Friday, January 08, 2016

The Flaming Lips: Zaireeka (1997)

Although initially released on CD in 1997, the four LP box set came out on Record Store Day in 2013. It's described by Allmusic as: 'A combination of the words "Zaire" and "Eureka," Zaireeka is a term coined by Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne symbolizing the fusion of anarchy and genius." [source]

The intention is that all four discs (CDs or records) be played simultaneously, though one doesn't need to play all four. The records can be played in combinations of two or three or four. I think I could manage play four CDs simultaneously, but I do not have four turntables or receivers. I can't even play two records at once, unless I make a tape of one. In other words, this is a truly bizarre thing to have on vinyl. Nevertheless, the individual records are interesting in themselves. Perhaps this calls for a party, wherein I would have to invite four friends to bring turntables and receivers and speakers.

I found this item heavily discounted when a local record store closed a location. I paid just over $10 for a sealed copy. As a fan of the Lips, I could not turn it down. Each record is a different colour: blue, red, orange, and lime green. The enclosed booklet comes with this warning:

"Warning: this is a unique recording. These eight compositions are to be played using as many as four players, and have synchronized start times. This recording also contains frequencies not normally heard on commercial recordings and on rare occasion has caused the listener to become disoriented. These extremely high and low frequencies can cause a person to become disoriented, confused or nauseated. DO NOT listen repeatedly at high volume. Make sure infants are out of listening range. Zaireeka should not be listened to while driving."

An intrepid fan uploaded a video of all tracks synchronized on Youtube:

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