drawn to… Vertigo KO – Phew
Why not draw while listening to a variety of LPs? It seemed like a simple enough premise, and, in these COVID-times, I thought it’d be a good time-filler, and it was. I decided to start this mini-project with Vertigo KO by Phew (aka Hiromi Moritani). I only discovered Phew’s work in 2019, when I stumbled across the Patience Soup video. I went on to buy Light Sleep and, more recently, Vertigo KO, released in September 2020. Due to COVID, I have yet to open the vinyl copy I ordered (as it’s in a different country), and so I’ve been listening to the digital version these past few months.
There’s a feeling you get when you discover a new artist; a new sound, one with a unique way of doing things that you find immediately appealing—even familiar—like a missing piece in an unfinished jigsaw; a piece that fills its own particular space. However, it’s not a feeling I get very often with music or art, it’s something quite special and rare, but when it does show its face, I recognise it instinctively. There are uplifting moments on Vertigo KO, but for the most part, it occupies a bleak future-present; one that is cut-up with odd, analogue electronics and sparse, distinctive vocals. It’s become something of a personal soundtrack to 2020. As Phew said about the LP,
“This album is an unconscious sound sketch… The hidden message of this album is: What a terrible world we live in, but let’s survive.”
The blind drawing above (literally done with eyes closed) is the last one I did in this series. I drew it while listening through to the LP a second time. The idea was to create an imaginary LP cover, but the resulting drawing suggested I develop it into a character (see below). I’m calling him ‘hungry man’.
Below are all the other blind drawings I did. I made a different drawing while listening to each track on Vertigo KO, and I changed pens, pencils, and highlighters each time. I intend to print these onto A4 and develop them, perhaps in a similar way to how I made hungry man.
Below is a set of four hungry men drawings inspired by Vertigo KO.