this up on the subreddit and figured I probably should share it here as well.

 

I for one have always wondered how the proportions of the logo, especially the deconstructed typeface on the cover of SAW II, came to fruition and the designer (Paul Nicholson) recently shared construction details of the work on his instagram

 

0Ygyy54.png

 

 

Enjoy!

Edited by Joyrex
Fixed 'Richardson' to 'Nicholson'

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I remember reading somewhere that he first made the logo just with a pencil - might not remember it correctly tho ! But the construction work is kind of impressive.
Thanks for sharing :) !

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I remember reading somewhere that he first made the logo just with a pencil - might not remember it correctly tho ! But the construction work is kind of impressive.

Thanks for sharing :) !

on the encircled logo proportions IG image:

 

"The original Aphex Twin logo was drawn by hand using circle templates and rulers in late 1991."

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it's like a satanic death metal logo from the future, something you'll never forget, i love it

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it's like a satanic death metal logo from the future, something you'll never forget, i love it

 

This ! 

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I thought this logo came from this cover sleeve 

 

Xylem_Tube_cover.jpg

 

and from this image that the logo was created.

 

I don't know the details, but discovered through a bad impression and then redesigned in this form we know...

 

:spiteful:

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Nice! Def a nineties vibe on a lot of these fonts. Love it :)

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really demystifies the design a lot, kind of inspiration honestly

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Xylem Tube was the first release to feature the "APHEX TWIN" type treatment, but the logo was used first.

 

Where was the logo used before that sleeve?

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Xylem Tube was the first release to feature the "APHEX TWIN" type treatment, but the logo was used first.

 

Where was the logo used before that sleeve?

 

SAW 85-92? Discogs is saying that SAW 85-92 came out Feb '92 and Xylem Tube came out June '92.

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Xylem Tube came out June 92, I remember that summer well. But Selected Ambient Works, despite what Apollo/R&S says on their social media, came out November '92 as a very limited import. It was subsequently available widely at regular pricing the following year, so around Feb 93? So they got mixed up. And I remember all his 3 albums came out at roughly the same time.. Analogue Bubblebath 3, Surfing On Sine Waves and SAW in early 93. They even appeared in a triple review in Melody Maker or NME at the time... 

 

So, yes Xylem Tube was the first appearance of the Aphex logo. 

 

FYI, to give a bit of context, here are the months and years of his first releases which I wrote down in order at the time (I liked to make discographies of artists I was into). It shows what a large number of releases he had in a short amount of time, and the quality of which which led to his lionisation by the press.

 

1) Aphex Twin - "EP" (UK Mighty Force MF001) Sept 91

2) AFX - "Analogue Bubblebath EP Vol.1" (UK Mighty Force MF201) Oct 91

3) no artist name - "AnalogueBubblebathVol2 (Aboriginal Mix)" (UK Rabbit City CUT002) Nov 91

4) The Aphex Twin - untitled EP (aka Digeridoo) (Belgian R&S RS9201) Jan 92

5) The Aphex Twin - "Digeridoo" (UK Outer Rhythm/R&S RSUK12) April 92

6) Power Pill - "Pac Man" (UK ffrreedom TABX110) May 92

7) Various - "Mayday - A New Chapter of House & Techno 92" (German- Low Spirit/R&S MC1) cd only ft. Aphex Twin - "Metapharstic" June 92

8) Aphex Twin - "Xylem Tube EP" (belgian R&S RS9209) June 92

9) Caustic Window - "Joyrex J4 EP" (UK Rephlex CAT004) Aug 92

10) Caustic Window - "Joyrex J5 EP" (UK Rephlex CAT005) Aug 92 

11) Various - "Artificial Intellegence" (UK Warp WARPLP6) Sept 92 ft. The Diceman - "Polygon Window"

12) Mescalinium United - "We Have Arrived (Aphex Twin Remixes)" (Belgian R&S RS92019) Oct 92

13) Various - "Volume 4" (cd magazine ft. "En Trance To Exit") Oct 92

14) Various - "The Philosophy Of Sound & Machine" (UK Rephlex/A.R.T ARTCD2) ft. Q-Chastic - "CAT002", Soit P.P. - "n.IASP" & Blue Calx - "Blue Calx"

15) Aphex Twin - "Selected Ambient Works '85-'92" (Belgian Apollo/R&S AMBLP2) Nov 92

16) Polygon Window - "Surfing On Sine Waves" (UK Warp WARPLP7) Jan 93

17) AFX - "Analogue Bubblebath Vol.3" (UK Rephlex CAT008) Feb 93

18) Meat Beat Manifesto - "Mindstream (Aphex Twin Remix)" (Belgian PIAS BIAS232R) Feb 93

19) AFX - "In his third Analogue Bubblebath" (UK Rephlex CAT008CD) cd Feb 93

20) Curve - "Falling Free Aphex Twin Remix" (UK Anxious ANXT41) Feb 93

21) Polygon Window - "Quoth EP" (UK Warp WAP33) March 93

22) Saint Etienne/Aphex Twin - "Who Do You Think You Are" (UK Heavenly HVN2912PAA) April 93

23) Jesus Jones vs Aphex Twin - "Zeroes & ones" (UK Food 12FOODDJX44B) June 93

24) Caustic Window - "Joyrex J9 EP" (pic disc) (UK Rephlex CAT009i) July 93

25) Seefeel/Aphex Twin - "Time To Find Me" (UK Too Pure PURE25) Aug 93

26) Caustic Window - "Joyrex J9 EP" (UK Rephlex CAT009ii) Aug 93

 

Wikipedia has the wrong date too, here's an older article showing the correct Nov 92 date http://www.allmusic.com/artist/aphex-twin-mn0000493848/biography

Edited by Bambi

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This is what I wanted to say about the logo, where it comes from...

post-2189-0-55583900-1487854439_thumb.jpg

Edited by Anchio Arch io Son Pittore

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November 1992:

 

aphex_twin_selected_ambient_works.jpg

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Xylem Tube came out June 92, I remember that summer well. But Selected Ambient Works, despite what Apollo/R&S says on their social media, came out November '92 as a very limited import. It was subsequently available widely at regular pricing the following year, so around Feb 93? So they got mixed up. And I remember all his 3 albums came out at roughly the same time.. Analogue Bubblebath 3, Surfing On Sine Waves and SAW in early 93. They even appeared in a triple review in Melody Maker or NME at the time... 

 

So, yes Xylem Tube was the first appearance of the Aphex logo. 

 

FYI, to give a bit of context, here are the months and years of his first releases which I wrote down in order at the time (I liked to make discographies of artists I was into). It shows what a large number of releases he had in a short amount of time, and the quality of which which led to his lionisation by the press.

 

1) Aphex Twin - "EP" (UK Mighty Force MF001) Sept 91

2) AFX - "Analogue Bubblebath EP Vol.1" (UK Mighty Force MF201) Oct 91

3) no artist name - "AnalogueBubblebathVol2 (Aboriginal Mix)" (UK Rabbit City CUT002) Nov 91

4) The Aphex Twin - untitled EP (aka Digeridoo) (Belgian R&S RS9201) Jan 92

5) The Aphex Twin - "Digeridoo" (UK Outer Rhythm/R&S RSUK12) April 92

6) Power Pill - "Pac Man" (UK ffrreedom TABX110) May 92

7) Various - "Mayday - A New Chapter of House & Techno 92" (German- Low Spirit/R&S MC1) cd only ft. Aphex Twin - "Metapharstic" June 92

8) Aphex Twin - "Xylem Tube EP" (belgian R&S RS9209) June 92

9) Caustic Window - "Joyrex J4 EP" (UK Rephlex CAT004) Aug 92

10) Caustic Window - "Joyrex J5 EP" (UK Rephlex CAT005) Aug 92 

11) Various - "Artificial Intellegence" (UK Warp WARPLP6) Sept 92 ft. The Diceman - "Polygon Window"

12) Mescalinium United - "We Have Arrived (Aphex Twin Remixes)" (Belgian R&S RS92019) Oct 92

13) Various - "Volume 4" (cd magazine ft. "En Trance To Exit") Oct 92

14) Various - "The Philosophy Of Sound & Machine" (UK Rephlex/A.R.T ARTCD2) ft. Q-Chastic - "CAT002", Soit P.P. - "n.IASP" & Blue Calx - "Blue Calx"

15) Aphex Twin - "Selected Ambient Works '85-'92" (Belgian Apollo/R&S AMBLP2) Nov 92

16) Polygon Window - "Surfing On Sine Waves" (UK Warp WARPLP7) Jan 93

17) AFX - "Analogue Bubblebath Vol.3" (UK Rephlex CAT008) Feb 93

18) Meat Beat Manifesto - "Mindstream (Aphex Twin Remix)" (Belgian PIAS BIAS232R) Feb 93

19) AFX - "In his third Analogue Bubblebath" (UK Rephlex CAT008CD) cd Feb 93

20) Curve - "Falling Free Aphex Twin Remix" (UK Anxious ANXT41) Feb 93

21) Polygon Window - "Quoth EP" (UK Warp WAP33) March 93

22) Saint Etienne/Aphex Twin - "Who Do You Think You Are" (UK Heavenly HVN2912PAA) April 93

23) Jesus Jones vs Aphex Twin - "Zeroes & ones" (UK Food 12FOODDJX44B) June 93

24) Caustic Window - "Joyrex J9 EP" (pic disc) (UK Rephlex CAT009i) July 93

25) Seefeel/Aphex Twin - "Time To Find Me" (UK Too Pure PURE25) Aug 93

26) Caustic Window - "Joyrex J9 EP" (UK Rephlex CAT009ii) Aug 93

 

Wikipedia has the wrong date too, here's an older article showing the correct Nov 92 date http://www.allmusic.com/artist/aphex-twin-mn0000493848/biography

Ah, nice context - I thought (like Discogs does) that SAW 85-92 predated Xylem Tube. Thanks for setting the record (and me) straight!

 

Incredible how productive he was in the early 90's - literally month after month of releases!

 

This is what I wanted to say about the logo, where it comes from...

Hmmm. Seems an odd coincidence to use a starfish shape on the album art... you might be onto something!

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A release each month..oh my.

 

*looks at the soundcloud dump*

 

how long would it take to release those with his early 90s release schedule? couple of years? lets say an average of 4 new tracks released a month. 48 tracks a year. 4 years and a bit of monthly releases....  

 

and thx for posting the review. awesome to read what people thought back when it was new.

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Also, what about the Bradley Strider releases?

 

Bradley Strider - Bradley's Beat (UK Rephlex CAT001 EP) - 1991

Bradley Strider - Bradley's Robot (UK Rephlex CAT020 EP) - 1993

 

Do you recall what months those were released, Bambi?

 

Oh, and Universal Indicator Red and Green:

 

Universal Indicator Red (UK Rephlex TR606) - 1993 (music copyright says 1989 though)

Universal Indicator Green (UK Rephlex SH101) - 1995 (supposedly he didn't do Green; GWC is rumoured to have done the two tracks on the 7")

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Also, what about the Bradley Strider releases?

 

Bradley Strider - Bradley's Beat (UK Rephlex CAT001 EP) - 1991

Bradley Strider - Bradley's Robot (UK Rephlex CAT020 EP) - 1993

 

Do you recall what months those were released, Bambi?

 

Oh, and Universal Indicator Red and Green:

 

Universal Indicator Red (UK Rephlex TR606) - 1993 (music copyright says 1989 though)

Universal Indicator Green (UK Rephlex SH101) - 1995 (supposedly he didn't do Green; GWC is rumoured to have done the two tracks on the 7")

 

From memory, Bradley Strider 1 was released around the end of 93 or early 94 in 2 versions with diff b-sides.

Bradley Strider 2 was released late 94 or early 95?

 

The UI's were a bit earlier. Red and Blue came out the same day, late summer or autumn 93 probably. 

 

Contrary to rephlex (mis)information, the 2 Caustic Window 12"s were the first 2 Rephlex records ever released. Then the Kosmic Kommando clear vinyl 12" (was that CAT007 ?).

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It may be a legend, but I read that the design of this cover had deteriorated either in print or liquid spilled on it and the idea came from there... 

 

yeah i like legends  :spiteful:

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November 1992:

 

aphex_twin_selected_ambient_works.jpg

 

Thanks for posting that fascinating that. Interesting that they seem to be crediting one of the original Detroit Techno three with Acid House though??

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November 1992:

 

aphex_twin_selected_ambient_works.jpg

 

Thanks for posting that fascinating that. Interesting that they seem to be crediting one of the original Detroit Techno three with Acid House though??

 

 

Great review, very insightful.

 

Also I can't help but see the AFX logo in the outline of Ice Cube's locked arms.

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It may be a legend, but I read that the design of this cover had deteriorated either in print or liquid spilled on it and the idea came from there... 

 

yeah i like legends  :spiteful:

That would be an interesting thing to ask Paul Nicholson - I don't recall who was credited with the photography on Xylem Tube and Didgeridoo - I wouldn't be surprised if it was Samantha, Paul, or Richard himself (dunno when he got into photography, as the first (credited) evidence of his own work on his releases was SAW II.

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Also, what about the Bradley Strider releases?

 

Bradley Strider - Bradley's Beat (UK Rephlex CAT001 EP) - 1991

Bradley Strider - Bradley's Robot (UK Rephlex CAT020 EP) - 1993

 

Do you recall what months those were released, Bambi?

 

Oh, and Universal Indicator Red and Green:

 

Universal Indicator Red (UK Rephlex TR606) - 1993 (music copyright says 1989 though)

Universal Indicator Green (UK Rephlex SH101) - 1995 (supposedly he didn't do Green; GWC is rumoured to have done the two tracks on the 7")

 

From memory, Bradley Strider 1 was released around the end of 93 or early 94 in 2 versions with diff b-sides.

Bradley Strider 2 was released late 94 or early 95?

 

The UI's were a bit earlier. Red and Blue came out the same day, late summer or autumn 93 probably. 

 

Contrary to rephlex (mis)information, the 2 Caustic Window 12"s were the first 2 Rephlex records ever released. Then the Kosmic Kommando clear vinyl 12" (was that CAT007 ?).

 

Nice - interesting that the Bradley's Beat label actually has '1991' on it, despite being released in 93-94 as you say...

 

So Joyrex J4 and J5 were the first two, with the J4 being the one that came with the Rephlex shirt, and the J5 being the white vinyl version?

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The first J4 and J5 were black vinyl/black+white label/black sleeve and white vinyl/white+silver label/white sleeve. Neither came with a t-shirt.  I think the J9 in the carboard mailer came with a ltd tshirt for a while... but i think most had popping candy.

 

By the way, the art & design on Xylem and Digeridoo was done by the inhouse R&S designer, it's very similar to other sleeves from that time on the label e.g.

 

https://www.discogs.com/Electrotete-I-Love-You/master/19659

 

https://www.discogs.com/Dave-Angel-Stairway-To-Heaven/master/6635

 

https://www.discogs.com/Jam-Spoon-Tales-From-A-Danceographic-Ocean/master/27594

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Bambi, what was the typical lead time for a vinyl release back in 92/93? I can imagine that explosion of releases must have been preceded by quite the period of planning, mailing, phoning, faxing and negotiating. Not to mention the actual music making. And then comes the manufacturing, etc.

 

When you see all the dates you posted, it seems like it's all a calculated roll out from a major label with a whole PR division. And it was probably just this one lad not being able to hold it back any longer?

Edited by psn

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