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What is the weirdest vinyl record? Ice, blood, and more...

What is the weirdest vinyl record? Ice, blood, and more...

Holly Conquer |

We’ve seen records of every colour, shape, and speed – artists pushing their creativity to entertain us through the physical as well as sonic iterations of their work. But it doesn’t stop there.

Here are a few obscure types of record, mostly released on limited or experimental runs. 

1. Ice

Here is a record released by the band ‘Shout out Louds’ in 2012. It is called Blue Ice, and yep – it’s made of ice. They only released 10 copies of it and sent them to a number of fans and the press.

The box set included a record mould, a distilled bottle of water, and a set of instructions. You can also see the instructions (and the record in action) in this video they shared.

There isn’t much to shout (out louds) about regarding the quality of the sound, but it’s an interesting take, and was reportedly a fun project for the designers involved who had to figure out a way to manufacture the silicon mould to avoid it shrinking at different temperatures while also looking aesthetically pleasing.

2. Eulerian Circles

Next, the world of Eulerian circle records – inspired by Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler. These are largely (or possibly only) designed by vinyl artist Michael Dixon through his label PIAPTK.

Eulerian circle records  Michael Dixon through his label PIAPTK.

These are lathe cut, so every record takes as long to cut as it does to play. While he has worked with many artists on different projects, there aren’t many Eulerian circle records about – many releases are in editions of 20 or less.

They have multiple groove circles, and multiple holes according to each groove. By using both sides of the clear record, it appears as though the grooves overlap.

PIAPTK are one of a few companies who are exploring the artistic possibilities of vinyl, including ways to improve sustainability in record production which is an increasingly concerning issue. Much of their work is produced using recycled or upcycled materials, which we also looked at in our post about Eco Vinyl.

Their release 'King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – Thirty-Six Seconds From Polygondwanaland That Go On Forever' which is pictured above is a 7" Eulerian Circle disc with 20, 1.8 second locked grooves (10 per side).

Each record was completely unique as they were made one at a time, using 100 samples from an LP on random play. 

See below to let Michael Dixon talk you through the record himself...

3. Liquid Filled

This is one of the most challenging areas of record design because it is difficult to prevent leakage and evaporation of the liquid. In the last ten years or so there has been significant development in our capability to produce these records, due to a few specialists researching the best materials and sealing methods. 

The earliest liquid vinyl we can find a record (haha) of is from 1978 and was a prototype for the soundtrack to the 1979 Disney film ‘The Black Hole’. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find a good enough way to seal the record, and it was never released.

Jack White (2) – Sixteen Saltines liquid record
Image source

Since then, Jack White released a liquid disc in 2012 – yet again, however, it suffered from liquid evaporation. Many of them leaked on the day they went on sale, which lead to sellers having to flip and move them to prove to buyers that they had a good copy. There were only 300 released and it seems that to have one still with liquid is even more rare – the only two currently up for sale on Discogs report that the liquid has evaporated.

4. Blood Filled!

Another record was developed and released at the same time as Jack White’s… and hopefully it had better leak prevention, because this one contained blood. It was by The Flaming Lips, and the blood for each record was given by the artists they collaborated with on the record. These artists included Chris Martin of Coldplay, Kesha and Sean Lennon.

The Flaming Lips – The Flaming Lips And Heady Fwends Blood filled record
Image source

They sold 10 copies of it for $2500 each. The proceeds went to various charities and educational institutions. Currently, there is a copy on Discogs for $12,000. It also seems that these records were never intended to be played – buyers were given a standard black record with their purchase, and the blood records were inside a display case. They have a seal on the side, meaning many of the records cases have never been opened or properly looked at for fear of damage/reducing the value.

Check out this blog for a lot more detail regarding this release and the process of making it back in 2012.

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