Trent certainly looks to have the formula right this time.
After the majority seem to have downloaded NiggyTardust! for free things can’t have been looking that good. I doubt there was any way that Trent would have gone back to a bricks and mortar record company after the trouble he’s had in the past. The Closure video set still hasn’t been released after what must be two or three years after it was first mooted. I bet all the record companies were hovering, hoping against hope, that Reznor would fail. After what seems like a month of teasers on his web-site the music is finally out. Trent has truly embraced the internets. Blogger, flickr and YouTube all have official NIN content and if you dig deep you’ll find official torrents.
This has to be the right way to do things. Offer your fans what they want. Not just the usual mass produced CD for £15, closely followed by a ‘special version’ some months later, just to rip the fans off one more time. Offer downloads in whatever format they want, download now and get a CD in the post, special packaging and even vinyl.
I chose the $10 download and CD option. With the servers going into meltdown getting at the content after paying did prove a little difficult. The download link would expire after the zip file hits my hard-drive. Clicking the link showed the file downloading at a snails pace then crashing out. Waiting for the US to go to bed helped and I managed to get the zip file after an hour or so this morning.
Unzip it and you find, the cover art, a PDF file containing 40 photos and what would in normal circumstances be the liner notes, extras like two different sizes of wallpaper and all kinds of graphics for your web-site and avatars, and also the MP3 tracks themselves.
The music is just totally instrumental and experimental. If you’ve enjoyed the non-vocal tracks from The Fragile and the like then you’ll love this. I knew that Adrian Belew had a role in this project as a little video clip on the web-site showed him at work with his pedal wrangler hard at work, but I was surprised to see Brian Viglione, the male half of The Dresden Dolls, appear on the credits. Not a great shock to me as I first saw The Dresden Dolls support Nine Inch Nails a few years ago.
The package as a whole is just incredible. The attention to detail. The fact that each song has its own album art just shows the care that has been put into this project. Trent can certainly put more of his energy into this kind of thing instead of fighting with record companies.