Jack White has long been an advocate of all sorts of vinyl nerdiness, from acting as last year’s Record Store Day ambassador to using his label, Third Man, to put out an absolutely ridiculous box set of Paramount Records material from the ’10s, ’20s, and ’30s. Now White is taking pretty much every trick he’s learned and applying it to the “Ultra LP” version of his new Lazaretto. White and Third Man label manager Ben Blackwell walk through all the features in the clip below, which is recommended viewing for any LP nerd. But in a nutshell and for laymen, basically there’s going to be a whole bunch of nerdy record collector shit jammed onto this one, 180-gram LP.
For instance, side one plays from the inside out, while each side features a hidden track beneath the center labels. One of those tracks plays at 78 RPM, the other plays at 45 RPM, and the actual record plays at 33 RPM—making Lazaretto the only LP to ever contain all three speeds (probably). The record also uses “dual-groove technology,” meaning that one of the tracks, “Just One Drink,” has both an electric and an acoustic intro, depending on where the listener places the needle. The grooves meet later about halfway through the song. Both sides of the record end in locked grooves, meaning they’ll just spin one short sound ad nauseam, until the listener finally flips the switch and turns the record off. Perhaps most impressive are artist Tristan Duke’s holographic etchings into the unused vinyl of the A-side, which, in the right light, make it appear like a pair of angels is floating above the record as it spins.
There’s some other superfluousness built into the LP as well—one side is matte and there is shiny, and so on—and should all this appeal to you, the Ultra LP edition of Lazaretto is available for pre-order now from the Third Man records site. Amazingly, it’s only $20.