30 August 2010

Monkey Journey From The West packaging

From: Creative Review
Date: 30/10/08

The Vinyl Factory - a company in London that owns Phonica record store, EMI's old vinyl pressing plant in Middlesex and FACT magazine, has recently started to produce limited edition musical packages for vinyl-lovers... The first package they did was a boxed edition of Beautiful Future for Primal Scream but we've just clapped our eyes on their second project – which packages sumputously the music and artwork of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's Monkey Journey To The West – and felt duty-bound to post up some images:

The red, cloth-effect box measures approx 40cm wide, 35cm high and 4cm deep

Open the box to find the text-free cover of a gatefold double vinyl pack...

Remove the gatefold vinyl pack and a folded print on bible paper to find a small book of artwork housed snugly in a foam surround...

Open up the vinyl pack to reveal more artwork on the inside and also on the two printed inner sleeves. The music is spread over three sides of the vinyl discs with the fourth side adorned with etched illustrations by Hewlett

Here's that etched vinyl

So, to recap - here's what you get when you purchase this box: Double vinyl pack, small exclusive book of artwork and an art print on bible paper - not to mention the code to download a digital version of the album

We can't deny that this box set is lovingly conceived and produced to a very high standard. In fact it feels like pretty good value for £65 - although we are left wondering how we'd store it at home... The fact is that we've become so used to storing music digitally that being faced with such a nicely produced, oversize box of vinyl and printed goodies is slightly discombobulating. And let's face it, this isn't something to keep with your other records. It's a collectors item that demands to be kept somewhere safely away from the harbingers of greasy fingerprints and clumsy hands...

The Vinyl Factory's Sean Bidder also told us that there will be a special edition of the Monkey box set that will cost £250. So what do you get for such a sum, we hear you ask? Sean sent us a list of what will be included within the clothbound, foilblocked box:

• Four exclusive Jamie Hewlett giclee-on-somerset prints, each stamped, dated and numbered, one signed.
• Exclusive hardback, cloth covered 78-page 12" size art book containing story, exclusive sketches and illustrations.
• Two super-heavyweight 200-gram vinyl LPs will be housed in the book, containing six bonus tracks not available on the commercial release. Pressed on the classic EMI 1400, with one-side specially etched.

Also, when you purchase the box, you also receive a digital version of the album. And, if you're among the first 500 customers to order the box set, you will also receive a custom-made special limited edition Monkey Om Box, with musical tones composed by Damon Albarn and artwork designed by Jamie Hewlett. As soon as this is ready (release date of the special edition is next week) we will endeavour to post up images here on the CR blog. In the meantime, read more about The Vinyl Factory's collectible box sets here.

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