Influential 4AD Album Designer Vaughan Oliver Has Died at 62

vaughan oliver 4ad designer

Vaughan Oliver, the supremely talented English graphic designer/art director who blazed trails designing album covers for 4AD Records’ artists including Cocteau Twins, the Breeders, This Mortal Coil and Lush, has died at the age of 62.

Oliver’s death was announced a few hours ago on Twitter by friend and fellow designer Adrian Shaughnessy, who co-edited the 2018 collection Vaughan Oliver: Archive.

“Desperately sad to announce that Vaughan Oliver died peacefully today, with his partner Lee by his side. Great loss of friend and design hero.”

This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Update: December 30, 2019. 4AD issued the following statement about Oliver’s passing on its website.

“To suggest is to create; to describe is to destroy.” Robert Doisneau

We are incredibly sad to learn of the passing of Vaughan Oliver; there was no-one else like him.

Without Vaughan, 4AD would not be 4AD and it’s no understatement to say that his style also helped to shape graphic design in the late-20th century.

The label’s first employee, he designed his first sleeve for the Modern English single ‘Gathering Dust’ in 1980 before going on to create iconic works for the likes of Pixies, Breeders, Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, Throwing Muses, Lush, Pale Saints, TV On The Radio, Scott Walker and countless others. The Guardian said his designs were “abstract, dreamlike, elegant” and they weren’t wrong, he gave both us as a label and our musicians an identity and a voice.

We will miss you Vaughan and our thoughts are with your family and friends. We were blessed to know you and will forever be thankful for all you did.

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Kaos Nightclub in Las Vegas Shutters After Wild 7-Month Ride


Red Rock Resorts, owners of 100,000 square-foot Kaos dayclub and nightclub in Las Vegas, have shuttered the club just seven months after the Palms Hotel celebrated the venue’s extravagant grand opening.

The closure comes after the departure of Jon Gray, the vice president and general manager of the Palms, and cancelation of DJ Marshmello‘s $60 million residency.

The decision to shutter Kaos, which recently had a $690 million renovation and features artwork by Damien Hirst, came after a net loss of $26.8 million in the third quarter, down $51.9 million from the same period last year.

Michael Britt, senior vice president of government relations and corporate communications for Rock Resorts Inc., said in a statement: “This afternoon, Red Rock Resorts, Inc. announced the closing of Kaos dayclub and nightclub at the Palms Casino Resort, effective immediately. While Palms has experienced exceptional growth across both the gaming and non-gaming segments of the business, the expense side of the business has been challenging to date, due in large part to the entertainment and fixed cost structure associated with Kaos. Therefore, we have decided to take some time to reassess the programming and use of those venues going forward. In the interim, we intend to use the venues for private meeting space and special events, in addition to everyday resort pool operations.”

“It’s obvious that the nightclub environment in Vegas is extremely competitive. It doesn’t appear that the market has grown enough for the amount of supply in the market,” said Red Rock CEO Frank Fertitta III during a call to investors. “The cost of entertainment is excessively high, and we just made the decision to focus where the fish are and acknowledge that the nightclub business, at least at the Palms, was not working for us.”

The fate of the space is currently being decided. In the interim, it will reportedly used for events.

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See the First Playable Record Made From Recycled Ocean Plastic


Cornwall, England-based Sharp’s Brewery, Mercury Music Prize nominated artist Nick Mulvey (a founding member of the band Portico Quartet), Keynvor and vinyl manufacturer Tangible Formats have teamed up to create the first record composed of recycled single-use plastic.

Titled “In the Anthropocene,” the 10-inch record is made from plastics found along the coastline of Cornwall. Sales of the physical record proceeds from digital streams will benefit Surfers Against Sewage, a UK-based organization working to save British coastlines from pollution.

Obligatory press release gush from Sharp’s Brewery’s James Nicholls: “Cornish culture is built around the ocean – whether that’s seafood, surfing or even our own Atlantic Ale. Last year, we helped the ocean enter the charts, under Keynvor – which means ‘Ocean’ in the Cornish language. I’m excited to say that today we’re really turning the tables on the music industry by releasing ‘In the Anthropocene’, with Nick Mulvey – by upcycling single-use plastic found on our beaches and turning it into playable ‘ocean vinyl.’”


Obligatory press release gush from Nick Mulvey: “I’ve always loved the wildness of the Cornish coast and it feeds something deep in me every time I’m there. My music is about knowing who – or what – we are, right at the core. Aliveness itself, conscious. These times of urgent global crisis are demanding we re-examine ourselves and the world and raise ourselves to match the Earth, this wonder-organism from which we are not, and never have been, separate.”

Obligatory press release gush from Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage: “We are excited to be partnering with Sharp’s Brewery again to raise vital funds to protect our coastlines from plastic pollution and other environmental hazards. Keynvor, as a musical artist, and the new ‘ocean vinyl’, which uses plastic pollution and turns it into something positive, is a powerful way to help us raise money and continue to spread our message.”

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Ugh. New Tenants of Former Output Space Removed Club’s $1.5 Million Funktion-One System


When the building housing now-defunct Brooklyn house/techno oasis Output was sold for $7.4 million in 2014, clubbers knew it was only a matter of time before the club – which opened in 2013 – would be gone from gentrifying Williamburg. So when the legendary venue eventually closed its doors on January 1, 2019, speculation was rampant about what would replace the hallowed nightspot.

This month it was revealed that the former site of Output on Wythe Avenue is being converted into an 18,000-square-foot event space and Japanese bar/restaurant.

The space will include a 772-person capacity ballroom, 70-person capacity cocktail bar and a 300-person capacity rooftop terrace that has a retractable roof, according to Joshua Kaiser, a representative of building owner Zach Weinberg, who spoke before Community Board 1 on October 10.

“The former tenant was not popular for their sounds,” Kaiser reportedly said to the community board during his presentation.

Now, here comes the hard part for anyone who appreciates a good sound system – especially one created by Funktion-One, one of the world’s leading purveyors of club systems: “We have taken out a $1.5 million sound system. We’re replacing it, and have full intention to have largely ambient sound projected in all of these rooms. These are meant to be events that you can attend and have a conversation and be heard when you speak.”

Community board members were told that the space is expected to open the space in late February or early March 2020.

The reps from the as yet unnamed venue, who are currently doing business as Space Factory Williamsburg, told the board that it intends to hire locally and offer the space to nonprofits to host fundraising events.

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