About this project
Back in 1994, there were plans of releasing a full LP of music from Richard D. James, aka The Aphex Twin, under his "Caustic Window" moniker on his own label, Rephlex Records.
This album unfortunately never saw the light of day until around 1999, when Mike Paradinas (aka µ-Ziq) granted a rare interview with the Aphex Twin fansite, joyrex.com (no longer active). In the interview, Mike described the tracks in detail, and went on to explain that only 4 people at the time were known to have a vinyl test pressing of the album - Richard James, Chris Jeffs (aka Cylob), Grant Wilson-Claridge (co-founder of Rephlex Records) and Mike himself. Each person was sworn to never make copies of the music, and for 20 years, not a single track had ever been commercially released (with the exception of two tracks that appeared on compilations).
Fast forward to 2014, when a mysterious seller listed the album on the music website Discogs for sale at a high asking price. We Are The Music Makers, aka WATMM.com, which succeeded joyrex.com as the web's premiere source for electronic music, discussed the possibility of this "holy grail" of electronic music releases finally seeing the light of day, albeit from unfortunately leaking online once a buyer had obtained it.
Jokingly, the suggestion that the WATMM community band together and "crowdfund" purchasing the album was made, and I began to ponder the possibility - could we band together and purchase the legendary non-release?
Of course, the main issue with doing such a thing is distribution - individuals (even lots of individuals) don't have the right to copy and distribute music they don't have the rights to - then, an idea came to me - why not raise the funds for the record, buy it, then strike a deal with the record label to purchase the rights for everyone who chipped in a digital copy of the tracks?
A few emails later, and such a deal had been struck - the label and Richard James himself agreed to offer one-time distribution rights so the people contributing to this Kickstarter would have a once-in-a-lifetime to own tracks from arguably one of the rarest electronic music (non) releases of all time (and some damn fine music too).
So, with official blessings from Richard James and Rephlex Records, if you contribute 16.00 USD (little under 10.00 GBP or around 11.20 EUR) and become one of the only people legally allowed to own a digital copy of the famed Caustic Window LP ripped straight from the vinyl in a lossless audio format that we will as a community vote and decide on. It's a superb way to support the artist by legally purchasing something you will never get to purchase otherwise - Rephlex has no plans and will not press this record commercially.
Be a part of this unique opportunity and show your hardcore fan support for Richard's music and own some awesome electronic music!
For complete details about the record and it's tracks, see the FAQ which will be updated in the next few days, or head on over to WATMM.com and join the community to learn more.
Risks and challenges
The seller has agreed to delist the record from Discogs until the Kickstarter is either funded or fails to reach it's goal within the alloted time, so we're confident this aspect of the project will come off without any issues.
The record will be shipped within the UK directly to someone who will use high-quality equipment to rip the vinyl and produce the most pristine quality digital audio tracks in a lossless format.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Originally, we had no idea how well received (or not) this whole project would be - so after negotiating a minimum sale price with the seller, we divided it out by 540 as to make the per-backer price as reasonable as possible.
After discussing it a bit (and seeing people were worried they might not be able to back this in time to get a spot when it was limited), we decided to make it unlimited - not only to give everyone a chance to own a copy, but also to hopefully stem any potential piracy by it being limited.
I think it's safe to assume we made the right choice!
The album will be professionally digitally mastered and distributed and the remaining balance will be paid to the artist & label.
The terms of the deal were clear with Rephlex and Richard that this was going to only ever be a digital-only release - this record was never intended on being officially released after it was shelved.
You can refer to the release page on Discogs for more information: http://www.discogs.com/Caustic-Window-Caustic-Window-LP/release/482493
In short, there are 16 tracks, two of which are not tracks per se, but Richard goofing around with his friends, prank calling them and then recording the results.
Two of the tracks did appear on compilation releases:
Some of the tracks have been heard in live DJ sets and mixes, but outside of the two aforementioned tracks, none have seen commercial release.
Support this project
- (30 days)