Home > Graphics & Illustration, Music, People, Things I Like... > Mike Coles & Maya Jane (with a hint of Malicious Damage…)

Mike Coles & Maya Jane (with a hint of Malicious Damage…)

November 27, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

KJ-WNot a name I suspect that many people will recognise, but Mike Coles is the graphic designer behind the early cut and past record covers that one of my favourite bands, Killing Joke put out through their own label, Malicious Damage, a joint venture that Mike set up with the band in 1979.

Cole’s early style may look slightly naive and home made in these days of Photoshop and InDesign, but back in the late 1970’s and early 80’s, it had a punch and a raw visceral quality that was totally in synch with the sonic onslaught that made Killing Joke’s name…

Top hatted gents dancing through fields of war dead, silhouetted youths looking for trouble over the wall and lost tourists searching for the sun in a dystopian nightmare. Wherever he found his images from, Coles had an unsettling approach to collage and juxtaposition that meant that the images remained with you long after the music had faded away…





So why write him now? Well it’s one of those strange Lattice of Coincidence things that have always appealed to me. Let me explain…

A while ago, I wrote this post about a trio of CD’s that on the face of it had no obvious connection other than I liked them all so much I’d gone and bought them, the first “physical” music I’d bought for ages..

One of the CD’s was an excellent deep house mix by a young dance music producer and DJ, Maya Jane Coles. We’ve seen her play out a number of times over the years and, as a result of her profile continuing to rise, was interviewed in this week’s Guardian Weekend magazine. In a short, barely noticeable aside, the writer refers to Maya Jane’s dad as an artist who “ran an independent record label and designed sleeves for acts including Killing Joke…” Boom, there it was, a proper connection all along, I just didn’t know it…

According to the Malicious Damage web site, Mike’s art and graphic design has graced almost every cover that the label has put out and includes work for such names as The Orb, Shriekback and Analogue Mindfield, a huge accomplishment and one that his daughter is no doubt very proud of…







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