Even more musical Easter eggs: we continue to talk about gifts for attentive listeners

Audiohalkers are not limited to vinyl releases and hidden tracks. In today’s article, we will talk about the unusual messages, messages and images that musicians supply their songs – coming out both on records or audio cassettes, and in digital format.


A photo Joanna nix / Unsplash

Inscriptions on records

The easiest way to leave a hidden message on the disc is to put it on a flat surface closer to the center of the disc. And groups often enjoy this opportunity.

The double album “What Burns Never Returns” by veterans of mat-rock Don Caballero offers to make a complete sentence from the words printed on the records. If you put the labels in order, you get the phrase “CDs make you look like a rainbow, but you look like this.”

On records with Still, one of the latest releases of the Joy Division, released after the death of the vocalist, unusual messages are also printed. They refer to the movie “Stroshok“Which Ian Curtis looked before committing suicide. On the first and fourth side it is written “The Chicken Won’t Stop” and “The Chicken Stops Here,” respectively. Chicken tracks are scratched on the other two sides.

“Chicken” is actually a quote from “Strošek”, in the film he appears closer to the ending, shortly before the main character completes his life journey. The metaphor is interpreted differently: it is both a parody of a consumer society and the image of a victim of circumstances (in the film he is part of a slot machine and is forced to dance every time the viewer drops a coin into the slot machine):

The first edition of Led Zeppelin’s third album alludes to Alistair Crowley, a British occultist of the early twentieth century who almost personally formed the image of black magic in modern popular culture. The Masonic formula “So Mote Be It” is written on the “A” side (“Let it be so!”, A phrase that completes or marks the key moment of the Masonic ritual), and on the back it says “Do What Thou Wilt” – the main principle of Crowley’s magical philosophy.

Spectrographics

Spectrograms are another channel for encrypted messages from musicians. Some performers hide in the spectrograms of their image tracks.

This is known, for example, the pioneer of experimental electronics Aphex Twin. His track “Windowlicker” has a hidden image of a spiral. And the bi-side from the same record of 1999 release contains an even more amazing surprise. With the correct spectrograph settings in the track, you can see a portrait of the musician himself.

After Tween’s Easter egg boomed, other musicians also began to use spectrographic images to promote their work and as a way of expressing creative ideas. So, on the spectrogram of the first seconds of the song “My Violent Heart” from the concept album “Year Zero” by Nine Inch Nails, you can see the outstretched from the sky hand – The image that appeared in the promotional materials for the release of the album.

Silence

Sometimes the best way to surprise the listener is to leave unallocated space where you are not waiting for it at all. That’s what the fathers of The Dead Kennedys hardcore did in their EP, In God We Trust, Inc..

In the best traditions of punk, the songs of the group are mostly short. The total duration of the plate is 14 minutes. Therefore, on a cassette release, the group left the other side empty and wrote on the cassette, the following: “Home recordings kill the income of the music industry! We left this side empty so you can participate in the process. ”

Not-so-easter eggs

The metal band “Tool”, known for long, meditative and rhythmically intricate tracks, on its penultimate album, unwittingly created something like a transformer song.


A photo madalina avasilcai / Unsplash

Attentive (or overly enthusiastic) listeners noticed that the title track – “10,000 Days” – is equal in duration to the sum of two other songs – “Viginti Tres” and “Wings For Marie (Pt 1)”. According to enthusiasts, if you purchase two copies of the album and play “10,000 Days (Wings Pt 2)” on one system and “Viginti Tres” first and then “Wings For Marie (Pt 1)” on the other, they turn into new composition.

The same effect can be achieved by bringing these songs together in specialized software (or by launching them in several tabs on YouTube). Viginti tres and Wings For Marie add interesting textures to the complex progressions of the title track.

Skeptical listeners, however, declarethat in order to achieve a convincing sound, you have to adjust the timing of tracks in some places. And the members of the group themselves are recognizedthat if the “secret composition” exists, then it turned out quite by accident.


Additional reading on the topic:

From computer games to secret messages: discuss Easter eggs in vinyl releases
Vinyl instead of a postage stamp: unusual rarity
Why did vinyl come back, and how are streaming services related to this?

From levitating records to sound from a cardboard box – 6 gadgets for vinyl
“Camera, motor, music!”: How directors use vinyl in films


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