By Scott TavenerVinyl records endured cassettes, CDs and the technological revolution. Now, thanks to UK-based startup And Vinyly, albums can share those survival skills with the masses, helping people outlast death. Well, sort of. For a fee, the company will press the ashes of deceased vinyl lovers into LPs. Seriously.
Of the service's inception, DJ/founder Jason Leach tells Exclaim!, "I saw some guy who put his ashes in fireworks for his family to set off and I thought it was brilliant." With that in mind, the musician sought out a similarly novel finale, resolving to have his remains pressed into a record.
From there, a semi-serious website followed, eventually evolving into an actual business. "I wasn't sure that something would come of itâ€¦ now it's making me work," admits Leach.
Eternity at 33.3 revolutions per minute doesn't come cheap, with the basic package priced at £2,000 (approximately $3,237 Canadian). That scores flat-lined audiophiles up to 30 24-minute discs, basic artwork and the ability to incorporate songs, a vocal recording or simple ash-induced crackles and pops.
Available extras include cover portraiture from National Gallery-certified painter James Hague, bespoke music from in-house label Death to Vinyl and full-service funerals (aka "FUNerals"). For the latter, musos should budget about £10, 000.
Still working out bureaucratic and practical details, Leach has yet to press actual human ashes into an album, though he insists it is easily done. "You just sprinkle however much you want on the vinyl before [it's] stamped," he says.
With a slew of interest, he plans to have the venture fully up and running in a matter of months, so expect to hear dead people relatively soon.