Gang of Four getting down with digital demos for the fans

Jeremy Krinsley

People forget that Beck tried to shake up the notion of the album back in 2005 with multiple versions of Guero/Guerolito as well as 2006's The Information, including remix albums, YouTube videos, deluxe reissues and added incentives (stickers!).

Radiohead raised the stakes, foregoing a label altogether, pulling a veil over their sales figures and driving the biggest nail the industry's yet seen in its coffin.

The concepts are firmly in place for other bands to borrow, starting, it seems, with Gang of Four's Dave Allen. As reported on his blog Pampelmoose, Mr. Allen and his band are in the midst of writing new songs and, at least for the time being, offering up samples of their raw material as it develops.

Here's a bit he pulled from a video clip of a song, “Password”, which he assures us on his blog won't be the title when it's released more officially.

Download .mov audio file here.

And a few days later, a slightly better recording, with what sounds to be Jon King edging Hugo Burnham to “start playing the drums.”

Allen also promises three new demos for songs called “Second Life”, “Faking It” and “American Man”, next week.

Gang of Four's motivations for this level of transparency goes back to their origin, when the scruffily recorded Damaged Goods EP won the band their first bout of notoriety.

Quote:

We are debating, as we do, how we will release the finished goods. Jon King reminds us that our career kick-off was defined by the Damaged Goods EP, a three song, cheaply recorded debut that made a lot of waves in the UK and European press well before we signed to the majors. So how about we start the new round of releases with a 4 song digital EP? Probably. The ‘album’ could then be built over time and released eventually as a CD, but in a compelling, high-value package that makes it valuable to our fans. We have those 4 song ideas as I write and they will be burnished and honed over the next 12 weeks or so. It then makes sense to get them into the hands (and ears) of the public as quickly as possible. Digital makes the most sense along with downloadable artwork, a vinyl record with free MP3s and remixes. And my first choice for remixers would of course be Justice.

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