Call it perfectionism. Call it dedication. Call it the result of residing in a country where the total population is exceeded by that of Raleigh, North Carolina, and where the breathtaking, varied, and expansive landscape potentially gives rise to thoughts of “Hm, well what exactly should I do today?” Given Björk’s creative history, the inclination is to look toward something entirely subjective and innate as an explanation for her relentless work ethic and musical innovation. Her albums are “projects” in the true sense of the word; to her, they’re tremendous undertakings that cannot seemingly be over-mulled before, during, and after the fact. Particularly for Björk’s latest release, Biophilia (TMT Review), and even putting aside the unique approach that she took to composition, the album-as-project idea gets even more cogent: as Scott Snibbe, an interactive artist who was commissioned by Björk in the summer of 2011 to create the iPad apps associated with the album, described it to The Guardian, “Björk’s put herself way at the forefront here by saying, ‘We’ll release this album and these apps at the same time and they’re all part of the same story.’ The app is an expression of the music, the story and the idea.”
Possibly serving as a fashionable conclusion to the numerous live performances, apps, and special editions (the most “ultimate” of which contained 10 tuning forks, each adjusted to the tone of a Biophilia track) associated with the album, One Little Indian has announced, beginning April 2, an eight-part Biophilia remix series, with contributions from Hudson Mohawke, Alva Noto, Matthew Herbert, 16-bit, King Cannibal, Death Grips, El Guincho, and These New Puritans. In addition to being available on 12-inch vinyl, CD, and digital download, each entry in the series will also be incorporated into a limited-edition deluxe package, reportedly designed with “embossed foil lettering” and “special blue mineral paper.” That’s in contrast to ordinary blue mineral paper, which only barbarians use.
Taking a look at Biophilia as a whole, it’s tough to consider it simply an “album.” Whereas her vocals, to the unacquainted, might be the most initially striking aspect of any of her work, Björk has certainly, by virtue of her general creative attitude, altered notions of what to expect from a music release. That, and she was eccentric way before eccentricity became cool. Eat your heart out Lady Gaga.