The Art of Noise: the evolution of Moiré‘s ‘Shelter’

Werkdiscs producer Moiré guides us through the design process that led to the eyeball-aching artwork for his debut album, 'Shelter'.

Click on any of the images above to launch the gallery.

A moiré pattern is the effect created when two identical patterns are overlaid, but displaced at a slight angle. It's trippy to look at, creating a kind of shimmering effect. The pattern is deployed across the artwork of Moiré, a producer making smudged house and techno for Actress' label Werkdiscs.

"It refers to patterns, rhythms, and lines," Moiré explains of his chosen alias over email, "But also it is a mistake, or some kind of unwanted, crazy error that can be taken and transformed into something different. I like that possibility, and the continuity of it."

For somebody that's named themselves after a visual effect, it's perhaps no surprise to hear that Moiré himself comes from a design and architectural background, which affects his personality and informs a lot of his artistic decisions. "Film, design, or let's say unusual forms of buildings can, and have, inspired me to make music or certain sounds," he explains, "It feels great to be surrounded by interesting design, and depending on what that is, it can affect my thoughts, which I guess I translate into music."

These forms appear in the artwork for all of Moiré's releases, most clearly in the striking sleeve design for his debut album, 'Shelter'. The artworks are created in a collaboration between Moiré and his friend, a designer who operates under the name Disguise. Both artists share an interest in "complex processes and unusual methods", with Disguise transforming Moiré's initial sketches and direction into the designs and concepts of the final product.

"Even now when I look at the designs, I have no ideas how we got there," Moiré says, adding, "Must have been all these foreign substances that he would bring to the meetings."

The images in the gallery depict the ideas and the evolution of Moiré's final artwork, as well as additional designs that have yet to be used. "The main pattern/painting has been printed on plastic somewhere in Bali, as part of an additional idea that we're developing," Moiré says, "It was made by manipulating a variety of tools, parameters, computers, cameras, and programming, and then composed later into one piece by hand, scanned, and then reprinted. That is kind of similar to the way I make music as well."

Elsewhere, abstract black and white images depict early stage's of Disguise's final design for 'Shelter'. "It started as sketches, then evolved into paintings, then got digitised, and some parts or ideas influenced the final artwork," Moiré says.

"The colour piece is something that was made based on my sketches for No Gravity. Basically, I drew the structure of the arrangement on a piece of paper, and then Disguise somehow recreated it in colour using Max/MSP."

Finally, the skull is a piece that was once intended for 'Shelter', but left off so that it could be kept for a future project, which Moiré describes as "more like an interactive thing". "The idea for it came after watching The Mona Lisa Curse by Robert Hughes," he explains, "It was hand-drawn and then remade by Disguise into this kind of diamond-covered skull. I guess it's his response to Damien Hirst - death of the art world."

Moiré intends to develop his visual identity beyond the realm of the album. "I'm working on a live show for 'Shelter' that will feature some more visual elements," he says, "As I mentioned, we have a few more pieces to finish. Maybe some app stuff, too."

Werkdiscs release 'Shelter' on August 18th 2014 (pre-order).

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