Human Resource - Dominator

Front cover (R&S version)

We talked about this one in the SebastiAn cover review yesterday : this Techno-house single from the 80 AUM posse in Netherland, famous for its lyrics "I'm the one and only dominator, wanna kiss myself!", is a good example of how a cover can change the status of a record.


First, the song : this 1991 anthem was built around the famous "hoover" sound, that was sampled from Second Phase's "Mentasm" track. Layered on pounding rhythms, the MC voice echoed obsessively on the pure rave ensemble. Very funny, a bit stupid, but clearly a crowd mover.
Frint cover (80 AUM version)
 Now for the design : this single was first released with a kind of psychedelic cover, on 80 AUM. The deisgn was as funny and childish, just like the lyrics. 

Back cover (80 AUM version)

But when Belgian label R&S decided to licence it, they also made the choice to create a new cover design, and as you can see from above, it was really different. The first reason was certainly to have it matching the general visual style of R&S. But it also gave it much more style and status. 
Back cover (R&S version)
Later that year, R&S released no less than 3 successive EP of remixes (including the most famous one, by Frank De Wulf)! And the one with a picture cover was the continuation of this design, focusing on the kiss face of the back cover.


These designs gave this funny release a superior status. On one side, it was very elegant :  the graphic punch of the liptstick marks arrangement, its turning of a joking song lyric into a symbolic visual, the classissism of the type and lay-out, etc. And at the same time, it was funny : the lipstick face, the "Wanakissmyself" subtitle. Both aspects did get along very well.

At the opposite of the choice of SebastiAn with their sleeve design for "Total" (provocation, serious and a bit pretentious), this design was having fun with itself, and with style. That's much more efficient and status-building.

A final note on this one : the techno generation was deeply influenced by New Wave, and this influence was not only felt in the music (so many tracks were built around a synth riff taken from an intro or a break of a famous new wave anthem!) It was also the case visually, and this sleeve is obviously inspired by the artwork of the 1982 Talk Talk album "The Party's Over".

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