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A quick insight into mind-warping animated zoetrope vinyl labels


In case you missed it, last week King Gizzard announced their second release of the year Murder of The Universe. Alongside the announcement, in true Gizz style, the band also shared the details for an epic limited vinyl release of the record.

zoetrope vinyl labels

The forthcoming release of King Gizzard’s Murder of the Universe limited vinyl edition opened our eyes to the world of zoetrope vinyl labels. Here are some amazing ones we uncovered.

The “Altered Beast” edition of the LP limited will be limited to 2000 worldwide and will feature tri-coloured altered beast wax,  a 30 page illustrated story book, and zoetrope animated labels.

What are zoetrope labels, you ask?

A zoetrope is a classic pre-film animation technique that produces the illusion of movement by portraying sequence of drawings showing progressive phases of that movement.

It’s a kind of technique that works perfectly with vinyl labels, seeing as the spinning of a record player contributes the necessary motion for the ‘animation’ of a zoetrope to work automatically (and infinitely).

This is how the zoetrope labels on the Murder of The Universe “Altered Beast” edition will look:

It’s just so fucking cool we thought we’d dive into the history of zoetrope vinyl labels to see what else has been done in the past. Unsurprisingly, there were a tonne that held a torch to the above. See some of the best below:

DJ Food – The Search Engine – Limited release on Ninja Tune (2013)

This limited Record Store Day release from DJ Food features four zoetrope vinyl EPs plus a bunch of high quality original zoetrope prints hidden inside copies at random. Zoetrope madness.

zoetrope vinyl labels

Bonobo – Cirrus – Ninja Tune (2013)

Has anyone seen the video for Cirrus? It’s got zoetrope written all over it. It’s not surprising then that it was released alongside a limited 12″ single with an animation spanning the entire disc and a specially made “viewer stand”.

According to Discogs, the vinyl was “Given away to golden ticket holders for Bonobo’s Camden Roundhouse gig in London, May 18th 2013.”

If you haven’t seen the video for Cirrus, do yourself a favour:

Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) [2012 Remix] – Fish People (2013)

It seems that 2013 was the year of the zoetrope record. This remix of the opener to Kate Bush’s 1985 record, Hounds of Love was released on a limited run with just 4,000 copies pressed for Record Store Day 2013.



Sculpture – Plastic Infinite (2014)

Plastic Infinite from audio-visual duo Sculpture takes zoetrope animation to the next level. When the disc is played alone it merely looks like a colourful blur. However, when a strobe is applied, or when the disc is viewed through a camera at 25fps with a high shutter speed, and the record is transformed into a giant zoetrope animation.

Red Raven – The Little Red Engine (1957)

Just look at this thing…

We’re sure there are many more out there. If you have any tips, chuck them into the comment section below.


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April 17, 2017

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