There’s a new album by The Flaming Lips, At war With THe Mystics. But I’m feeling a little ambivalent about it. Maybe Yoshima got too much airplay. Maybe the F-Lips got over exposed. Whatever the reason, it’s going to take me awhile until I care enough to purchase it.
Until then, I have a different, rarely heard F-Lips cd to listen through. Zaireeka.
Originally released in 1998, Zaireeka is a concept album made in a four cd set. Each cd contains the whole album, eight songs total, only with different mixes of all eight tracks.
Well, it’s more complicated than that. None of the cd’s are complete on their own. The songs are incomplete and you need all four cd’s playing together, simultaneously, to hear each song as The F-Lips intended.
Designed as more of a social experiment, you were supposed to join with three other friends, all with your own cd players, and work together to hear the complete Zaireeka. In theory that sounds like a good time. The reality, though, is that it was too much work for anyone who wasn’t a stoned college student. Online music magazine Pitchfork gave the album 0 out of 10 for it’s annoyance factor.
I purchased the set 5 years ago, after hearing The Soft Bulletin. Thinking of the fun I would have with my friends on some tripped out evening. It never happened.
The music on the album is supposed to surround you in sound, some good, some threateningly harsh, to create a new enviroment. Being difficult to manage, however, gave the internet and tech savvy kids the chance to do what should have been done in the first place. A mixdown version of the album that could be played through on one set of speakers, on one cd player.
Rumour has it that eventually The F-Lips will be releasing a 5.1 surround sound DVD version of Zaireeka. But no release date has been set.
I searched in vain in the last few days for a site where I could download this bootlegged mixdown, but couldn’t find one. So I decided to make one myself.
First I uploaded all four cd’s into itunes. To hear a sample of what each cd sounds like on its own click the links below. This track is the final on the album, The Big Ol’ Bug Is The New Baby Now. (Note: if you listen to these, please listen through the whole file, sometimes there are blank spaces on purpose in the tracks.)
Zaireeka CD 1 Track 8
Zaireeka CD 2 Track 8
Zaireeka CD 3 Track 8
Zaireeka CD 4 Track 8
After that, I moved all four tracks of each song individually into Garage Band. I synched them all to start at the same moment. When finished, I exported the completed songs back to itunes. The end mixdown sounds like this:
Zaireeka Track 8 Final Mixdown
Now after five long years welcome to The Flaming Lips, Zaireeka!