Rapoon “In This World” unboxing
The latest Rapoon box set, In This World, is better characterized as out of this world. Robin Storey, founding member of 1980 post-punk ambient/noise outfit :Zoviet*France: and sonic purveyor of dreamstate-inducing tribal concrète drones for the last two decades as Rapoon, is no stranger to box sets. Indeed, a cursory look at his physical releases could serve as a brief history of what’s possible in regard to limited and collectible album packages, ranging from standardized hand-numbered jewel case editions to ornate and unique handmade containers. Over the years he has wrapped his sounds in all manner of ambitious boxes. The Just An Illusion ‘cigar box’ edition, for instance, was completely made of wood, right down to the sheet that provided the track titles. The original cassette edition of Popular Soviet Songs & Youth Music came with feathers gathered from the beaches of Sellafield and the Irish Sea with the most radioactive contamination on earth. Does your record collection contain any titles that can be detected with a Geiger counter? Continuing in this elaborate tradition, In This World issues from Ultra-Mail, an obscure label in Hong Kong who spared no luxury putting together this massive collection. The faux-velvet textured cover with embossed tribal sigil beckons mysteriously.
Lifting the cover reveals a multitude of interesting items. Starting with the In Time Past LP on transparent vinyl, a full album by itself, consisting of 6 tracks ranging from 3 to 15 minutes each. The record sleeve is probably the heaviest stock of any record I’ve ever seen, a high quality matte cardboard with full color artwork. There is also a full length CD, Deep In This World, which runs 66 minutes. These two albums deliver the first new Rapoon music for 2012, and weigh in around 112 minutes between them. Next up is a DVD entitled In This Moment which features another hour of music and video which is different from the other media, and reminds me of some of the imagery that Robin Storey used on his 2011 tour showing a dancer. Like the vinyl sleeve, both the CD and DVD slipcases each have their own artwork and come in the same heavy duty smooth cardboard and internal plastic sleeves. Also in the box is a poster and set of double-sided art cards.
There is more than one version of this box set, and this happens to be one of the limited editions of which only 100 were made. These were hand-signed and numbered by the artist. In addition to all the other previously mentioned items there is another CD in a matching slipcase with a 74 minute live performance, called Forget In This World, from May 28th, 2000 in Vienna’s Klanggallerie. This live set was previously only available as a chrome cassette from the label directly, but now sees a proper full definition release on the CD format. Another bonus item is a small black portfolio folder containing 2 pieces of original artwork, each signed and numbered by Robin Storey. Finally, a hand-signed certificate with a unique number stamp tells you which copy from the first 100 you received. A photo of the full stash is available here and amounts to quite a haul for this release. Of course, all this would be enough for most artists for one year, but Rapoon already has 2 more albums slated for the next few weeks, including Disappeared Redux. This is an alternate version of a download-only album from 2010. There is also Robin’s latest effort, Stray, for longtime label partners Soleilmoon.