Kosmische Musik

Somerset House, London

The project is for an exhibition that surveys the development of German experimental music that emerged from the jazz, progressive rock and nascent electronic music scenes in West Germany in the late 1960s.

The post-war experience informed the hugely influential German Cosmic Music movement (alternatively known as Krautrock or Motorik) which saw the youth seeking to come to terms with their recent traumatic history and often doing so with experimental music forms that took American musical forms but produced a Teutonic reading of these sounds often termed Motorik that reinvents the forms and creates genres such as cosmic rock and electronic music that eventually shape movements such as post-punk, hip hop and contemporary music.

The exhibition consists of audiovisual installations that feature interviews and studio and live performances of the movement's key artists. There are sections on the visual artefacts of the movement, including album sleeve art and posters.
The Motorik description derives from the rhythm that defines much of this music genre, a bass-drum-heavy and pulsating groove characterises the beat. However, there are many examples of instrumental and minimalist compositions now regarded as ambient music's origins. 

Featured in the exhibition are works from Ash Ra Tempel, Can, Faust, Kraftwerk, Neu! and La Dusseldorf.
The visual identity is based on a digital painting that I created and is informed by an emotional response to the music, to evoke the sounds as forms and colours on a celestial autobahn's journey.
The title typeface Mashine is a German designed style that evokes the genre's structural compositions and references a German blackletter aesthetic.
The secondary typeface Forma, although a functional modernist style has an inherent humanism in its forms that reflects the humanity at the core of the scene and the improvisation applied over often complex musical structures.

Limited Edition Vinyl for the exhibition