August 1 [12:00 EDT] -- Robin Rimbaud, better known in the electronic music world as Scanner, has a new album out called "Delivery," ["Heidi" Video, 1.2MB QuickTime] on which he certainly lives up to his handle.
Scanner's ambient soundscapes are layered with snippets of cell-phone conversations snatched out of the air with a device called the "Realistic Model Pro-43 Hyperscanner," which is readily available at Radio Shack stores.
Of course, cell-phone scanning, a clear invasion of privacy, is illegal in this country. Scanner appears to have avoided legal problems by pitch-shifting the voices he picks up, and editing out surnames, numbers and addresses. The element of voyeurism involved in all of this somewhat unsettling anyway, but Rimbaud says that's the appeal.
Scanner told MTV News.
"When you're at school and with your friends you always want to know what your friends really think about you, and you're just curious
in that moment. I think some of us are just voyeurs."
While Scanner renders the principles of his stolen conversations virtually unrecognizable, it doesn't keep those him around him from wondering if he's been pilfering their calls.
"When I've had friends who say, 'That's me on the record,' I know it's not them because I have the original conversation and I can play it at the original speed and soon they go, 'It wasn't me, was it?'"
You can pick up a copy of "Delivery" and listen in for yourself.