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Found on the Elevator

22 Apr


OK, this is just kinda neat. Wil Wheaton posted a reference to it today and it turns out side one is available on SoundCloud. Here’s the rundown:

This inexplicable 10-inch record from 1969 is one of the strangest and most obscure private pressings you could ever hope to find. It contains a 24-minute psychedelic message from the distant future, presented with intermittent bursts of electronic music, feedback and ambient noise. This recording is an “unauthorized experiment” that was made in the year 2058 C.D.S. (Carbon Dating System), a “blue verbal data feed” sent backwards in time to “retro A.D.” by Decker, T. L., index J-3, CMR 00965 of T-Group Roaring Vectors 252, a human cyborg who suffers from a malfunctioning number nine electrode in his head which causes him to have an emotional breakdown as he records this message. It’s a secret message to a past world he has trouble imagining, a retro world of foreign substances like metal, plastic, animals, soldiers… a world all “physical and slow,” “all mechanical and disunified, before major coordinations.” An 8½” 20RPM disc containing this recording was found on the elevator at 205 W. 57th Street in New York City on February 11, 1969 by the composer Clark Gesner. The only other known copy of this record resides in Box 44 Folder 7 of the Clark Genser archive at the Princeton University Library Manuscripts Division: A 1973 issue of Radical Software magazine (Vol. II Nr 3) contains a partial (inaccurate and rather poorly comprehended) transcript of a little over half of this recording, as well as a letter from Mr. Gesner declaring this recording to be a part of the public domain.

This is either exactly what it says it is (!), or a great piece of weird art. It’s worth a listen, any way you look at it.