I have written many words about how musicians need to rethink the act of delivery of their recorded albums in a digital age, so it's refreshing to see Matthew Dear step up to the plate with his record label, Ghostly International, to bring us his new album, Black City, in the form of what can only be described as a sculpture; or perhaps 'object' will suffice. Here's more info on what Dear describes as 'totems..'
Dear has partnered with design firm, Boym, who designed the monolithic totems, that include a special code that allows the buyer to access a download and stream of the full digital album, as well as an exclusive track.
From Matthew Dear's web site:
The MDBC Totem is both a sculptural representation of the themes explored in Black City and a symbolic conduit to the music itself. Vaguely reminiscent of one of the soot-blackened skyscrapers that might populate Dear's creeping, nameless city, the stacks upon the totem also call to mind the many shaped prongs of a universal power adaptor. In this sense, the totem is not simply a miniature building, but an abstract key to an unknown door. The branding of the totem has been purposefully reduced to its bare essentials - only the letters MDBC and unique three-digit suffixes are included - so that the totem's meaning remains discernible only to its beholder.
You can also get a free MP3 download from the web site.
Here's some of my thoughts on City.