For an art installation called “Cover Versions” at the Laura Mars Grp. gallery in Berlin this past December, artist/musician/producer Andrew Pekler created the ultimate concept album: one record with 300 different covers. Pekler took dollar-bin LPs of retro easy-listening (with classically corny artwork featuring misty seascapes, pastel-tinted portraits of beautiful women wearing polyester, and grainy closeups of candle-lit still life) and covered-up the existing text on the album covers with colorful circles and rectangles. For the art exhibit, all of the albums are displayed on wooden shelves, in the style of a hip indie record store, while Pekler performed the music contained within each record.
Similar to his visual artwork, Pekler’s music can also been described as a collage. By arranging found sounds and field recordings into completely original tunes, Pekler is a master of taking from the endless ocean of existing artwork (good or bad) and making it into something completely new and progressive. Here, Pekler samples the original records from the installation and creates entirely unique works that sound nothing like their originals.
Only available physically in the form of those 300 LPs (as of now, you can still grab one from German distributor Fantôme Verlag), digital versions of Cover Versions are limited to a sampler of the record on SoundCloud and the full piece “Candles,” which you can hear below.