‘Cassettes Versus Vinyl’ featuring  Horace Panter from The Specials

‘Cassettes Versus Vinyl’ featuring Horace Panter from The Specials

A spectacular, one of a kind music-themed art exhibition, at ARTZU gallery this weekend (16th-19th June 2016).

Horace Panter (bassist in The Specials) is teaming up with his art friends (Morgan Howell & Chris Barton). So don’t miss out on a fabulous piece of pop art for your walls!

Have a listen to Mark Riley on Radio 6  discussing this exciting exhibition:


The Specials_Horace Panter Exhibition_ ARTZU Gallery Manchester_Cassette versus VinylTapping into the ephemera of Pop Music with supersize representations of cassettes and vinyl, these original paintings, prints and sculptures have an inbuilt synergy that evokes the analogue era and the musicians/songs who were a part of it.

From early Beatles hits to The Specials/The Clash/Bowie/Sex Pistols et al. Vintage in a thoroughly modern way, each piece is a statement that awakens a sense of nostalgia in terms of its musical and cultural history.

A must-see for music and art lovers!

The heat is on, will you vote cassette or vinyl? 


Horace Panter

Can you explain the concept of the ‘studio demo-tape’?horace Panter

Horace Panter (Bassist with The Specials), He Voted: Cassettes –

Yes. I first got the idea when I was doing a Christmas card for Teenage Cancer Trust and came across a box full of studio demo tapes from The Specials and General Public. I decided to paint a cassette with ‘Christmas Mixtape’ written on it. Then it occurred to me that the cassette itself was a great artefact of music culture and that undertones teenage kicks horace panter exhibitionthe studio demo tape was something unique in as much as it’s not something most people will have seen.

Each of the ‘demo-tape’ series of paintings is researched to find recording studios, addresses, old phone numbers etc. Pre-internet days and, often, pre-postcode days, some have been harder to find than others!

Many of those studios were closed down or demolished decades ago but some still function as high-profile recording venues. For a musician, being in the studio is a kind of proof of your profession … it’s where all the creative energy of a band is distilled and honed; it can mean long hours and frustration and, at the same time, elation and satisfaction. ………It’s where magic happens.

Morgan Howell

Morgan Howell, He Voted Vinyl:  morgan howell

Morgan Howell recreates 45s as pieces of art because he wants to make them larger than life. As big, in fact, as the space they take up in your heart and mind.

Morgan Howell Cassette versus Vinyl exhibition ManchesterThat means making 27-inch discs rather than seven-inch, encasing the enlarged vinyl facsimile in a reproduction of the original paper bag made out of canvas and painting the original graphics and type from the label and the bag, and then mounting the result in a 32×32 frame.

But Howell is not trying simply to reproduce the record as it came out of the freshly delivered box of 25 on the record shop counter one Friday morning two or three generations ago. He wants to show the whole history of the individual record: the signs that it has been played and played and played again, treasured and cherished and carried from bedsit to party and onwards through life .

Chris Barton

chris bartonYou’ve made all these amazing film props over the years. How does your latest art feel different from what you are used to creating?

Chris Barton (Animatronics for Star Wars / The Fifth Element / Harry Potter) He Voted: Cassettes –

Cassette versus Vinyl exhibition with horace Panter The Specials ManchesterWell, previously the film work was for a common goal, whereas now it’s much more about what I want to do and see – commissions excepted, of course. As such I have much more freedom – on a movie you are generally given a project, but now I can go where my fancy takes me. Miles Davies for example is an album I enjoy, but the cover is great, so I did it.

What made you choose the cassette as a subject?

Unlike vinyl, cassettes really are an obsolete way of storing music and in broad terms have been consigned to history, but they are still remembered fondly by all. They are fantastically compact, and as such reveal a lot of detail physically when enlarged, which makes them quite appealing. At such a large size, they make you re-evaluate how you feel about what was really a relatively disposable music format. People tend to cherish Vinyl, but back in the day wouldn’t hesitate to sling a recalcitrant cassette out of the car window. Roadside bushes festooned with garlands of brown cassette tape are a distant memory!

cassette versus vinyl exhibition Manchester