Record Review: John Foxx – Underpass Remixes 2013 [part 1]

You wouldn't play your three figure, John Foxx autographed CD-R would you? Neither would I. That's why I made this instead.

You wouldn’t play your three figure, John Foxx numbered, autographed CD-R would you? Neither would I.                                       That’s why I made this instead.

Around Record Store Day of this year, plans were made to have 500 copies of a remix of John Foxx’s seminal “Underpass” single released on a numbered 12″ single complete with Jonathan Barnbrook cover. I received an email from the Foxx list saying that there was a manufacturing delay so the single would not be sold on RSD but in the webstore instead. At a later date I received the notice and immediately went to the Foxx Store to buy a copy… only to see that it was already sold out. Color me… peeved.

After a few days of wailing and gnashing of teeth, there was a followup email from Foxx HQ saying that a small cache of copies were now available from a different web retailer, so I got lucky and hit that record like a sniper. I’ve had a copy in my Record Cell since May of 2013, but I have yet to hear the record. I need a new stylus and I’m certainly not playing it with a worn needle. So I have yet to get a new stylus with all spare ca$h going to tickets/expenses for the massive ROCKtoberfest that extended through December this year.

Metamatic | UK | 12| | 2013 | META32V

Metamatic | UK | 12| | 2013 | META32V

John Foxx: Underpass Remixes UK 12″ [2013]

  1. Underpass [_unsubscribe_remake mix]
  2. Underpass [oh the gilt mix]

On my birthday in September, my lovely wife rocked my world by giving me the ultimate gift; the extremely limited “Underpass” remix signed, numbered VIP pass CD-R edition that was also sold in the Foxx webstore as part of a VIP package last year for the single John Foxx + The Maths headlining concert. Since it cost three figures, I had put all thoughts of obtaining a copy out of my head. But now I had a copy, and after I opened the package on my birthday, it went into the safe deposit box. Really. There was no way I was going to play a fragile CD-R with lightscribe® printing. The “cover” was modest. It was simply a folded panel with the A/B artwork with Foxx’s autograph that was inserted into a clear plastic CD sleeve with flap. Kind of flimsy. Worse, since the CD-R was in a lockbox, I never got around to actually playing it until last week, what with all of the earning/traveling going on since my birthday in late September.

I decided to not just play it, but to make a copy for listening to-slash-deluxe backup. This was the first CD I had made in over a year and a half. Some may remember that this is my hobby! I decided that the format to go for would be a japanese style kami sleeve. I can print to heavyweight Neenah Classic Crest in Solar White at 110/297 g/m2. Niiiiiice paper. The card sleeve would have a full 0.125″ spine in red, like the 12″ single. The CD-R used would be one of my scant remaining MAM gold, archival printable CD-Rs so it would likely outlast the original disc.

The cover would replicate the CD insert, but scanning that even at 600 d.p.i. resulted in mush, so I scanned the 12″ single instead. I stitched the two scans together in Photoshop and edited the hand stamps to reflect the style differences and color [blue becoming red] that was used on the CD-R cover instead. I scanned Foxx’s autograph on the CD cover and isolated it and dropped in onto the 12″ scans. I also dropped in the red, hand-stamped number in the upper left of the cover.

Arts + crafts will never die, even in the digital age.

Arts + crafts will never die, even in the digital age.

I would make a thick paper inner sleeve to protect the disc in the cover. The 12″ labels would be scanned for either side of the inner sleeve. I then adapted Barnbrook’s great “click/click/drone” art to be the label for the CD-R. I blew up the lettering so that the clear center of the CD became the “O” in “drone” just like the spindle hole in the record performed the same function. I also added the serial number to the disc label, just for that finishing touch.

The sleeve carries the 12" label art

The sleeve carries the 12″ label art

So I’m pretty jazzed to have a “copy” of the ultra rare CD-R that manages to be more robust and durable, yet even better looking than the “real” thing. And my original is in the same safe deposit box as my wife’s Brian Eno autograph, so all is well with the world! Only I’ve run out of time to actually comment on the music, so that will wait for tomorrow!

Next: Foxx goes Post_modern…

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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