Their 7" vinyl weights a ton: Secret 7s 2016
That London hosts amazing exhibitions is no secret, but this exhibition hold some secrets itself! Kickstarted in 2012, Secret 7s picks 7 tracks and releases them on 7" vinyl. Then selected artists, designers and illustrators create unique covers for the song of their choice.
The catch: The artist, the designer and the track stay anonymous so each visitor has to guess which creative messed around with which song!
Especially when it comes to the infamous sale day where all the sleeves get sold off for charity, having the right hunch can bag the vinyl lover an original artwork by a world famous artists for the price of £50!
The list of contributors is as eclectic as the selection of songs for the 7 inch vinyl: From total newcomers to big artists, Secret 7s prides itself to be open and accessible which I think is great. And not just because I managed to get to submit an artwork to the show ;)
So many different approaches to customizing a 7" cover! Trying to figure out the songs as a visitor is as much fun as designing a sleeve as an artist: It's all about dropping enough hints to make the cover relevant to the song, but not too many that it's too obvious.
Name-dropping all of the artists featured would be impossible. The whole list can be seen here. Needless to say it's great to share the exhibition space with friends like Daniel Clarke, Patrick Hanke, Mark James and Stevie Gee and personal heroes of mine like Pete Fowler and Swifty, just to name a few.
As all monies will be donated to Amnesty International there is no need to cling onto your cash: Get yourself a piece of affordable art and support a great cause!
Wonder which songs are on offer? Tracks featured on vinyl this year: Chvrches / Clearest Blue, Etta James / At Last, Jack Garratt / Worry, The Jam / Art School, John Lennon / Imagine, Max Richter / Dream 3 and Tame Impala / The Less I Know The Better. Quite a range of musical styles!
To create the right vibe for the private view at creative space Sonos Studio featured artist and vinyl lover Pete Fowler and friends provided the soundtrack to the kick off of this years show with their 7" vinyl only selection while ice cold craft beers made the rounds. Cheers! Now I really have to get that amazing Turkish Funk record he played...
So head down to Secret 7s in Shoreditch and go on your own musical expedition into the unknown... and discover more than one visual treasure!
The exhibition runs from 8th of April till 1st of May 2016 with the Sale Day being on 2nd May! Open Tuesday till Sunday, 10AM - 6.30PM at Sonos Studio, 21 Club Row, Shoreditch.
Before I am off to the record store, let me say that Secret 7s is not the only project worth mentioning when it comes to fusing art and music on 7" vinyl...
1) Waiwiya | https://www.facebook.com/wiaiwya
I came across these great designed 7" records during the Independent Label Market this year. Apparently Waiwiya is a singles club where a subscription gives you access to seven vinyl singles designed by seven amazing artists. What a fun concept! Check out their Facebook to find out more.
2) 45/7 Vinyl Club | https://soundcloud.com/45-7-vinyl-club
Hailing from Hamburg / Germany, the aim of the 45/7 Vinyl Club is to connect 7" vinyl lovers and present new eclectic 7" mixes on a monthly basis via their Soundcloud. Every contributing DJ gets a unique hand painted 7" sleeve by Secret 7s artist Patrick Hanke and they just celebrated their first limited release on vinyl: A limited promotional only pressing of their "45/7 Theme" which already has a special place in my record collection!
3) Mondo Tees | http://mondotees.com
The illustration heavy hitters from Austin / Texas don't only deliver when it comes to amazing and limited screenprinted posters, no they go all out too for their vinyl releases! These Batman and Superman 7" vinyls are just a thing of beauty. Catch them if you can!