This message will self-destruct in five seconds. The tape sparks and fizzles in the deck. A puff of smoke rises. We all remember the scene. There can be few moments of experimental phonography more well-known, more fondly remembered. Still remarkably few of today’s artists choose to exploit the idea. When popping down to Our Price for the latest Deacon Blue cassingle, we do not expect it to spontaneously combust in our boombox. Until, that is, the arrival of the latest press release from Sub Pop Records.
Ingeniously, Sub Pop have packaged the latest album by Father John Misty in what they describe as “an elaborate record-destroying device”. Apparently, alas, the groove-busting warp afflicting the vinyl was not a deliberate conceptual prank, but merely a consequence of the “bulging thickness” of Misty’s packaging. Sub Pop are “very sorry”, they say. “We promise to be less ambitious in the future.” But should they be? By crafting a product that actively demolishes itself, the label are contributing to a venerable tradition of auto-destructive artworks…
Complete article: “Sonic Sabotage: The Noisy History Of Auto-Destructive Music“, Robert Barry, The Quietus.
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