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Russell Mills is a British artist who was born in Ripon, Yorkshire, United Kingdom in 1952. He has produced record covers and book covers for Brian Eno, the Cocteau Twins,Michael Nyman, David Sylvian, Peter Gabriel, and Nine Inch Nails.
The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, informally as Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, RDI is an English musician, record producer, and visual artist best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to rock, pop, electronic, and generative music. A self-described "non-musician", Eno has helped introduce a variety of conceptual approaches and recording techniques to contemporary music, advocating a methodology of "theory over practice, serendipity over forethought, and texture over craft" according to AllMusic. He has been described as one of popular music's most influential and innovative figures.
Cocteau Twins were a Scottish rock band active from 1979 to 1997. They were formed in Grangemouth by Elizabeth Fraser (vocals), Robin Guthrie, and Will Heggie (bass), with Heggie replaced by multi-instrumentalist Simon Raymonde in 1983.
As a recording artist he has collaborated with many musicians, for example David Sylvian, Ian McCulloch and Peter Gabriel. He has released 3 CDs with his recording project Undark, one of them on the British ambient label Em:t Records. The last, Pearl + Umbra was released on Bella Union, to very respectable reviews.
David Sylvian is an English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as frontman of the band Japan. The band's androgynous look and increasingly electronic sound made them an important influence on the UK's early-1980s New Romantic scene. Following their breakup, Sylvian embarked on a solo career with his debut album Brilliant Trees (1984). His solo work has been described by AllMusic as "far-ranging and esoteric," and has included collaborations with artists such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Robert Fripp, Holger Czukay, and Fennesz.
Ian Stephen McCulloch is an English singer-songwriter and musician, best known as the frontman for the rock group Echo & the Bunnymen.
Peter Brian Gabriel is an English singer, songwriter, and record producer who rose to fame as the original lead singer and flautist of the progressive rock band Genesis. After leaving Genesis in 1975, Gabriel launched a successful solo career with "Solsbury Hill" as his first single. His 1986 album, So, is his best-selling release and is certified triple platinum in the UK and five times platinum in the U.S. The album's most successful single, "Sledgehammer", won a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards and, according to a report in 2011, it was MTV's most played music video of all time.
He was Visiting Tutor (until 2012) at the Royal College of Art,Visiting Professor at the Glasgow School of Art .
The Royal College of Art (RCA) is a public research university in London, United Kingdom. The only entirely postgraduate art and design university in the world, it offers postgraduate degrees in art and design to students from over 60 countries. As of 2019, the RCA has placed first in the QS World University Rankings in the Art and Design subject area for five consecutive years.
The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) is Scotland's only public, self-governing art school offering undergraduate degrees; post-graduate awards and PhD's in architecture, fine art and design.
In the 1980s, Mills began receiving commissions to design record album covers and associated packaging. Stylistically, his work at this time became much more abstract, abandoning figurative representation in favour of symbolic allusions. He regularly treated the canvas as a sculptural plane, with materials such as metals, powders, bones, feathers, beeswax, fabric, wires, animal skins and papers embedded in thick paints and pastes. Works of this period generally occupy the entirety of the canvas with little or no "negative space" left.
Notable album covers include:
Roger Eugene Eno was born in Woodbridge, England in 1959. He is known primarily as an ambient music composer.
Japan were an English band formed in 1974 in Catford, South London by David Sylvian, Steve Jansen (drums), Richard Barbieri (keyboards) and Mick Karn. Initially a glam rock-inspired band, Japan developed their sound and androgynous look to incorporate electronic music and foreign influences, eventually becoming an influence on the UK's early-1980s New Romantic scene.
Exorcising Ghosts is a compilation album by the British band Japan, released in October 1984 by record label Virgin.
An analysis of the symbolic meaning of the elements used to create the cover for Roger Eno's Between Tides appears in the 1999 book 100 Best Album Covers , edited by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell (of the design group Hipgnosis.)
Hipgnosis was an English art design group based in London that specialised in creating cover art for the albums of rock musicians and bands. Notable commissions included work for Pink Floyd, T. Rex, the Pretty Things, Black Sabbath, UFO, 10cc, Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Scorpions, Yes, The Nice, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Def Leppard, Paul McCartney & Wings, the Alan Parsons Project, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Electric Light Orchestra, the Police, Rainbow, Styx, Pezband, XTC and Al Stewart.
Russell Mills worked with Nine Inch Nails in 1994-1997 and again in 2012-15.
Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN, is an American industrial rock band that was formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1988. The band consists of producer and multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, as well as English musician Atticus Ross. Over the course of their three-decade existence, the band has signed with several major labels, the most current being Capitol Records, under the name The Null Corporation.
In 1994, he was commissioned to create the entire visual world of The Downward Spiral , beginning with the artwork for that album's cover and booklet, and extending to all of the associated singles (including March of the Pigs and Closer to God ), the remix collection Further Down the Spiral , the 1997 videocassette compilation Closure , the 2004 Deluxe Edition and DualDisc re-releases of The Downward Spiral, (which was accompanied by several new Mills compositions downloadable from the Nine Inch Nails website), and various promotional materials.
These interrelated works contain Mills' heaviest use of organic materials to depict a sense of fragility and decay.Animal skeletons, sets of teeth, blood, feathers, and dead insects are liberally embedded in the canvases. In some pieces, materials have been affixed and then exposed to water or chemical elements, so that their decay is literally imprinted on the surface of the artwork.
In 2012 work began on the cover art for the album Hesitation Marks , released in 2013, and subsequently an art book called Cargo in the Blood,released in December 2015.
From the later 1990s to the present, Mills' work has again evolved to a new style, made possible by the advent of computer design applications such as Photoshop. The "collage" aesthetic is still frequently seen, but now in a virtual/digital form, with many abutting and overlapping semi-transparent images, often cropped into crisp, aligned rectangles.
Mills still uses hand-drawn or -painted imagery, but as often as not it is scanned into the computer and treated as another malleable collage element. Images of water and sky are frequently seen, and a cooler color palette often prevails (in contrast to an earlier reliance on earth tones).
Negative space is still a rarity in Mills' compositions. It is worth noting that many of the musicians who choose Mills as an illustrator compose music that is "ambient" to varying degrees. Many of the album covers visually reflect this, in that they can be viewed quickly for an overall emotional impression, while intense perusal reveals many painstakingly layered details.
Notable album covers from 1995 to the present include:
In addition to soundtracking several multimedia exhibits (see below), Russell Mills has released two albums to date:
Both albums originated from Mills "collecting sounds" from musicians, many of whose albums he has illustrated. He then collaged the organic and electronic sounds into ambient pieces (with one or two vocal "songs" per album), with varying degrees of collaboration with the originating artists.
Featured contributors to Undark(aka "Undark One: Strange Familiar"):
Featured contributors to Pearl + Umbra:
The Downward Spiral is the second studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released on March 8, 1994, by Nothing Records and Interscope Records. Conceived after the 1991 Lollapalooza festival tour, recording for the album took place throughout 1992 and 1993 in Los Angeles. The album was produced by frontman Trent Reznor and Flood.
Industrial music is a genre of experimental music which draws on harsh, transgressive or provocative sounds and themes. AllMusic defines industrial music as the "most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music" that was "initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments and punk provocation". The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by members of Throbbing Gristle and Monte Cazazza. While the genre name originated with Throbbing Gristle's emergence in the United Kingdom, concentrations of artists and labels vital to the genre also emerged in Chicago.
Industrial rock is a musical genre that fuses industrial music and rock music.
Michael Trent Reznor is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, primary musician, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock project Nine Inch Nails, which he founded in 1988 and of which he was the sole official member until adding long-time collaborator Atticus Ross as a permanent member in 2016. His first release under the Nine Inch Nails name, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success. He has since released nine Nine Inch Nails studio albums. He left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist until signing with Columbia Records in 2012.
The Fragile is the third studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released as a double album on September 21, 1999 by Nothing and Interscope Records. It was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and longtime collaborator Alan Moulder. It was recorded throughout 1997 to 1999 in New Orleans.
Mark Ellis, known by his professional pseudonym Flood, is a British post-punk and alternative rock record producer and audio engineer. Flood's list of work includes projects with recording acts like New Order, U2, Nine Inch Nails, Marc and the Mambas, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Ministry, The Charlatans, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Erasure, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey, Foals, a-ha, Orbital, Sigur Rós, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers, Pop Will Eat Itself and Warpaint. His co-production collaborations have included projects with Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, Steve Lillywhite, and longtime collaborator Alan Moulder, with whom he co-founded the Assault & Battery studio complex. In 2006, his work with U2 led to his sharing of the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.
Further Down the Spiral is the first remix album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It is the companion remix disc to the band’s second studio album, The Downward Spiral, and was released on June 1, 1995 in two editions, one denoted as Halo 10 and the other as Halo 10 V2, each containing a different set of tracks.
"March of the Pigs" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their second studio album, The Downward Spiral (1994). It was released on February 25, 1994 as the album's lead single.
"Closer" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their second studio album, The Downward Spiral (1994). It was released on May 30, 1994 as the album's second single. Most versions of the single are titled "Closer to God", a rare example in music of a single's title differing from the title of its A-side. Labeled "Halo 9", the single is the ninth official Nine Inch Nails release.
Closure is the first video album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on November 25, 1997. The double VHS set consists of one tape of live concert and behind-the-scenes footage from their Self-Destruct and Further Down the Spiral tours and one tape of music videos.
The Pearl is an album by ambient musicians Harold Budd and Brian Eno, which was released in 1984. This album is similar to Budd and Eno's previous collaboration Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror, consisting mostly of subtly treated piano textures, but this time with more pronounced electronic treatments and nature recordings. This album was produced with Daniel Lanois, who is also credited on the front cover.
Year Zero is the fifth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released by Interscope Records on April 17, 2007. Conceived while touring in support of the band's previous album, With Teeth (2005), the album was recorded throughout late-2006, and was produced by frontman Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It was the band's last album for Interscope, following Reznor's departure the same year over a dispute of overseas pricing.
"Mr. Self Destruct" is a song by American industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails. Written by frontman Trent Reznor, co-produced by Flood and recorded at Le Pig in 1993, it is the opening track of The Downward Spiral (1994), and predicts the album's "ugly" aesthetic and mostly "angry" tone. The song also gives a lyrical background of the album's protagonist.
"Piggy" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their second studio album, The Downward Spiral (1994). It was written by Trent Reznor, co-produced by Flood, and recorded at Le Pig. It was released in December 1994 as a promotional single from the album. The song is known for being Reznor's only live drumming performance.
Another Version of the Truth was an independently released live concert video documenting Nine Inch Nails' 2008 Lights in the Sky tour made available throughout late 2009/early 2010 on Blu-ray, DVD, and various other online formats. Another Version of the Truth is also the title of an instrumental track on Nine Inch Nails' 2007 album Year Zero. The video is a 3-disc set bringing together numerous editors, designers, and web programmers to create a professional digital film, followed by a physical release created "by fans for fans".
Hesitation Marks is the eighth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on August 30, 2013, by Columbia Records. It was the band's first release in five years, following The Slip (2008), as well as their only release on Columbia. Like previous albums, the album was produced by frontman Trent Reznor alongside longtime collaborators Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder.
Recoiled is an EP by Coil and Nine Inch Nails described as "A compilation of Coil's unreleased work for Nine Inch Nails" and "outtakes from the remix sessions from Fixed, Closer to God and Further Down The Spiral". It was released on February 24, 2014, via British record label Cold Spring. It was released posthumously after the deaths of the two original Coil members, Peter Christopherson and John Balance. Danny Hyde, a former employee and engineer of Coil, was responsible for the leaking of these tracks to torrent sites and licensing them to Cold Spring. The release is composed of variations of previously released remixes, which appeared on the albums Fixed, Further Down the Spiral and the "Closer to God" single.
Not the Actual Events is the fifth extended play (EP) by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released physically on December 23, 2016, under Trent Reznor's own label The Null Corporation, while those who had pre-ordered received a download link a day early. The second Nine Inch Nails EP of original material following Broken (1992), it marks longtime collaborator Atticus Ross's first appearance as an official member of the band. The digital pre-orders included a "physical component" that was shipped in early March 2017. The EP is the first in a trilogy released between 2016-2018, preceding Add Violence (2017) and the band's ninth studio album Bad Witch (2018).