Monday, 9 November 2009

Laurence Lane : Bip / Bip Bip

A record I own but have never heard. Presented in a transparent PVC sleeve, this double B side picture disc was released in 1999 on This Is Pop Records (5 029385 161187). The red label area mentions W&LI (Work & Leisure International - see write-ups of singles by Matt Wand and Hayley Newman; link : Each side of this disc is black (aside from the label area), aping a conventional record, with the notable exception that on side B there's an unnumbered bar code, and two such bar codes decorating side BB.
I tried this record on my turntable, but not only did I just get silence but the stylus didn't progress : whilst it appears at first glance that there's a groove, that's just part of the picture - both sides are smooth to the touch.
This single is actually only audible if read with a bar code scanner. The topside's label area indicates that it's a 45, with the flip mentioning 90 BPM, so my interpretation is that it's necessary to hold or secure the scanner above the spinning record to get the desired effect, the ninety beats per minute.
Perhaps a ridiculous record to have spent £4.50 (plus handling charge) on, as I doubt I'll ever possess the correct set-up to experience it properly - but more than worth that price for its novelty value.
Interestingly, Lane receives the in-brackets composer credit for each side - I'm confused as to how that works copyright-wise : is it that particular numerical bar code Lane "composed"; or do Bip and Bip Bip refer to the broader idea ? That is, if someone made their own version of this single using their own unique bar code, would it constitute a cover, with royalties needing paying to Lane ? Certainly the "bip"s would sound the same...

Record available here :
Laurence Lane is a director of International 3 :
Link to one of Laurence's projects :

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