Music and the Art of the Zoetrope

Last week, I discovered a pair of fantastic albums by a duo called Sculpture and have had them both on heavy rotation ever since. Rotary Signal Emitter (2010) and Toad Blinker (2011) are the work of producer Dan Heyhurst and animator Reuben Sutherland. Musically, they’re both deliriously lysergic affairs, meshing flickering samples and found sounds with fragmented tape loops over all manner of lo-fi analogue electronics. There are elements of radiophonic tape music, freeform jazz, early electronics, mangled modular synths and pretty much everything else in between.

Sculpture Rotary Signal Emitter

Sculpture Toad Blinker

I was also incredibly intrigued by the artwork for both releases and decided to find out more. After a quick search, it seems that both of these fine albums were initially issued in limited quantities as picture discs. When played on a turntable and viewed from above they produce intricate concentric rings of illustrated frames depicting fragments of looping images. These beautiful pieces of art are not just records, but also act as zoetrope discs as the clip below demonstrates.

Sadly, the discs have long since sold out but both albums are widely available digitally and are highly recommended to those who like their electronic music on the challenging side.

2 thoughts on “Music and the Art of the Zoetrope

  1. Little bits of Sheffield 15/01/2013 / 7:07 pm

    Snap, crackle and bleep!!! Great video. I’ve never seen records used as a zoetrope – Brilliant. Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • unsubscriber 15/01/2013 / 7:12 pm

      In all my years of collecting records I’ve never seen anything like these either. It’s just a shame that they were only issued in limited runs of 300 each so the clip is probably all I’ll ever see of them in action.


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