Multi-instrumentalists J. Albert and Will August Park map out a shared universe of unreleased original material in addition to other autumnal tracks. Our typeface Doyle—and a cameo from Sharp Grotesk—connects the dots on the cover and tracklist.
When it goes well, collaboration is alchemy. This is true especially in the context of creative projects, where the creative component—already a complicated and easily fraught space—is entwined with personal and business considerations. If communication is the key to a good relationship, then a common language is the tool that must be mutually understood and wielded. This is the theme that J. Albert and Will August Park bring to their work. Of course, it's relevant for our work as type designers, too.
"This mix is a slurry of unreleased and/or unfinished recordings from Takuya Nakamura, Ex Wish, & myself with some of Will’s tasteful selections laced throughout," says J. Albert, the alias of Jiovanni Nadal. "We wanted to honor the Zodiac theme of the Sharp Mixes as much as possible. When I think of Libra, it represents balance, which reads as indecisiveness at times, but ultimately an openness and willingness towards understanding whatever spectrum is being appraised."
J Albert and Will August Park initially met as solo arts billed for the same Brooklyn show in 2021 and felt compelled to get in the studio together after listening to one another's music. In the spring of 2023, they released Flat Earth, a five-song EP. The unification of Will’s impressionistic solo piano compositions and J. Albert's blunted electronic music style lent itself to a holistic workflow, and in this flow they discovered their commonality in taste and musical expression. Their mix for Sharp FM offers an avenue for their continued partnership:
"The spectrum represented in this mix spans from the most familiar sonics such as voice and piano, to more abstracted and complex sounds that can only be created with technology. The composition, although still lending itself more to a traditional mix format, intends to highlight the ephemera of abstracting language; and its (language’s ie. music, english, mathematics) propensity towards this abstraction. We tried to incorporate these themes throughout the track selection process."
This mix sparkles with tonal dips and detours, making one feel like these sounds are being drawn from memory—for this reason, the use of Doyle, which is Lucas Sharp's homage to Cooper Black, is strangely fitting. We also wanted to highlight the fact that these two live and work in New York City, so the vernacular and canvas of truck signage—ubiquitous throughout every borough and themselves literal vehicles of communication—seemed like the perfect way to capture the diversity of these songs.
Language was a key conceptual point for Jio and Will as they put this mix together, and it feels like a soundtrack for walking through NYC, a city rich with signage—on shops, trucks, people—that can speak volumes to the receptive wanderer. able, and truly at home anywhere.
Delivery trucks are a constant presence throughout New York City, and the vernacular design used in these graphics tends to be simple and charming. Mottos, slogans, and even the design of company mascots are sometimes poetic or accidentally profound. Design decisions often made to deal with a rearview mirror or door handle can come off as ingenious typographic moves. These happy accidents tie-in to our typeface Doyle, which feels at home in the friendly world of delivery truck graphics—it's warm, approachable, and truly at home anywhere.
Unreleased - Takuya Nakamura & J. Albert
Saint - C.S. & Kreme
Blind Flowers - Harold Budd & Clive Wright
Untitled - J. Albert
Even If You're Awake - Stars of the Lid
Disruptive Musak - Sam Kidel
Ureleased - J. Albert
SING - Guy Sigsworth & Imogene Heap
Song - Ulla
Here We Are (Once Again) - Okkyung Lee
Skitter - J. Albert
Rushes Pt. 1 - Rushes Ensemble
Water Music - Roberto Musci
Morning - Duval Timothy
Do Dekor - Jan Jelinek
2010 Again - James Messiah
Run Come Test - Seekers International
Do While - Oval
Untitled - Ex Wiish