If you’ve been waiting for the follow-up to Girl Talk’s genre-bending, copyright-busting, pulse-quickening
Night Ripper album — you know, the one that caught Kanye’s attention , got a naked dude Tasered in St. Louis and made an unlikely superstar out of biomedical-engineer-turned-DJ-extraordinaire Gregg Gillis — well, you’re in luck.
Because it’s coming out on Thursday.
That’s right: According to his label, Illegal Art, the new Girl Talk disc, Feed the Animals, is finished and will be released in less than 48 hours, barring “any technical issues, or Gregg himself.
“I haven’t heard the master yet, but Gregg has it and he’s reviewing it right now,” Philo T. Farnsworth, the owner of Illegal Art, told MTV News by phone on Tuesday (June 17). “If he decides something is wrong with it, well, then I guess that could hold up the release — either that or resolving some server issues. But it’s correct to say that it’ll be available on the Illegal Art Web site starting on Thursday … that’s correct as of right now.”
As luck would have it, an MTV News crew was actually with Gillis at his Pittsburgh home late Monday when he received the mastered version of Animals — according to our producer, not only does the album sound great (snippets of Kanye, Shawty Lo, Madonna and Heart — to name just a few — are sprinkled throughout), but Gillis seemed so happy with it that he asked us to decide when it should be released to the Net — our producer picked Thursday, and that’s the day you’ll be able to hear it.
And that’s sort of how things happen in the Illegal Art camp. Philo — who was on break from his daytime job when he spoke to us on the phone — admitted that the release of Animals is being done “by the seat of our pants,” but that everyone had always intended to get the album out early, with little fanfare, for a variety of reasons (most of which have to do with ducking the whole copyright-infringement thing).
“The plan was always to put it out as quickly as possible — before the physical release in September, for sure — and so that’s what we’re doing,” Philo said. “Gregg didn’t want to leak any of it early to the press; he wanted everyone to hear it, and when [the album] goes on the site it will be the first time [virtually] anyone’s gonna hear it. I mean, I’ve heard an unmastered version of it, and a few other people here have, but that’s about it. We have all been very cautious about it.
“We actually explored some options that we thought could sidestep some of the legal issues — at one point Gregg was talking about giving all the money [he made from the record] away to charity, we talked a lot about establishing a royalty system and allowing people to vote on how much people should be paid for the samples,” Philo continued. “But when we talked to our lawyers, that would get us in more legal trouble because it’s implying we don’t have the right to be doing what we’re doing — it weakened our fair-use defense — so we’ve decided on a different plan.”
And Illegal Art’s plan will sound familiar to anyone who’s followed Radiohead’s in Rainbows or Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts I-V (or even Saul Williams’ The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust album): Downloaders can pay what they want for Animals, though Philo said that if they spend, say, $5 or $10, they’ll get not only the album, but FLAC files and a physical copy when they’re available.
And with that, he said he needed to get off the phone — which was understandable, considering he’s about to release the most-anticipated album in his label’s history.
“People are throwing around all sorts of numbers for this album, but we don’t want to even guess how many people are going to download it,” Philo laughed. “We’re not as organized as, say, Radiohead’s camp, so I actually need to get off the phone with you and secure some more bandwidth.”