Lots of albums come informative booklets. Some come with fold-out posters. Here’s one that comes with the desiccated remains of a human being. Experimental music group Negativland has weathered an unlikely number of unrelated deaths among its former members, with Ian Allen dying in January 2015, former lead vocalist Don Joyce shuffling off after him in July 2015, and founding member Richard Lyons completing the heavenly power trio in April 2016. As sort of a wink at that sudden uptick in mortality, the band has decided to include “approximately two grams” of Joyce’s cremated remains with copies of its new album Over The Edge Vol. 9: The Chopping Channel, NPR reports.
“This is not a hoax. We’ve decided to take The Chopping Channel concept to its logical conclusion by ‘productizing’ an actual band member,” the band explained in a statement published by Boing Boing. “It is also a celebration of the degree to which no idea in art was ever off-limits to Don, and offers a literal piece of him, and of his audio art, for the listener to repurpose and reuse. We are pretty sure he would have wanted it this way.”
On its website, the band describes the album’s concept as “cultural appropriation at its most typical, with jokes that aren’t that funny because they aren’t really jokes. Atop a relentlessly atomized mix of thousands of fragmentary samples of indeterminate origin, re-mulched into one continuous and time-saving stream of music, the salesmen (and woman!) of the Chopping Channel dare to sell you the music you’re already listening to, as well as the culture you’ll need to survive in the years to come.”
Over The Edge Vol. 9: The Chopping Channel (as well as the granulated corpus of Don Joyce, “while supplies last”) will be available October 21.