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Stephen Kroninger
ESG MoMA
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Recently, I was pleased to learn that my album cover for ESG is included in Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye at the Museum of Modern Art.
"Music and design—art forms that share aesthetics of rhythm, tonality, harmony, interaction, and improvisation—have long had a close affinity, perhaps never more so than during the 20th century. Radical design and technological innovations, from the LP to the iPod and from the transistor radio to the Stratocaster, have profoundly altered our sense of how music can be performed, heard, distributed, and visualized. Avant-garde designers...have pushed the boundaries of their design work in tandem with the music of their time. Drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection, Making Music Modern gathers designs for auditoriums, instruments, and equipment for listening to music, along with posters, record sleeves, sheet music, and animation. The exhibition examines alternative music cultures of the early 20th century, the rise of radio during the interwar period, how design shaped the “cool” aesthetic of midcentury jazz and hi-fidelity culture, and its role in countercultural music scenes from pop to punk, and later 20th-century design explorations at the intersection of art, technology, and perception."
 The exhibit includes works by Kurt Schwitters, Andy Warhol, Peter Blake, John Berg, Reid Miles, Richard Hamilton, Tadanori Yokoo, Klaus Voorman, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Julia Gorton, Victor Moscoso, Lilly Reich, Barney Bubbles, Jørn Utzon, Tibor Kahlman, Hiroshi Ohchi, Paula Scher, Marijke Koger-Dunham, Hipgnosis, Jamie Reid, Richard McGuire, Daniel Libseskind, Alan Aldridge, Robert Brownjohn, John & Faith Hubley, Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, Martin Sharp, Jan Van Hamersveld, Wes Wilson and Richard Avedon among others.
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY
Philip Johnson Architecture and Design Galleries, third floor
This exhibition is organized by Juliet Kinchin, Curator, and Luke Baker, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA.
The exhibition runs through January 16, 20016.
A few iPhone grabs from the exhibit



My autographed copy.
"ESG’s name is less known than it should be, but its influence runs deep—which is likely why Come Away with ESG sounds so shockingly current. The band revolved around the Bronx’s Scroggins sisters (Marie played congas and sang, Renee sang and Valerie drummed) with friends David Miles and Leroy Glover joining them on guitar and bass.
Short for Emerald, Sapphire and Gold, the name reflected the rarity and preciousness of their style; similar to the spacey, hypnotic sound of dub reggae, this is dub disco with a punk edge. Whether dark and moody or bright and bubbly, the songs are always pared down to the most kinetic essentials. Jittery cymbals and colorful congas lock into minimal polyrhythms, as deep bass grooves and sleek, cooing vocals provide infectious melodies.
The repetitive exhortations to dance and feel good are pure disco-diva hedonism, but placed in a context favoring simplicity over opulence, they become schoolyard chants. “Come away with me, oh yeah! / We’ll have a good time,” the sisters sing on the clattering title track, and you totally believe it. Resting on a bedrock of taut, stark rhythms and echoing vocal embellishments, each track is distinct: The guitar part of “Chistelle” is like shadowy surf-rock, and the eerily twisting synth melody of “About You” predicts (years in advance) the West Coast gangsta rap known as G-funk.
The band broke up soon after Come Away with ESG, but went on to become heavily sampled in hip-hop (as befits their Bronx pedigree) by icons such as Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys, J-Dilla and Gang Starr. They were a huge inspiration for the dance-punk craze of the last decade, especially !!!, and their influence is writ large in the music of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, himself one of the most influential figures in modern independent music. In retrospect, it can be hard to connect the bleakness of an act like Mars to the friendliness of ESG—the lineage is more spiritual than sonic—but both bands were crucial in an ongoing process, which would accelerate rapidly with the rise of the Internet, wherein popular music realized it didn’t have to be one thing. It could be everything, or nothing. Thankfully, following ESG’s example, it chose everything."---source Paste Magazine
A college radio station copy adding more collage to the mix. (Review Revue: ESG – Come Away with ESG)


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