Sunday, 30 March 2014
Wu Tang Set To Release Just A Single Copy Of New Album ''Once Upon A Time In Shaolin''
In what must be the strangest album release since Radiohead gave away In Rainbows for free in 2007 and Beck released a record consisting of sheet music to be played by the listener two years back, the legendary hip-hop force that is Wu Tang Clan are set to drop just one copy of their new album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin.
The new album, not to be confused with A Better Tomorrow which is still set to be released conventionally later this year, is already finished and is being stored in a Moroccan vault currently. It'll be toured at museums and festivals before being sold to the highest bidder, and the band have confirmed that this material will never be available on iTunes, meaning even the biggest Wu fan in the world will have to go without its contents.
Speaking of which, the double album consists of 31 tracks and last for an epic 128 minutes. Once Upon A Time In Shaolin was described on the album's new website as ''encapsulat[ing] the Clan’s legendary dark funk and avant garde sound and is produced in the original Wu Tang style of the 90s''. The website, created by the RZA and album producer Tarik 'Cilvaringz' Azzougarh, contains messages detailing what the Wu see as a crisis in the music industry right now and explaining their reasoning behind the unconventional release.
''History demonstrates that great musicians such as Beethoven, Mozart and Bach are held in the same high esteem as figures like Picasso, Michelangelo and Van Gogh. However, the creative output of today’s artists such as The RZA, Kanye West or Dr. Dre, is not valued equally to that of artists like Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst or Jean-Michel Basquiat.''
''The music industry is in crisis. Creativity has become disposable and value has been stripped out.
Mass production and content saturation have devalued both our experience of music and our ability to establish its value.
Industrial production and digital reproduction have failed. The intrinsic value of music has been reduced to zero.
Contemporary art is worth millions by virtue of its exclusivity.
This album is a piece of contemporary art.
The debate starts here…''
So what do you think? In my opinion, this is a groundbreaking, incredible idea and one which takes a hugely effective stand against the wide availability of music online these days, but fuck, I want to hear that album.