Yesterday, I received an email from DJ Shelf. Did I know about a provocative new album with Ryuichi Sakamoto contributing to it? One that was only 6:30 long? He sent me the press release from the project’s progenitor, Modern Obscure Music, which took longer to read than to actually listen to the album! The conceit of the project was down to research that said that a third of streaming listeners will skip to the next song within 30 seconds. The product of ever shortening attention spans in the modern, a-go-go, digital world.
This notion reminded me that in 1980, The Residents recorded “The Residents Commercial Album.” Every song on it was a languorous minute long in comparison! the Residents reasoned, that most pop music is a repetition of verse/chorus three times and if you cut out the fat, you can deliver the crux of the song in just a minute. So the LP was 20 one minute songs per side for a convenient “Top 40 on a disc.” But that was forty years ago! The pace of society has sped up dramatically as the internet has shaved attention spans down to the nub. So this album is poised to take the next step forward in adapting to a changing society.
Who is on this album? Lots of artists unfamilar to me, save for Sakamoto. But we can hear the Visible Cloaks song in its entirety below in the player.
Various: PRSNT – SPAIN – LP 
- Laurie Spiegel – Fly By
- Pedro Vian & Pierre Bastien – Memory
- Lyra Pramuk – Cage
- Chassol – ya!
- Nicolas Godin & Pierre Rousseau – Page Turner
- Pascal Comelade – Segons com
- Visible Cloaks – Lifeworld
- Raul Refree – Vid2020
- Lucrecia Dalt – cosa
- Kelman Duran – Dead cat
- Lafawndah – From name-less city
- Ryuichi Sakamoto – silence
The brief to the artists was to attempt to make a tiny yet, fully “functional” song that hit all the marks we expect from music; just in a very succinct window. By that standard, “Lifeworld” was an effective haiku of a song, so I’m inclined to agree that the goal was achieved. If you have any Holly Herndon albums in your collection, this may have your name on it. Though I suspect that Ryuichi Sakamoto’s track may have a lot in common with John Cage’s “4:33!”
Appropriately, the proceeds from the album will be donated to mental health charities to help fight the impacts of over consumption and digital addictions. There is a DL, of course, but there are also limited white and black vinyl LPs that will undoubtedly have amazing fidelity with only 6:30 to spread over two sides The white vinyl went on pre-sale with just 31/500 copies remaining available. Since this is both art and a fund-raising benefit, it will set us back €49.00. The black vinyl edition is also for 500 copies but it has not gotten quite the attention yet that the white version has. Yet. It is €47.00. The DL only €9.00. Interested parties should click the button below sooner rather than later. If they want that white vinyl copy!