The sci-fi surrealism of Scottish artist Al White

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Conjuring an imaginary land to define the visual language of Glasgow electronic label 12th Isle.

Channeling Dali-esque shapes through electronica, Al White has created artwork for label 12th Isle since its inception.

Across 14 releases, he has conjured up a magical island region of his own – the 12th Isle.

We spoke with White to find out more about his inspirations, and how it all began.

How did this collaboration start?

12th Isle started as a club night in Glasgow ran by me and 3 other lads – Fergus Clark, Ruaidrhi McGhee, and Stewart Brown. I did all of the posters, and the visual world slowly came together through each one, then we started the label about a year later in 2016. I was able to push it a bit further with the record covers, I think.

How do you approach designing each cover?

Listening to the music loads of times, because I was involved in curating the label too. (Now, I just do the drawings). By the time I come around to making the artwork, I already have a loose sense of how I imagine that landscape, or a good idea of the feel of it at least. I just start drawing, do wee sketches, start with a rough plan then let it drift off, sink into it for a few days, and pull everything together on photoshop.

Does this collective work have a theme to it?

12th Isle is an imagined island region – each record cover roughly depicts an individual zone or habitat of the landscape – some of those zones might be microscopic whereas others might spans several miles, be underwater, etc. The music sets the foundations for each zone, but it’s all part of the same world and has to make sense to me within the bigger environment.

What’s next?

Lots of forthcoming 12th Isle stuff, next is a 10” from Lucy Duncombe which should be out in June, then there’s an LP from SAD, which is really cool. Otherwise I’m mostly focusing on my new project CRUDEX which I launched this year. It began with a zine series, which is continuing, as well as new prints, garments, tapes, etc.

Check out White’s trippy oeuvre in full below, and follow him here.


Christos Chondropoulos
Athenian Primitivism
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


Tarotplane
Horizontology
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


Christos Chondropoulos
On Nature
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


Vague Imaginaires
L’Île Sous l’Eau
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


D.K.
Live At The Edge
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


Various Artists
Inkosi
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


Pataphysical
Periphera
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


Lo Kindre
Chlorophytum
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


Best Available Technology
Enginetics & Plasmalterations
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


Palta & Ti
Palta Og Ti På Den Tolvte Ø
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


RAMZi
Pèze​-​Piton
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


XYR
El Dorado
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


Cru Servers
Blubber Tottum
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy


Dices + AEM Rhythm Cascade
Thoughtstream
(12th Isle)

Listen / Buy