The Whitefield Brothers - In The Raw

At one time I was obsessed with The Poets of Rhythm, the Munich-based funk group that released their amazing album, Discern/Define, on Quannum Records in 2001. Still one of my favorite modern funk albums, it introduced me to similar groups such as Antibalas, The Daptones, El Michels Affair and others. So of course I try to pick up everything the group is involved with, including Now Again's reissue of The Whitefield Brothers' In The Raw and Karl Hector & The Malcoun's Saraha Swing.

These side-projects focus on the more African-influenced aspects of The Poets and includes album packaging which appropriately shares that influence. The minimalistic, limited-color designs were created by Toronto-based Way Shape Form, a team between Matthew Boyd and River Jukes-Hudson. What I like most about In The Raw's packaging is the insert that includes minimal information and several pages of abstract designs (two shown above). It also carries over the use of the African mask motif from the original Soul Fire release.

Saraha Swing's shares a few similarities in its approach, using only two colors throughout, along with some interesting photographic elements. Below I've included the first music video for the album which has a matching two-color aesthetic.

Way Shape Form
The Poets of Rhythm
Now Again

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