F O R M A T, Trevor Jackson. Image courtesy of the artist.
Trevor Jackson hasn't released an album in 14 years, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been busy. On February 25, the creative director, artist, and sonic pioneer behind Playgroup is set to debut a 12-track full-length in 12 separate physical file formats. Aptly entitled F O R M A T, the album is spread out, one song per 12", 10” and 7” vinyl, CD, mini CD, cassette tape, USB stick, VHS tape, MiniDisc, Digital Audio Tape (DAT), 8-track tape, and reel-to-reel tape, respectively, each designed by Jackson and released by The Vinyl Factory. According to the press release, the album pays homage to music formats of the past, in celebration of "the artistry, design and individual experience of playing music via traditional methods."
Jackson explains his motivation for putting such effort into this release, stating, “Every copy of a physical recording is different, a real object that has its own little story—a one of a kind, personalised by the effort you put in to purchase it, each time you touch it, and the unique ritual that goes along with playing it. I want the people who purchase these items to feel special; they will be the only ones who possess these tracks in any form at that time. The fact culturally everything's become so convenient and easily accessible whilst in the process totally disposable is an important subject I needed to address with this project.”
The full album contains selections from about 150 unreleased tracks that Jackson has amassed over the years, carefully curated, edited, and remastered. Expect elements from every phase of his career, from synth and beatbox workouts, to new wave, Italo disco, psychedelia, and more.
F O R M A T is the latest in a series of albums working to break the mould of the music industry, including Radiohead's Polyfauna app and Bernholz's plaster-encased record. The entire physical album will be on display for an exhibition at The Vinyl Factory Soho, where visitors will be able to listen to the album on each of its respective formats, buy their own limited editions of the album, and view Jackson's latest audiovisual artwork.
Click here to check out what Jackson's been up to in the 14 years since his last album.