Sparklehorse/DJ Danger Mouse: Digital Revolutionaries
Sparklehorse and DJ Danger Mouse teamed up with all of their friends including film/photography legend David Lynch to make an album and hardcover book of photos called Dark Night of The Soul. They collaborated with over ten other popular artists to make a beautiful mis-mash of music. Upon finishing the album, EMI began trying to secure copyrights and ran into contractual roadblocks with many of the guest artists, instead of trying to remedy the situation, EMI just decided to scrap the whole project.
Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and Lynch weren’t about to take that decision lying down. Instead they seeded torrent sites and put it on NPR’s website for free streaming and downloads. On the web site they then sold deluxe packages (only 5000 were made) which included: a hand-numbered 100+ page book of photos by Lynch, a poster, and a custom designed blank CD-R to burn the downloaded album onto. There was also a lower-tier option of just the poster and an alternate designed CD-R.
They connected with their fans, making them feel like they were a part of the conspiracy, and made a ton of money selling out those deluxe packages.