Note this is a sound recording, aiming to recreate the live recording experience. You can try to create our recommended ideal listening experience using multiple audio outputs, or you can listen to it like any other album.
We encourage you to listen to multiple tracks starting at the same time. You can do so in multiple browser windows/tabs from a single device, or on multiple devices - or a combination of both.
Tip: It could be fun to do with a group of 4, and each person uses their cell phone to play one track.
Ideally you surround yourself with the outputs in 4 corners of the room around you. The following diagram illustrates the best possible positioning, if you have 4 audio outputs each with 2 channels.
But this is certainly not required, and you can listen using 4 tabs on your laptop, too.
Now that you’re ready, start each track at approximately the same time on each tab/window/device. Don’t worry if it’s not exact.
You can also just listen to this album as you would any other - there's no wrong way to listen to BLACK.
Please note: a few tracks begin with varying lengths of silence
The physical form of dragonchild's debut is a vinyl 4-LP set, titled BLACK, containing a single 20-minute piece of music revealed when the four albums are played simultaneously. This physical release imagines a vinyl record as an art piece, with photography by Ethiopian photographer Michael Tsegaye, depicting a lava lake in the Afar region of eastern Ethiopia. Each vinyl record is translucent, with music on one side and an engraved topographic map of the lava fields on the reverse.
You can’t really listen to “BLACK,” but you can perform it. First, of course, you will need four turntables, and a space to set them up. (The album includes a diagram showing optimum placement.) You will also need three accomplices, so that all four tonearms can be dropped at once. “Debo,” the name of DA Mekonnen’s previous band, is an Amharic word meaning “communal labor”; to truly experience “BLACK,” you need a community, too.
This is a beautiful and audacious project: an artistic landmark, and an important addition to the long history of African-American cultural exchange.
Album produced by Ecogrief FM for dragonchild
Executive produced by Matt Pakulski
Recorded by Seth Manchester
Mixed by Eric Masunaga
Photographs by Michael Tsegaye
Design and layout by Al Brandtner
Special thanks to Heba Kadry & Elio DeLuca