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Nicolas Jaar's new music format

Art

Posted by Gavin Lucas, 27 April 2012, 9:20    Permalink    Comments (8)

Musician and owner of record label Clown & Sunset, Nicolas Jaar, has just released a new collection of tracks entitled Don't Break My Love, not on CD or vinyl, but on a small aluminium cube called The Prism…

Don't Break My Love is a 12-track label showcase and the 4x4x4cm cube it is released on (above)  sports two holes (headphone sockets) and four unlabelled buttons. Jaar tells us that it as well as vinyl, the small metal cube will be the primary format for future releases on Clown & Sunset.



The Prism's four buttons, allow users to play, pause and skip tracks and the two headphone sockets invite the user to share the listening experience with a friend. This was inspired by the fact that the music on the Prism is collaborative so Jaar wanted to offer a collaborative listening experience too.

The development of the Prism came about shortly after Jaar's debut album, Space is Noise was released last year on CD. Jaar told Creative Review that he felt a massive sense of anti-climax receiving a copy of his first album on CD, and so wanted to find away to make future releases more special.

It's great to see an artist and label looking to find new ways of maintaining  the physicality of music releases in an age of downloads and overpriced CD packages. No, it won't sit snugly alongside your records or CDs, or even in your pocket. And no, there's no graphic artwork to speak of, save for the text printed on the Prism. But the Prism does feel like a piece of sculptural artwork, a keepsake of sorts. And that, is no small achievement for a music release these days.

The Prism costs $40 and is available from csa.fm/theprism

8 Comments

Quite possibly my favorite artist at the moment, snap purchase for me. Bit pricey but stuff it, I wouldn't sniff at drinking £40 on a Saturday night. At that price though, I can't see myself buying every release, unless they are extremely sporadic!
Rob
2012-04-27 12:43:27


That is the worst mosic format ever. DRM'ed files on an overpriced, badly produced (see pictures on http://csa.fm/theprism) chunk of metal. Can't play it on my Hifi. Can't play it in my car. Can't play it on my iPhone. Won't take a little metal cube with me to have like ONE extra album? This is totally retarded.
John Roggenfelder
2012-04-27 13:05:16


I can't say whether I am a fan of the music or not having never heard it - but I think that this is brilliant. Whilst perhaps not the most portable object I believe that is an advantage as it actively forces you to take time and listen to the music contained within - the opposite of the super portable easy access music culture we live in today.

And plus for a collector this is an interesting addition to the CDs / Vinyl Records ( / Tapes?!) on the shelf rather than more of the same.

(Also it's got a headphone socket on so if you had a decent hi-fi and the right cable you should be able to connect it up no problem, however headphone listening could also be the artist's intended purpose...)
Matt Penrose
2012-04-27 17:21:52


I can't say whether I am a fan of the music or not having never heard it - but I think that this is brilliant. Whilst perhaps not the most portable object I believe that is an advantage as it actively forces you to take time and listen to the music contained within - the opposite of the super portable easy access music culture we live in today.

And plus for a collector this is an interesting addition to the CDs / Vinyl Records ( / Tapes?!) on the shelf rather than more of the same.

(Also it's got a headphone socket on so if you had a decent hi-fi and the right cable you should be able to connect it up no problem, however headphone listening could also be the artist's intended purpose...)
Matt Penrose
2012-04-27 18:05:02


Maintaining the physicality of music releases is an exercise in futility. I'd rather have my music downloaded around the world for free than trapped in a metal cube.
Jam
2012-04-27 20:24:24


How does this device receive power? Is there a cord? Does it have a battery?
Bill Steinman
2012-04-27 20:32:54


interesting but an awkward physical size -imagine a collection of 4" cubes each requiring unique hookup to "amplification" from a headphone jack. In the end what we have is "a component". requirement for teach "album" . Its really quite a step backward as a large collection on 1 device like a hard drive which can be carried in a shirt pocket accessed by usb & containing perhaps as many as 20000 (conservatively) songs.

Just another cute not completely conceived device like "playtape" -look it up.
r
2012-04-29 19:11:50


its like a buddha machine! but without the speaker. and full tracks instead of loops...
zhao
2012-04-29 19:18:23


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