This is slightly old-ish news from a few weeks ago, but nonetheless, still exciting for all fans of the English punkers – it appears Gang of Four will be attempting a digital-only release of their next album, their first proper album since 1995’s Shrinkwrapped.
On his blog, bass player Dave Allen made an announcement about their upcoming release, and gave his thoughts on the now tried-and-tested Radiohead route. “It can’t be called an album, that format is over – case in point – after downloading the Radiohead In Rainbows album I found various remixes of songs from that album and so I deleted the originals as the new mixes were preferable to me. I then built my own running order. Goodbye to having an album formatted in advance.”
He then went on to loosely promise that as they record their demos, they’ll upload them to their website so fans can download them and track their progress from rough demos to polished tracks. “Also word of mouth will get the message far and wide that these demos are available and that we are working on the new recordings – no PR required.”
Demonstrating even more solid (gold) knowledge of the music industry, Allen claimed that the feedback gathered from fans as they listen to the rough songs would “help us understand our fans’ beahviour”, and undoubtedly give them an insight on what tracks to include on the final cut.
Spilling even more ideas, Allen said “it’s imperative that we give away MP3s”, and then “enroll our most rabid fans to help us market and promote the band”.
As with Radiohead, it appears Gang of Four might eventually release a CD or vinyl offering of the album, but retain their old punk ethos, as “we must partner only with an indie label for any physical good that we release”.
Nothing they ever do will be comparable with 1979’s Entertainment!, but kudos to them for keeping abreast of the current online musical movement.
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