Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Release of the Day: Croatian Amor - The Wild Palms

By now, you've probably heard the story. Loke Rahbek, the sole member of Croatian Amor, "sold" copies of The Wild Palms for a very special price: the inquiring listener had to send him a fully-frontal nude picture of his or herself with "The Wild Palms" written somewhere on his or her body. The music was to be kept clandestine in return for the privacy of the nude picture, as the music is purportedly a representation of the naked artist. 327 people partook in the exchange, and there was only one copy per person made.

Unfortunately for the project, though fortunately for the listener, The Wild Palms has not been kept secret. There has already been a sale on Discogs for $100, and surely the price will only go up from there, as some people will keep the experience and music private, though others will decide to pawn it off, which, in my opinion, cheapens the experience. Each cassette is hand-numbered and comes with a personal message of thanks. It's a new example of how special and intimate the music experience can be, and I think it's a really brilliant idea on Loke's behalf to establish such a connection between listener and creator.

I'm not going to describe the music or post anything related to the sound because that would defeat the purpose of the music experience, though I did want to post something about the release to bring attention to this cassette, which is really a bit of a response to the digital music culture we live in. Is streamed music somehow cheapened by being free? What happens to art when the sacred exchange shatters
? What happens to music when it lives on a one-way street?

I think that the method of release is rather romantic: obviously, the intimate bond between the listener and creator is not so strong with some as it is with others, though who can say how the music has gotten out of the privacy of those who partook in the project. Maybe that person too will have his or her nakedness revealed.

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