THE ACCIDENTAL HERO
Behind every artist, scene and record label, there’s a hidden clutch of talented and driven individuals taking care of the business end.
They are the label managers, distributors, mastering technicians, PR specialists and designers whose work plays a vital role in packaging and pushing the music you love, but who invariably remain hidden silently behind the end product.
One such unsung hero from the world of underground dance music, and more specifically drum & bass, is designer Jon Black
If you bought any release from that scene’s leading labels back in the 1990s or 2000s, chances are you’ve not just seen Jon’s work, but watched it rotate at 45 revolutions per minute on the label of a 12-inch slab of wax.
Creating futuristic graphic landscapes for the likes of Metalheadz, Ram Records and Virus to name a few, Black’s work provided livery for many of D&B’s biggest anthems and was a significant force in defining the tense, sci-fi aesthetic that became synonymous with what was then dance music’s most forward thinking of strains.
With the recent Metalheadz twentieth anniversary stirring our memories of those now long-gone days, we decided the time was right to catch up with Black and showcase some of his most significant work for Metalheadz and many of the UK’s other now legendary dance labels…