Best Mobile Disco: Simian Mobile Disco
In our quest for the perfect life-enhancing beat to play at our Design Awards 2011 party, we salute Simian Mobile Disco, whose forward-thinking approach to the conceptual show experience has seen the band experiment with psychedelic visuals and pitch-perfect album covers by music graphics queen
Kate Moross, curate their 'Delicatessen' club night, and throw out some seriously stimulating electronic tunes at the same time.
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href="/art/simian-mobile-disco-qa/5067/">Read our quick-fire Q&A with Simian Mobile Disco
What these techno whiz kids do with music is what we like to call suped-up party synth. Analogue equipment being the tools of the trade here, the duo's recent 'Delicacies' album smashes through eccentric harmonies from foot-stomp-inducing rock through to mellow techno melodies. And visually, founders James Shaw and James Ford's collaboration with designer Kate Moross on their covers continues to hit all our high notes.
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href="/gallery/art/kate-moross/17052271">See Kate Moross' artwork for Simian Mobile Disco and more of her own work here
Moross is a bit of a polymathic design phenomenon. Since graduating from Camberwell College of Art in 2008, she established ISO, a London-based collective specialising in creating visual work for the music industry, and Isomorph Records, a vinyl-only record label.
Working alongside the band on 'Delicacies', 'Delicatessen' and 'Temporary Pleasures' as artistic director, her involvement with Simian Mobile Disco also notably produced the much-hyped underground video 'Synthesise', co-directed with Alex Sushon, a music video she rates as 'one of my best pieces of work, even though it is lo-fi and we made it for virtually nothing'.
Speaking of the design ties between herself and the band, Moross says, 'They know what they want, and they know what they don't want. Within those parameters they have flexibility and interesting ideas. They think beyond something that looks cool and really focus on the concept and semiotics of the artwork. More than anything they appreciate the importance of design, and it's role in music, and alongside the rest of the team and all of the collaborators (and across all formats there were many!) they supported us and helped us create a really solid body of work'.