Published Apr 20, 2018Believe it or not, today marks the 20th anniversary of Massive Attack's landmark 1998 album Mezzanine. And to celebrate, Robert Del Naja and co. will be re-releasing the album on a very innovative format — DNA.
With the help of technology developed by scientists at Swiss university ETH Zurich, the digital audio files of Mezzanine are set to be converted into "920,000 short DNA strands," which will then be stored in "5,000 tiny (nanometre-sized) glass spheres," according to university researchers.
This will mark the first time an entire album has been converted to DNA via such a process, said a press release from the university, which added "it could be an answer to the problem of archiving the increasing amount of information that the world is creating."
To get a bit more technical, the audio is being compressed using Opus, with the beads then being stored in water. The DNA then can be removed at any point, meaning the album will be archived for hundreds if not thousands of years, explained ETH professor Robert Grass. By comparison, CD are said to only last for about 30 years.
"While the information stored on a CD or hard disk is a sequence of zeros and ones, biology stores genetic information in a sequence of the four building blocks of DNA: A, C, G and T," explained Grass.
Over here you can hear a sound sample of Mezzanine highlight "Teardrop," as well as learn more about the project.
While this marks the first time a full album has been encoded into DNA, individual songs have gone through a similar process in the past.