Opening in London tonight, 11 April, Secret 7" is a charity art project which sees hundreds of artists—including the likes of Ai Weiwei and Gilbert & George—exhibit one-off, specially designed 7" record sleeves that will be sold to raise money for the charity Art Against Knives. The resulting 700 individually designed record sleeves, created by more than 500 contributing artists, will be exhibited for a week at Downstairs At Mother in Shoreditch, and then, fittingly, on Record Store Day (April 20), the artwork will go on sale, with each piece sold blind (meaning you won't know who created which sleeve or even what song is pressed on the vinyl within until after you've bought it) at ?40 a pop. The seven tracks pressed up specially for the project are Elton John's "Bennie & The Jets," "Better Off" by Haim, "Still Love Me" by Jessie Ware, "The Beast" by Laura Marling, "The Don" by Nas, Nick Drake's "Rider On The Wheel" and Public Enemy's "Harder Than You Think." In addition to the aforementioned artists, other contributors creating sleeves include David Shrigley, Greg Eason, Marion Deuchars, Rose Blake, Pete Fowler, and Brecht Vandenbroucke—some have hand drawn their designs, others have screen printed theirs, and some have even made three dimensional packages out of unusual materials. If you can't wait for or can't attend the exhibition, you can check out the online gallery of sleeve artwork on the dedicated Secret 7" website.
Producers love a good, lush swell of strings—but in electronic and even pop music, they're for the most part software simulations.
David Byrne's beloved sidekick is back on her own after their whirlwind world tour, and St. One of three original works created for the now-iconic poster that Shepard Fairey created in support of Obama is a mixed media stencil collage on a 4 x 6 foot cotton rag paper.
In the darkness of an indoor car park in London’s Soho, a crowd of people is gathered around a dancing industrial robot. Ever been in that situation where you’ve pretended to like a piece of art just because everyone tells you that it says so much? Hidden amongst the green vinyl and retro cassette box-sets, this year’s Record Store Day also brings the opportunity to own your very own piece of art history, simply by picking up one of the Secret 7” vinyl records.
DIY caught up with Universal Music’s Kevin King, the brains behind the operation, to ask him what on earth inspired him to organise such a feat.

So, the prospect of owning a genuine Shrigley, lovingly shielding a surprise record by The Cure? The Secret 7” gallery launches today (Wednesday 18th April) on the Ideas Generation Gallery. My sleeve for Nas' 'The Don' was chosen as one of the winners for this year's Secret 7 competition, alongside distinguished artists such as Ai Wei Wei & David Shrigley. Sign up to my newsletter to receive updates about what I'm working on and any upcoming exhibitions or prints! Then image makers from around the world are invited to create a one-off design to adorn the sleeve of one of the 700 7" record sleeves.
Then the following weekend (20 and 21 April), the records will be available to buy on a first come, first served basis. As well as being sold in the London gallery space, the Secret 7" records will soon be available to buy online at Art Against Knives. All of the proceeds will go directly to artist Justin Van Hoy and family, who for the second time in his young life is battling cancer. Well, Secret 7” is giving you the perfect opportunity to love (and buy) purely on looks as they’ve replaced name and prestige in favour of good, old-fashioned instinct. You won’t have a clue who the artists or musicians are until you have handed over your money.
And if the prospect of owning some serious artwork alone isn’t enough to tempt you to dig deep, we should probably inform you that the Secret 7” project has purely altruistic motives.

It was sold at the Record Store Day to help raise money for Art Against Knives, a great cause! The sale of the vinyls was a huge success with the majority selling out in an hour and half – crazy! I know the usual type and style associated with Marling and wanted to do the opposite – try and break what people would expect. In the week in between Secret 7" is running events including a series of informal sessions by music label Universal aimed, King says, "purely at the young people that the charity Art Against Knives support as an opportunity for those of them interested in working in and around the music industry to pose questions to people already in amongst it." In effect, the sessions will give youngsters the chance to meet and quiz radio show hosts, A&R folk and artists such as Dizzee Rascal. You can also check out the record pressing in action at The Vinyl Factory in the teaser film accompanying this year's project.
This year, the folks behind RCA’s Secret Postcard exhibition have gone retro and printed tracks from seven musicians on vinyl and asked 700 artists to produce the sleeves creating a collection of truly original work. The records will be on sale for ?40 the weekend of Record Store Day (April 20) but you’ll be able to have a cheeky glimpse at the cover art this weekend (April 13) as they will be on display for all you potential buyers to play guess who. And it’s all for a good cause as proceeds from Secret 7” go to Art Against Knives, a charity offering creative opportunities to young people affected by knife crime.
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