The WOW for the way out

WOW is billed as ‘the most minimal record ever made’: ‘The WOW happens when you play several records simultaneously. Since each record player is unique, the tone will alter slightly depending on its mechanical components. In combination these tones create a powerful sub sonic wave field, which you can control by changing pitch on the record players and by touching the spinning records.’ You can hear a sample here, headphones are recommended. The project brings to mind both the Flaming Lips’Zaireeka‘ (still available) and the drone genre. There’s an oft-told story of a test pressing of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Wedding Album, accidentally sent out for review to a UK publication (the sources differ). Faced with a wall of solid, unwavering tone, the reviewer took a deep breath and plunged in to what they presumed was part avant-garde statement, part exploration of deep, primal sound. According to Wikipedia, Ono and Lennon were delighted and sent the following telegram:

DEAR RICHARD THANK YOU FOR YOUR FANTASTIC REVIEW ON OUR WEDDING ALBUM INCLUDING C-AND-D SIDES. WE ARE CONSIDERING IT FOR OUR NEXT RELEASE. MAYBE YOU ARE RIGHT IN SAYING THAT THEY ARE THE BEST SIDES STOP WE BOTH FEEL THAT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME A CRITIC TOPPED THE ARTIST. WE ARE NOT JOKING. LOVE AND PEACE STOP JOHN AND YOKO LENNON.

The story is also referenced in this BBC review of the similarly monotonal ‘Ström by Carl Michael von Hausswolff.

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