I listened to the stereo mix twice and found it unpleasant both times. There's just too much going on without any clarity, and I listen to stuff like Stockhausen so that usually isn't a problem for me. Guess I'll try working with the individual discs...
Heh. Playing 3-4 discs from actual sound sources in the room (get a couple of friends to bring gear) gives the various sonic threads extra space, so it doesn't sound so crowded. It's more like an environment. Actually, in these days of Bluetooth speakers and smartphones, a Zaireeka party is probably a lot more practical than the old days.
A fucking experience indeed. Most ambitious album by this awesome band. I specially loved track 2 (cd 3) and track 3 (cd 3), but everything mixed and listened as they intended is great anyway. I'm not too keen on the stereo mixdown I have though.
cannarymburns said "exdeathbr, your brilliant analogy is foiled by the fact that nobody fucking scrobbles boomboxes." I never said they were doing it. The songs can be listened on any combiation of cds possible, each song here are 4 songs, if some guys listen to the songs alone (a thing he can scrobble), he would listen to 4 times each song at average, because they would want to listen to "same songs" from other cd. So if you listen to song 1 frm cd 1 (scrobblin it) and then listen to song 1 from cd 2 (scrobbling it), you listened 2 times the same song because of the fact they have the same name and last.fm will not be able say they are different.
The songs in this album are fantastic, and it's great to listen to as that, with the stereo downmix. But hearing it properly from four stereos at once is the real experience. Not just context, it's the actual physical experience of hearing it in such a way that has never been equaled.
exdeathbr, your brilliant analogy is foiled by the fact that nobody fucking scrobbles boomboxes. Any songs that get scrobbled are the downmixes... Anything pre-Bulletin doesn't get played nearly as much, let alone an experimental album like this.
Lol people really dont like this album. I mean to each song you have 3 more songs with the exact same name, because of that reason they will share plays on last.fm, but even with that bonus the songs from that album are not even on top 30 chart from the band. Thats is how much people hate it.
Only heard this with 4CD's once.
I've managed to get it going right now with 4 albums and four players.
My laptop and a set of monitors.
Another disc through a 5.1 system.
My xbox through tv speakers.
That's a total of 11 speakers and we're sat in the middle of the whole experience.
It can be frightening at times hah!
This is more than an album... This is an EXPERIENCE!
The fact that it kind of is a logistical nightmare to listen to all 4 CD's make it into an event. I mean, I've only managed to listen to it with all 4 CD's once... But it sure was memorable. This album is an astonishing piece of work. Extremely innovative, but also... FUN!
Hey Zaireeka purists, don't forget that the Flaming Lips themselves made stereo mixes of some of these songs. Check out the Soft Bulletin companions.
The whole point of Zaireeka was to take the four discs and experience the music in a variety of ways. Play them separately, two or three at a time, mix them together, whatever. It's all in the spirit of experimentation.
Listening to it compiled into tracks I think is like watching an old 3D movie without the glasses. I'm sure seeing stuff getting thrown at the camera was cool in 3D but the movie doesn't translate well to 2D. There are parts of this album that when you hear it in 2 channels you just wish you had all 8 going because it doesn't completely make sense without it.
Audacity and mixdowns, really? You claim it's just as good but half the point is the music and the other half is the hands-on experience that was deliberately made as unavoidable as possible. It's not an accident that it typically requires more than one person to do it, either. I'm not saying the mixdowns are bad but to claim it makes no difference? You're just cheating yourself of a great experience. :)
while it's much easier to do, the mixdown just doesn't sound as good to me. I only figured out how to play this on my computer last night, and I'm glad I did. It's probably one of my favourite FLips albums now.
Agree with [user]NeighborTotoro[/user] here... well put. Still, I don't think it's bad to point out 'the way it's meant to be played' if people think the mixdown is the ultimate means of listening to the album. Then again people get a bit too heated over the issue.
I don't really want to piss anyone off here, but what is the problem with listening to a mixdown if someone doesn't have the time/resources to do it 'properly'? I mean, 2001: A Space Odyssey is meant to be seen in 65mm three-film-strip Cinerama. Even in the event that one gets to see in in a proper cinema, you'll likely just end up seeing it on a flat screen in a 35mm print. Most people are stuck with watching it on televisions in their homes. This is preferable, I think, to not seeing it at all. I would argue the same is true for a Zaireeka mixdown. It doesn't replace the 12-speaker surround experience. But it is better than no experience. It certainly does seem to be (bizarrely) inflaming some very passionate opinions on this page, though.
MisterGlock, great job at missing the point entirely. It's not the "way it was meant to be heard" without 4 different stereos. That is the exact fucking point of the album. Nobody thinks the mixdown is sufficient if they've actually heard the real deal.
The album is very much experimental. You're doing yourself a disservice by listening to this alone. This album deserves to be planned for, deserves a little sacrifice, deserves a little frustration. This album will return what you put in, tenfold.