A copy of Aphex Twin‘s test pressing-only Caustic Window album is currently available on Discogs. The price? $13,500.
As the story goes, the album reached the test-pressing phase in 1994, but was aborted as a full release. This release claims to be one of five TPs (the other four are reportedly owned by Mike Paradinas, Rephlex’s Grant Claridge-Wilson, Chris ‘Cylobs’ Jeffs and Aphex himself, though we’ve spoken to an ex-Warp and Rephlex employee who says there are more).
The Discogs seller claims to be able to “demonstrate [the record’s] authenticity & deliver by any reasonable means”. They’re also selling ‘Analogue Bubblebath Vol. 5’ for $1,000 – and in that entry, the seller claims that the record’s legitimacy can be “confirmed directly by Rephlex Records”.
Update 13.00 GMT: We spoke to the seller, who says he was given the record by Rephlex in 1994. In terms of giving proof, there’s no chance of audio as the record is unplayed – and advertised as such – but there are photos of the run-out groove.
Update 14.00 GMT: The listing’s now been removed.
Update 19.00 GMT: We’re not going to do this all day, but it’s back on Discogs.
Update 23.00 GMT: The good folks at WATMM are working on a Kickstarter that would turn this test pressing into a one-time digital release. Rephlex is allegedly on-board, offering a license for the 500 people who contribute to the Kickstarter before selling the release on eBay; read more about the plan over on the forums.
Here’s more details on the Kickstarter, courtesy of WATMM administrator Joyrex:
I spoke with Grant regarding this, and he and Richard have agreed to allow one-time duplication rights of the tracks off CAT023, and have negotiated with the seller for a reduced price of 5000 GBP (8368.54 USD as of 8/4), so that reduces the minimum amount to be paid to 10 GBP (16.73 USD). The seller has agreed to remove the listing from Discogs Marketplace for the time being (once the Kickstarter goes live), and apparently all agree that it’s a good chance to give the hardcore fans a unique chance to own something that will never see the light of day otherwise.
Once the 5000.00 GBP funding amount is met, the record will be turned over to me, and in turn I will contract with someone to produce a high-quality rip (lossless) of the vinyl – in turn, all the people that contribute to the Kickstarter will get a digital version of the tracks, which will be provided by WATMM. The license Rephlex is providing for this is ONLY for the 500 people who contribute to the Kickstarter, nothing more.
Before the digital tracks are released, the record will be put up for auction on Ebay, and once sold, 1/3 of the proceeds will go to Richard/Rephlex as royalty payment, 1/3 will be divided equally between the Kickstarter contributors (a discount if you will off the initial purchase amount), and 1/3 to a charity that we will all vote and agree upon (suggestions are welcome – e.g.: Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund…). Once the auction is complete and payment received, everyone will get to download their promised digital version.
Update 4/10: The Kickstarter will go live tomorrow April 11 at 10:00am CST (that’s 4:00 pm for those of you in the UK), and there’s now no limit on the amount of contributors (which had been raised to 600). In the words of WATMM admin Joyrex “More money for charity! More money for Richard/Rephlex! More money for the seller!” Head over to the forum to inspect the new plan in greater detail.
Update 4/10 2: And the Kickstarter is live, one day early for some reason, we suppose because it’s Aphex Twin related.
Update 4/14: With no limit on the number of backers accepted, the Kickstarter has gone absolutely berserk, currently topping over $40,000 – more than four times the original target, and there are still 26 days to go.