British sound artist recycles CDs to make them playable on turntables

British sound artist recycles CDs to make them playable on turntables




Aleksander Kolkowski cuts grooves into old CDs to create mini records playable on conventional turntables.

How do you turn a CD into and LP? Just about the same way you cut an LP, it turns out. While Long Player might be a bit of an exaggeration, London-based sound artist and musician Aleksander Kolkowski has developed a way of recycling that famously dying format, the CD, into a modified 4.7″ record.

Speaking to The Atlantic, Kolkowski described the project as “taking the optical digital back to analogue” by using a modified 1950’s Wilcox-Gay Recordette as a make-shift lathe to cut 2 minutes and 50 seconds of audio onto the back of a CD that can then be played back at 45rpm.

Able to feed just about any audio through his customised device, which works by sending a waveform to the needle like a record player in reverse, Kolkowski has toured the gadget across Europe, often cutting live performances direct to disc.

“It’s transforming a disposable media storage device made for cloned copying into a one-of-a-kind cult object,” he told The Atlantic. “In a way, it’s very tongue in cheek. There’s a lot of fetishism about vinyl, but I see this as quite throw-away, really. I do it for free. People bring a CD and I give them one in return.”

The project follows Aleksander Kolkowski’s collaboration with The Science Museum to reconstruct the 27ft-long Denman Horn, a pre-electric sound system that is tentatively being touted as the UK’s largest audio loudspeaker. [via The Atlantic]

Photo: Alexander Kolkowski / The Atlantic

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