Room40 to reissue Scanner’s Mass Observation with previously unreleased second mix

Room40 to reissue Scanner's Mass Observation with previously unreleased second mix

Lest you traffic in clichés and shamelessly adhere to the notion that there are two (and only two) sides to every story, the 1994 release Mass Observation by Scanner — a.k.a. Robin Rimbaud — isn’t just a tale of Björk sampling without permission and Scanner’s label reps fighting on the other side against the continued distribution of Post. Controversy in art always has a chance of obfuscating the art itself, so in the case of Mass Observation, we’re fortunate that there’s more to the release than what’s been revealed up until this point.

24 years is an awfully long time to keep bonus music locked away in the equivalent of an underground safe, ready for a dramatic opening by some proverbial Geraldo Rivera; but if the makers in question include an artist who remains committed to the great electronic/ambient ideal™ (Jim O’Rourke and Robert Hampson were in on the session as well, as it turns out), then it’s hardly just another random tidbit of news. The auspicious session that produced the album took place in an apartment in South London, where the aforementioned artists (plus Mike Harding of Touch spectating) presided over “dehumanised communications, beatless radio signals drawn in live to tape,” “dial tone pulses,” and “abstract textures.”

While one mix of Rimdaud’s “unique approach to surveillance and communication” was obviously released previously, the second has been (deliberately or not) kept hidden…until the Room40 label recently opted to collect both versions in one single Mass Observation release. The new “expanded” release is out October 5 and is now available for purchase right here. Hear an excerpt via the clip below:

Mass Observation (Expanded) tracklisting:

01. Mass Observation (Expanded)
02. Mass Observation (Expanded edit)

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