Underground remixes are suddenly getting attention all over the Internet. Nothing is hotter than Jay-Z and the Grey Album remix. Some may think this is just another example of people trying to get something for free. Others, however, see this as a type of civil disobedience, and ask why three or four companies should get to decide what art is legal or illegal.
Now Claire Channel and Scary Sherman (great names) have created the new Jay-Z Construction Set. It’s a CD-ROM that collects 9 remixes of Jay-Z’s Black Album (including the Grey Album). It also has the original Jay-Z a capella vocal tracks, hundreds of samples and breakbeats, and photos of Jay-Z, his rivals, hot cars, and picturesque scenes. In other words, it’s all the pieces you need to make your own Black Album remix, and the cover art to go with it. Who needs the Grey Album, how about a Purple Album, or a Fuscia Album, or a Rainbow Album?
The Construction Set is already huge on torrent. It has turned into one of the hottest downloads, and this is turning into the best free publicity that Jay-Z could get. It’s hard to imagine that record company executives won’t see the value in releasing song components that anybody can remix, considering that this has brought a considerable amount of attention to an album that is otherwise unexceptional.
Interesting things are happening in the music world. The Grey Album is one example. People are interested in being involved in music, and the computers of today are like the cheap guitars of 40 years ago. People are taking the tools they have available and making interesting and not so interesting derivitive work. Instant Music is another example. Cheap laptops and free music software have made it easy for anybody to make music anywhere. This has led to overnight creations like the Dean Mixes. It also makes it easy for anybody to make high-quality recordings on location, approved or unapproved. Expect to see more instant music, and the rise of guerilla location recording.
The Jay-Z construction set is available via torrent. Information is available at the Jay Z Construction Set site. The file you get from BitTorrent is a .zip file. The Jay-Z Construction Set was designed to fit on a CD-ROM. It weighs in at just under 650mb so it should work on any CD burner. The site suggests that users should “Feel free to alter the contents as much as you want. Include your own remixes, add more samples, whatever you want– this project belongs to everyone that touches it!”