[4 min read + 50 min media]

BPI Q&A is a strong strongheaded questionnaire that is being tossed around some of our favourite people in the music industry. It’s all about personal tastes, habits and opinions when it comes to music and images.

Tom Vek is self-taught multi-instrumentalist and entrepreneur from London. His eclectic approach to electronic, indie rock and punk can be fully appreciated in his three full-lengths: We Have Sound (2005), Leisure Seizure (2011) and Luck (2014). No wonder that all visuals related to his music are carefully crafted: Vek not only has a graphic design degree as he created Sleevenote, an iOS music player app that updates the incredible heritage of sleeve art (track listing included) into a pretty cool and useable digital format. This Q&A is also a teaser for a more in-depth interview that we will publish in the following weeks.

What’s the last song you listened to before starting to answer this painful questionnaire?

“Modern Warfare” by Special Request.

And what’s the last song, album or record you purchased?

AIM (2016) by M.I.A..

What’s the music streaming service of your choice?

Apple Music, because it works with Sleevenote.

What’s your favorite music listening device?

My car stereo, via phone/bluetooth.

Arrange by growing order of preferences the following words: iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music and YouTube.

This is changing all the time. I can’t bear to say, but Apple Music is my current streaming service and obviously everyone is watching YouTube.

Same thing for: vinyl, Cassette, CD and MP3.

Vinyl, Cassette, CD, MP3

Can one judge an album by its cover?


Have you ever bought a record only because of its artwork? Which one?

Pretty sure I did that with Unknown Pleasures (1979) [artwork by Peter Saville].


What’s your favorite album cover of all time?

Such a hard question: Fantasma (1997) by Cornelius [artwork by Masakazu Kitayama & Mitsuo Shindo] or Angel Dust (1992) by Faith No More [photo by Wernher Krutein & art direction by Kim Champagne].

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Could you name an album whose cover you recently felt drawn to?

Bon Iver’s 22, A Million is astonishing [artwork by Eric Timothy Carlson].


Could you share with us a music-related photograph (promo, live, personal) that you cherish? And why?

I really like this live shot of me taken by my brother Alex.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

What’s your favorite record label artwork-wise?

Tricky one, Dischord have label identity running through a lot of their covers I think. Domino seem to have a high standard too. A lot of indie electronic labels are doing amazing stuff graphically, Diagonal for example.

What’s, in your opinion, the music genre and/or music period with the greatest iconography?

I might have to loosely say Electronic, because of the precise design that tends to emulate it, the rave/jungle culture simplicity has aged amazingly.

Can you name a bad record with a great cover? (Come on, nobody’s reading)

I recall being bummed about New (2013) by Paul McCartney hijacking the Dan Flavin fluorescent lights vibe [artwork by Rebecca and Mike].

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And vice-versa?

DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing… (1996) [photo by Brian Cross]. Then again it’s kind of genius as an anti-cover, like what you would see looking around in the record store.


Any favourite music photographer?

I’m enjoying Pooneh Ghana’s photography at the moment.

Were you ever an MTV fan?

MTV2 definitely.

What’s your favourite music video? Ok, you can pick two (three, tops).

“Bad Girls” by M.I.A. [directed by Romain Gavras].

Is there any music video director close to your heart?

Most recently it was Paxi that did my last ones.

Let’s say you feel a sudden urge to listen to a specific song – what do you do to listen to it?

Pull out my phone, either to listen or control my hi-fi setup.

Could you share a picture of you?

Here’s a shot taken recently at Dreamland [photo by Tom Medwell].