Radiohead may have had the audacity to ask for a minimum donation of 1p for their new album but Saul Williams shares no such blatant capitalist values, as he is releasing his new album, The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust!, for absolutely nothing at www.saulwilliams.com.
Produced by Trent Reznor and mixed by Alan Moulder, the album will be released on 1st November. Fans have the option to download the album for free or pay a $5 donation to the artists involved. Those who choose to donate that meagre amount will be given the choice of downloading the tracks as 192kps or 320kps MP3s, or in the lossless FLAC format. If you don’t pay, you still get 192kps MP3s (better than the 160kps MP3’s everyone who bought Radiohead’s In Rainbows got).
“The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! is the lovechild of Trent and me,” says Williams. “The Niggytardust concept sets me free to do more on stage with costume, etc. than one might expect from a regular Saul Williams show. It allows me to put my theatre training to use. I’ve also thought long and hard about all the discussion surrounding racial epithets etc. and chose this title as a means of furthering the dialogue while also showing how creativity will outlive and outshine hatred of any kind.”
“Working on this project was a real pleasure,” adds Reznor. “Saul was interested in breaking boundaries, crossing genres and defying expectations and we learned a great deal from one another in the process. After my own recent dealings with record labels we decided to release it directly to the fans. There are obvious similarities in how Radiohead just released their new record and the way we’ve chosen to. After thinking about this way too much, I feel we’ve improved upon their idea in a few profound ways that benefit the consumer.”
The business end of the project is being handled by Musicane, a site which allows artists to directly sell to fans, used by many independent artists and bigger names such as Public Enemy and Henry Rollins.
Is the emergence of another well-known artist offering their music in this way a real sign that the record company in its present form is soon to become redundant? Williams certainly thinks it could be: “The ballot or the bullet for Mohawk or the mullet is a choice between new times and dying days. And the only way to choose is to jump ship from old truths and trust dolphins as we swim through changing ways. The ways of middlemen proves to be just a passing trend. We need no priests to talk to God. No phone to call her. And when you [order this album], I think it fair that you should know that your purchase will make middlemen much poorer…”
- Black History Month
- Convict Colony
- Sunday Bloody Sunday
- Scared Money
- Skin of a Drum
- No One Ever Does
- Banged and Blown Through
- Raised to be Lowered
- The Ritual