Canadian DJ's New Album Comes With Cardboard Turntable That Plays Included 3-Track Bonus Disc

from the gaining-new-fans-by-going-old-school dept

As digital media has erased scarcity from the normal artist-to-fan equation, artists who understand this fact are coming up with new ways to package the “infinite,” bringing scarcity back into the equation and opening new levels of connection with their fans.

Kid Koala's latest album, “12 Bit Blues,” is both selling scarcity (in the form of limited editions) and giving the fans a way to connect with the music on a slower, more personal level. Limited editions, both on CD and vinyl (the 2 x LP version is already sold out), come packed with a DIY project that allows the purchaser to construct a miniature cardboard turntable that plays an included flexidisc with three bonus tracks. (H/T to Nate Hoffelder for sending this my way.)

Every “play” of this disc is certain to be a unique experience as it must be rotated by hand. The “slow music” experience is indicative of Kid Koala's production efforts. Rather than generate the entirety through software, he built “12 Bit Blues” from the ground up, for a more “raw” and “immediate” album.

Eric [Kid Koala] began working out what he could do with it – a kind of reverse engineering back to his childhood self. A little mucking around and it came to him – the blues was always about stripping music back to its bare essentials, which is exactly what the SP1200 does, too. Over three days he cut up and reassembled the bed tracks for 12 Bit Blues. No sequencing software was used. Using the pads on the machine and a multitrack, Eric played each part of the tracks in real time, before finally returning and adding cuts over the top.

Kid Koala's offering does several things exactly right. First, it creates a scarce product that goes beyond an LP pressing. Second, it creates a unique experience for each fan who purchases it. Third, and perhaps most importantly, the concept and execution of Koala's vision for “12 Bit Blues,” with its hand-built, hand-operated turntable, is bound to generate a ton of “word of mouth” advertising. This advertising almost always creates new fans, as the connection relies on genuine enthusiasm traveling from person-to-person. 

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Comments on “Canadian DJ's New Album Comes With Cardboard Turntable That Plays Included 3-Track Bonus Disc”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“Kid Koala’s offering does several things exactly right. First, it creates a scarce product that goes beyond an LP pressing. “

Yeah, and the music will be made digital and available on every pirate site on the planet in a short period of time, making buying the disc meaningless to everyone except those few fans who really care.

It’s amusing packaging, but mostly it’s good at shearing the sheep once again, getting the ‘real’ fans to pay for the freeloaders.

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile) says:

Re: Re:

A point you fail to grasp is that people aren’t purchasing the music, their purchasing the packaging. If they wanted the music they would buy mp3’s off a vendor or download it from another site. Kid Koala is just offering a reason to buy that you won’t get through the other methods of music acquisition. And getting some people to pay is better than getting NO people to pay.

Manfred Manfriend says:



You missed the whole point, there really can’t be a digital rip of this type of thing. What will have to happen is for someone to create a 3d printing instruction so people can make their own in order to physically manipulate the disc in the turntable at their own speed to create varying versions of the songs. That’s the kind of piracy we’ll be seeing in the future.

Now off to get myself a cup of tea, Earl Grey: hot….

Anonymous Coward says:



That’s the sound of you missing my point, and just about failing to make your own too.

Quite simply, if the idea is to sell more records, it’s a fail. The idea really appears to be to charge existing fans MORE (oh wait, get true fans to pay more) so that the freeloaders can get the music.

It’s not really rocket science, as much as taking advantage of your good fans to satisfy people to lazy to pay you for anything.

Ninja (profile) says:


It is not a fail. If I download I won’t have the perks the originals do such as the turntable thing (which is just plain awesome in my opinion), the physical copies themselves and the feeling of having contributed with the artist. The ones who download won’t take advantage of the ones who bought the goods simply because they won’t have what the physical goods offer.

That not to mention that those who download might become his fans in the future and spread the word around by giving copies to friends that may turn into fans too who will spread the word… And they will buy. Talking from personal, empirical evidence.

You, sir, are the failure here 😉

Anonymous Coward says:


“You, sir, are the failure here ;)”

Oh come on. You typed the right answer, but didn’t understand it. The “perks” aren’t really important, they are transient to the enjoyment of the music. Either you like the tunes or not. You won’t take your cardboard player in your car (or in your case, on the school bus), you will get digital copies of the song and stick them on your mp3 player and enjoy.

You pay for the transient joy of the toy, not the music. The music will be freely available seconds after release (if not before). The only people paying are the suckers supporting your free music habits.

The failure I think is figuring that this somehow solved the issues of music retailing.

Ninja (profile) says:


Nobody said it solved everything. If you want to quote where it was said be my guest. But it is one successful model (as you might have noticed in the article there are sold out items already). It is interesting because nowadays there’s no panacea in the business world. It has become much harder to standardize and mass produce and this is specially true in the music business given the variety of music styles and the amount of musicians out there. He used the turntable idea probably because it makes sense for a DJ but maybe this same model can be copied elsewhere. If I were a musician I’d offer personalized album art with my own signature for a premium. You see, it’s a scarcity the ones who download CAN’T have. Oh and I’d give my music for free too.

It’s not a transient joy. It’s my turntable, my toy. Exclusive, physical and scarce. I’m a big fan of Nightwish. A friend gave me a CD with their discography and I downloaded the album they had just released a while back (and the last album). Now I’m the proud owner of 3 of their CDs and I’m having a hard time keeping up with my policy of not buying stuff from any MAFIAA label regarding their last CDs. I’m surely going to their next show that is gonna happen right here in my city soon. So how do getting it for free actually damaged the artists?

Keep failing.

Anonymous Coward says:

No matter, I call it a win. He paired up a physical perk with the album concept perfectly.

This isn’t any different than the collector edition most games come in. But you pay extra for whatever hunk of plastic they shove into the box.

You can easily pirate the game, but if it is a series you enjoy and want to see prosper odds are you would buy the limited edition figure packaged with the game

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