PRINT September 1996


Table of the Elements

AT A TIME WHEN many are describing vinyl as thoroughly “auratic” (in Benjamin’s sense), recording labels are attempting to make CDs “unique” through any number of desperately ingenious packaging ploys (using cardboard and metal, among other materials). Atlanta-based label TABLE OF THE ELEMENTS is clearly ahead of the game: putting a conceptual spin on the “inauthenticity” of CDs, the label has gone back to the hardest form of hardware: pure, chemical substance. Fans of avant-garde and atonal music are still referring to two recent releases—by Chicago’s Gastr del Sol (the brilliant collaboration between ubiquitous composer and theoretician Jim O’Rourke and poet, Red Crayola guitarist, and former Bastro member David Grubbs), and the somewhat overpraised (at least in America) German group Faust—by the material composition of the CD booklet: Gastr del Sol being “the Golden One,” Faust, “the

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