Open Buddha

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Saul Williams' Niggy Tardust Album for Download!

Saul Williams’ new album, “The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust!”, came out today.

Williams has been bouncing around for a while. I first heard of him through Ken Wilber and his crowd on Integral Naked, where he had done some podcasts. He is mostly known for his spoken word work but he does music as well.

On Tuesday, there was an interview with Williams and Trent Reznor, where it was mentioned that Reznor, the man behind “Nine Inch Nails” if you’ve somehow missed that, had produced Williams’ new album. Reznor has been doing quite a bit of producing work over the last decade or so, most notable was his work with Marilyn Manson, which produced “Antichrist Superstar.”

Williams and Reznor worked together to release this new album as download on the net. Williams asks for a token $5 towards it but it is also available for free. In the interview, the two of them are asked about this:

What inspired you to go the In Rainbows route with this album? Saul: From the start, I remember Trent saying, "Let's give it away for free." At first, I was like, "This dude is out of his mind!" But then it really started making sense, and, of course, with Radiohead doing it, we were like, "What the fuck? The idea that we had was great, and we should really follow it through." Trent: I think it's just an awkward time right now to be a musician. The reality is that people think it's okay to steal music. There's a whole generation of people, that's all they've known. I used to buy vinyl. Today, if you do put out a record on a label, traditionally, most people are going to hear it via a leak that happens two weeks — if not two months — before it comes out. There's no real way around that. I'm truly saddened because I think music has been devalued, so that it's just a file on your computer, and it's usually free. But we can't change that. What we can do is try to offer people the best experience that we can provide them. Will it work? I don't know. But I think it's a great way to get music out to people who are interested. At the end of the day, all I care about is the integrity of the music, and that the feeling of those who experience it is as untainted as possible. I'd rather it not be on an iPod commercial. I'd rather it not be a ringtone that you have to get with a free cell phone or any of that bullshit.

The album is available now at http://niggytardust.com as 192kbps mp3, 320kbps mp3, or in FLAC lossless format. I paid the $5 for it and downloaded the 320kbps mp3 files for my ipod.

I’ve been listening to the album for the last hour and it is quite good. I expect I’ll be listening to it quite a bit. As someone familiar with Reznor’s producing work from NIN and other bands, I feel he’s added quite a bit to Williams’ own very strong work here.