Wacky wax: 17 visually arresting vinyl from around the web

We highlight some more beautiful and bonkers vinyl sets that show how inventive artists, labels and designers can be with the format.

By Frederik Lauridsen (AKA Blip Blop) and Thomas Quillfeldt

It might not surprise you to learn that we love vinyl. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head. We’re especially fond of eye-catching packages and discs — the more bizarre and high-concept, the better.

And so, for no other excuse than to get our listicle on, below is a sumptuous selection of colourful, luxurious and just plain weird vinyl packages, as well as a few shout-outs to specific labels and artists putting out seriously hot wax.

When you’re done scrolling, be sure to check out Laced With Wax’s other ‘Weird and Wonderful Vinyl’ round-ups: Part 1 and Part 2.

Colour me happy

ConcernedApe – Stardew Valley Original Soundtrack (2016; vinyl 2017)

Label: Gamer’s Edition

Stardew Valley has been charming gamers left, right and centre with its addictive loop of doin’ stuff, doin’ some more stuff and yet more doin’ stuff (on a farm). The whole soundtrack (Spotify; Apple Music) is also composed by the chap that made the game — Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone — meaning it’s aesthetically cohesive in a way few games enjoy. Not content with doing just about everything else, Barone is also credited as an artist for the vinyl package, although Kari Fry produced new art for the majority of the gatefold jacket.

ConcernedApe – Stardew Valley Original Soundtrack

The first, sold out pressing of this 2xLP vinyl (Discogs) featured tri-coloured discs, whereas the second pressing (also sold out) featured two-colour discs.

ConcernedApe – Stardew Valley Original Soundtrack

DATURA4 – Demon Blues (2015)

Label: Alive Records

Psychedelic rockers such as DATURA4 have a responsibility to the universe to create unusual releases — it goes with the territory. Speaking of territory, the band hails from Fremantle in Western Australia, a place that their website describes as “potentially one of the most isolated cities in the world”. Which may, or may not, explain the ‘out there’ nature of this LP version (Discogs) of their first album (Spotify; Apple Music), which sports a yellow, orange and pink starburst vinyl.

The artwork is credited to the North Carolina agency Asheville Art Family and its head designer and illustrator Joshua Marc Levy.

DATURA4 – Demon Blues

Jane’s Addiction – Sterling Spoon (2016)

Label: Rhino Records

LA rockers Jane’s Addiction put out 5,000 copies of this six disc collection (Discogs), which gathers together tracks from the first two eras of the band: 1988 to 1991, when albums Nothing's Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual were released; and their brief reuniting in 1997, when compilation Kettle Whistle was released.

Mexican artist Ernesto Yerena designed the striking front cover, which, if you stare at it for too long, will probably haunt your nightmares.

Jane’s Addiction – Sterling Spoon

PILOTPRIEST – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2012; vinyl 2017)

Label: Waxwork Records

The first thing you should know about Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Spotify, Apple Music) is that it isn’t, in fact, an original motion picture soundtrack. Instead, it’s an album of electronic music “inspired by film”, crafted by Anthony Scott Burns AKA PILOTPRIEST.

PILOTPRIEST – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

This triple LP (Discogs) sports neon pink, yellow, and green discs. The artwork is by the amazing ’70s retro-futurist artist Kilian Eng, who has also done some incredible poster work for Mondo.

PILOTPRIEST – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Austin Wintory & RZA – Absolver Original Soundtrack (2017)

Label: Laced Records

Video game and film composer Austin Wintory (Journey, ABZÛ, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate) — with a smidgen of help from Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA — created the soundtrack for the online multiplayer martial arts game Absolver (Spotify; Apple Music; BandCamp).

Laced Records produced two separate editions of the soundtrack: a deluxe double vinyl (Discogs) with 180-gram translucent red vinyl discs, presented in a gatefold sleeve with artwork by El Huervo (renowned for his musical and artistic contributions to the Hotline Miami series); and a CD edition with artwork by the multi-talented cosplayer-artist, Angela Bermúdez.

(Top left) El Huervo’s cover artwork for the Absolver soundtrack vinyl; (top right) back cover; (bottom) gatefold spread:

Austin Wintory & RZA – Absolver Original Soundtrack

US store: Lacedrecords.com/collections/absolver

Rest of world store: Lacedrecords.co/collections/absolver

Laced With Wax interviewed both of the incredible, multi-talented artists behind the Absolver soundtrack album covers: “El Huervo on the punchy art of the Absolver OST vinyl” “Angela Bermúdez on Absolver and working with Austin Wintory

Label focus: Echo Drug

Echo Drug Recordings is a Virginia, USA-based indie record label that specialises in psych, post-punk, punk, rock 'n roll and shoegaze releases. Each vinyl release enjoys several visually stunning disc variations, albeit in very limited runs.

Sunbeam Sound Machine – Wonderer (2014)

Carrying on our colourful theme, lo-fi psychedelic rockers Sunbeam Sound Machine’s Wonderer LP (Discogs) sports a rainbow-coloured cover and comes in several different, sadly sold out flavours…

Yellow with blue splatter:

Sunbeam Sound Machine – Wonderer


Sunbeam Sound Machine – Wonderer

Dead Vibrations – Reflections EP (2016)

Dead Vibrations, from Stockholm, blended shoegaze, neo-psychedelia and rock 'n' roll on their debut EP (Discogs). And the cover will make you cross your eyes like one of those magic eye posters.

SULK – No Illusions (2016)

This LP (Discogs) by psychedelic London quintet SULK saw a ‘colorwave’ disc release, as well as several unique variants hand-poured by Wax Mage:

SULK – No Illusions

In the lap of luxury

Various artists – The Great Gatsby (Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film) (2013)

Label: Third Man Records

Via his company Third Man Records, Jack White (of The White Stripes fame) has been championing indulgently high quality vinyl for a while now. This is one of their most extravagant packages — warranting its own trailer featuring motherclucking LASERS!

The 2xLP ‘metallized’ record set (Discogs) of the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby (Spotify, Apple Music) includes gold and platinum-coated discs, housed in a laser-cut birch wood jacket, “riveted to aluminum spines.” And get this: the package comes with the white gloves in the picture below, to make sure you don’t get finger grease on the discs.

So the marketing would suggest, merely being in the presence of such a beautiful object makes you better-looking and richer.

The Great Gatsby (Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film)

The Great Gatsby (Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film)

Kristofer Maddigan – Cuphead Original Soundtrack (2017)

Label: iam8bit

We waxed lyrical about Kristofer Maddigan’s incredible score for Cuphead (Spotify, Apple Music) in the article “In the swing of things: 12 times jazz bopped into video games”. Of course, attention to detail has been the hallmark of the game and everything associated with it — from the 1930s Fleischer and Walt Disney animation style to the live big band and ragtime soundtrack. That high bar of quality has been carried over to the 4xLP vinyl set (Discogs), which imitates an old-school shellac album (fun fact, this style of packaging is the reason we call albums 'albums' to this day.)

Photos: Blip Blop’s other vinyl blog, Fancypantsrecords.tumblr.com

Kristofer Maddigan – Cuphead Original Soundtrack

Kristofer Maddigan – Cuphead Original Soundtrack

Kristofer Maddigan – Cuphead Original Soundtrack

Artist focus: Dynatron

Escape Velocity (2012; vinyl 2017)

Label: Blood Music

Synthwave isn’t really synthwave without Tron-esque grids (at mathematically pleasing angles), space, planets, stars, neon pink and so on. That said, purveyor of “interplanetary synth music” Dynatron (real name Jeppe Hasseriis), a man who creates his own record artwork, has neglected to include cyber-unicorns on this occasion. This 2017 pressing (Discogs) of his 2012 album (Spotify, Apple Music) includes a transparent purple disc with black and white splatter.

Dynatron Escape Velocity

Aeternus (2015; vinyl 2017)

Label: Blood Music

Dynatron went for a slightly more subtle sci-fi cover for the 2xLP vinyl edition (Discogs) of his second album, Aeternus (Spotify; Apple Music). This variant features frosted clear orange red and black splatter discs.

Dynatron – Aeternus

Stranger things

Graham Reznick – Glass Angles (2018)

Label: Death Waltz

Just as this list was being compiled, an email dropped into our inbox from Mondo advertising the first Death Waltz Originals release of 2018 — the debut solo LP from movie director, sound designer and co-writer of the video game Until Dawn, Graham Reznick. The blurry logotype and striking cover caught our eye immediately.

Graham Reznick – Glass Angles

The Purist – Pyrex Scholar (2015)

Label: Daupe!

Brighton’s Daupe! label, run by Lawrence Lord AKA The Purist “scours the hip-hop landscape for gems” (so says Fact Mag), putting out limited edition vinyl and cassettes. Pyrex Scholar (Discogs, Spotify, Apple Music) comprises a clear vinyl disc, a Pyrex kitchenware-inspired cover and a crack cocaine recipe on the inner sleeve. Why the heck not?

The Purist – Pyrex Scholar

Goodiepal - Narc Beacon Nag Nag Bacon (2011)

Label: Mainpal Inv./Escho/Syg Nok

Everything about Danish/Faroese musician/composer Goodiepal (AKA Gæoudjiparl van den Dobbelsteen AKA Gæoudji SYGNOK AKA Circulation Of Events AKA DEN ÅRHUS TEKNO KRIGER AKA Mainpal Inv.; real name Parl Kristian Bjørn Vester) is weird — so why shouldn't his record designs be as well? Just try making sense of his Wikipedia page: it’s pretty bonkers.

Goodiepal - Narc Beacon Nag Nag Bacon

This 2xLP edition (Discogs) of his album Narc Beacon Nag Nag Bacon (AKA Ski-Pp the Bacon, Back to the Beacon; Spotify, Apple Music) features single-sided picture discs with elaborate, tiny etchings on the b-side.

Goodiepal - Narc Beacon Nag Nag Bacon

Goodiepal - Narc Beacon Nag Nag Bacon

Various Artists - Vinyl Moon Volume 011: Night Eyes (2016)

Label: Vinyl Moon

Casey Gray’s artwork for this compilation LP (Discogs) is apparently based around “things that go bump in the night”. The package includes a custom designed slip-mat, postcard booklet and a marbled yellow vinyl.

Vinyl Moon Volume 011: Night Eyes

Vinyl Moon Volume 011: Night Eyes

Sleep – Sleep's Holy Mountain (1992; vinyl 2015)

Label: Earache Records

Robert Klem’s tattoo-style artwork for doom metal power trio Sleep’s second album Sleep’s Holy Mountain is mesmerising (Spotify, Apple Music); one suspects that it had played a big part in the record (Discogs) receiving so many re-issues. Look closely and you’ll spot some cannabis leaves and other naughty things.

Sleep — Sleep's Holy Mountain

Sleep — Sleep's Holy Mountain

That’s all until next time.

Be sure to check out our previous eye-catching vinyl round-ups: “The wide world of weird and wonderful vinyl” and “Gotta collect 'em all: More weird and wonderful vinyl”.