July 22 2011: Generic Melodija Records 7″ EP Sleeve (USSR, 1970s)
The four tracks on the 7″ EP inside this sleeve are fairly standard middle of the road recordings, of no great interest in themselves, but the sleeve itself (probably one of the generic or over-printed semi-generic designs routinely used by Eastern Bloc record labels during the 1950s, 60s and 70s) holds a fascination of its own. In some ways, it’s similar to the Peter Hall New Town Suite LP cover featured here on July 19th, in that its subject is architectural and its style seems aimed at expressing a certain pride in the progressive design of the cityscape itself.
It’s not clear where in the former USSR the buildings seen here were photographed (perhaps someone could identify the location?) but perhaps that doesn’t matter: after all, the dominant feeling when looking at this photograph suggests that we’re seeing an architect’s model or staged setting rather than a fully inhabited urban space. There’s a sense of artifice here that makes this a compelling but somehow puzzling image, especially when it becomes clear that there’s no relationship whatsoever between this cover and the the record it was made to protect.