Friday, October 30, 2009

Phoenix's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix: Deluxe Edition Unboxing

We'll start with this: if you're not prepared for some nerd out fan-boy time, then go now, because that's what this is all about. Specifically, Phoenix's deluxe box set for their record Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Consider yourself warned.

We received the box set (from Europe, par avion) a while back, and we've been meaning to get these pics out to you, dear readers, for a while. In short, the box set fulfills our Phoenix fetish to the max, by offering up a box set that feels distinctively handmade, and gives real insight to the making of this fantastic record.

The set comes in a "pizza box" that was apparently silkscreened by hand by Laurent Brancowitz, which makes sense given that the guitarist designed the record's art in full. It's immediately obvious not only that the materials were hand silkscreened, but also that the sets were assembled by hand.

The set contains the CD of the record, along with an exclusive documentary entitled "Musicvision". We have yet to view the DVD, but keep your eyes peeled for a review. Interestingly, we also decided to rip the CD when we received it, and discovered a vastly different mix from the one we had been listening to. We have no idea where the set of mp3's we have came from, but there are a number of slight differences. More noticeably, "Girlfriend" is a completely different rendition (see below), and "Lasso" is quite a bit faster. Hmmm.

Next up are a number of art pieces that Brancowitz put together for the package. The first is a staple-bound 'zine that is made up of photos taken during the Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix sessions. The 'zine is a neat little assembly, and manages to give a nice abstract vibe, while not feeling too contrived.

The 'zine is backed up by three really nice prints of Brancowitz's photos. The prints are high quality 8x10's, and again: the handmade vibe is immediately apparent. The prints were made in small batches, and the back is even imprinted on the back with the name of Brancowitz's file names. Suffice it to say, these weren't printed at a record plant.

Finally, there's the vinyl: the set comes with two slabs of vinyl: one of the record itself, and another of demos for the album entitled "The Wolfgang Diaries". The record is in a hand silkscreened sleeve, and comes with a nice high-gauge plastic dust jacket. Given our penchant for vinyl goodness, we were extremely pleased.

However, we're even more excited about The Wolfgang Diaries. The vinyl is printed to look much like old school bootleg pressings, and contains a vast number of tracks. We haven't given it a spin yet (turntable's in the shop), but you can bet that hearing these tracks has us more than a little excited.

So, that's about it: is it worth it? To us, absolutely. The handmade feel, loads of exclusive material, and overall "perfect" container for Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is exactly what we've been looking for. The fact of the matter is that this is a record that has ruled our life for the better part of this calendar year, and having it be worshipped in this manner is by no means overkill.

mp3: Phoenix - Girlfriend (Early Mix)


Walker_CPH said...

Superb and detailed description of this beautiful boxset.

May I use your pictures ?

hippiesaredead said...

Feel free to contact us at to discuss use of photos from the archive. Thanks!