In honor of Black Friday (note: we're making posts instead of shopping), we wanted to bring your attention to a cool limited edition piece we were tipped off to.
Damon Albarn's Monkey opera Journey To The West has been playing on stages for a little over a year now, yet came out in album form to little fanfare back in September. The musical -- much like Damon's career for the past 7 or 8 years -- was inspired by, well, monkeys, the artwork of Jamie Hewlett and the 16th Century Chinese novel "Journey to the West", by Wu Cheng'en. The idea was actually conceived and created by the Chinese actor and director Chen Shi-zheng, together with Albarn and Hewlett (although it is argued however, that the original idea came from Jean-Luc Choplin, head of the Chatelet Theatre in Paris). Either way, it was meant for the stage, which is probably why the record release went relatively unnoticed by Albarn's standards. That's why when we saw the album packaged in this limited art edition box set, it seemed to take on a bit more importance.
From the press release: Limited to just 2,000 copies worldwide, The Vinyl Factory will release this beautifully crafted, signed and numbered collectible edition of the album pressed on. Housed in a hand-made, black cloth-bound gold-foiled box, each edition contains will contain:
* Four exclusive Jamie Hewlett giclee art prints on Somerset archival paper, each stamped and numbered, one signed and dated. Housed in a red, gold-foiled folio.
* A black, cloth-bound hardback 84-page art book containing exclusive Jamie Hewlett artwork, sketches and illustrations.
* Two super-heavyweight 200-gram vinyl LPs, containing six bonus tracks not available on the commercial release. Pressed on the classic EMI 1400, with one-side specially etched. (When you purchase the box set you also receive a digital version of the album.)
* The first 500 customers to order the box set will also receive a custom-made special limited edition Monkey Om Box, with tones composed by Damon Albarn and artwork designed by Jamie Hewlett.
Just the fact the records will be pressed on 200-gram vinyl (a step up from the customary high-end cut of 180-gram) almost make it worth the $250 sticker price, but the inclusion of four signed Hewlett prints and an 84-page book actually makes this a rather reasonable purchase. Pre-orders are up now, with shipping to take place on December 8th.