Massive Attack's Mezzanine remastered in aerosol spray can format

Each can carries approximately one million copies of the LP:

Addressing the novel storage method, Massive Attack's Robert '3D' Del Naja -- who according to the press release is "also known as a graffiti artist" -- said: "It's a creative way to store your back catalogue, although DNA-encoded spray paint is unlikely to be adopted by street artists seeking anonymity".

The complex encoding process is explained in detail in by Dr Robert Grass of Zurich-based company TurboBeads. "This digital bitstream of the album (0s and 1s) was first translated to 901'065 DNA sequences (A, C, T and Gs), each 105 characters long", says Grass. "The 901'065 individual sequences were then chemically synthesised resulting in a synthetic DNA sample, which fully represents the digital bitstream of the album."

Then, in order to "guarantee information stability", the DNA sequences were encapsulated in "synthetic glass fossils", which were added directly to the spray can. According to Dr Grass, each can "contains at least 0.1 micrograms of the synthetic DNA, which is equivalent to 1 million copies of the album."

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13 Responses:

  1. Kyle Huff says:

    I'd be a lot more impressed if they also came up with a way to spray that on a reader and get real-time playback.

  2. Leonardo Herrera says:

    I loved how Herr Doktor speaks with proper thousands sepaators.

  3. Paul Fisher says:

    Finally! I can huff an album.

  4. robert_ says:

    I'm glad we have finally found a replacement for the mp3 format.

  5. Kyzer says:

    I think this is useful example that could be added to What color are your bits?. People copying music would argue that the digital files they are copying are "just numbers", therefore why accuse them of copyright infringement?

    Here are some numbers encoded as DNA. Are you as interested in them as the same numbers encoded as bytes on your computer that can be easily passed to an audio decoder? If not, why not? Perhaps the music is more than "just numbers", and you do not value the numbers, you actually value the music represented by the numbers.

  6. phuzz says:

    This does make it seem more likely that the rumours are true and Banksy was indeed a friend/member of Massive Attack back in the day.

  7. Thomas Lord says:

    It still lacks the warmth and intimacy of vinyl.

  8. nooj says:

    I hate it when I accidentally inhale my music collection!

  9. Jeremy Wilson says:

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