White Noise

I found this when a friend posted it to Facebook. Rutherford Chang collects first pressings of The White Album, and he’s made an art installation — a mock record store that only “sells” copies of The White Album. He currently has almost 700 of them. Details here.

The part that I find really absorbing, though, is the part about the recordings that he’s making. He intends to record the albums and make a master track of all of them playing simultaneously, and he has a rough cut of side one of the first disc at the page above — which mixes 100 of them. The thing is, for some reason, they don’t all play at exactly the same speed (maybe because of the way vinyl ages? or because of the fact that they were printed with this much variability to begin with?).

The mix starts out just sounding especially scratchy, but by the time you get to “Dear Prudence,” there’s an echo effect that I think actually enhances the song. By the end of “Happiness is a Warm Gun,” it’s degenerated into a trance-inducing wall of sound.

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I find it really thought-provoking. I’d love a copy of the whole thing.

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