The Knights of the Turntable & the Merlin of design

Earlier this week, five legends of the realm reconvened around the virtual table to revisit their lost weekenders in Ibiza while spinning the soundtrack of the E-Generation and talking a load of old Balearics, on Brandon Block’s Happy Days Facebook Live event.

Four esteemed knights of the turntable and doyennes of the 1980/90’s club scene were in attendance; in the guise of the eternally youthful host Mr Block, Ricky Morrison, Graeme Park and Dave Dorrell. They were joined by our very own Dave Little to reminisce over the iconic designs of the era – drawn by the hand of the creative force behind the Rockers Delight fashion label.

The Spectrum Eye is probably the most famous creation in the pantheon of art works Dave produced during an era when music, MDMA and youth culture came together in a perfect harmony of freedom, self-expression and the pursuit of hedonism.

Back in the heady days when Ibiza became the Mecca to Britain’s pretty young things in search of sun, sea and sex – not necessarily in that order – Dave’s designs provided the backdrop alongside the Balearic sound. An eclectic mix of music pulled together through the magical Ibizan kaleidoscope, to create a distinctive aural vibe that resonated with the elusive spirit of the White Isle.

Dave designed the cover art for the seminal Balearic Beats Vol. 1 compilation album, featuring the Spectrum Eye, as well as the Clockwork Orange-inspired Boy & Dog combo art work for the original fanzine of the London Acid House scene, Boy’s Own. Not to mention the flyers for a host of clubs, including Paul Oakenfold’s mythical Spectrum club night, Heaven on Earth.

The Eye was an idea inspired by the late Gary ‘We call it Acieeed’ Haisman, who became the face of the nascent Acid House scene when he featured on D Mob’s anthemic track that crashed landed into mainstream public consciousness in the balmy summer of 1988. Dave then squared the circle by adding an aesthetic, that paid homage to the Grateful Dead and the first Summer of Love in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, some twenty years earlier.

If the DJs were the Knights in shining armor then Dave was the alchemist, working his magic in the shadows. Merging a wide range of pop-culture references and inspirations with his background in graphic design to construct a visual framework, that would underpin a youth movement that changed the course of the world forever.

To watch the full video click on the link:

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