Much like the fashion industry’s highly disputed schedule, music’s still experimenting with the best approach to rolling out albums in a confusing post-Internet landscape. For Chicago producer Bengfang, the future is one that favors an experiential album release, merging the virtual with the tangible to create a well-rounded “art project.” The Fifth Dimension Collective member’s new Imperial Grade LP does just this, packaging his dark, Sci-fi sound into a 512MB SD card, custom-made electronic static bag and exclusive drum pack.
“I like the aspect of things being tangible,” Bengfang said. “I didn’t want to create [my LP] on CD because CD players are not easily accessible now. Even Apple stopped making CD ports on their laptop computers, but kept the SD card slot in most Macbook pros. I didn’t want USB either because that’s been done many times before, so the next best is SD cards. I like the SD card’s design and aesthetic—it reminds me of a Super Nintendo cartridge, but sleeker. The static bags are actually use to carry electronics that are prone to damage caused by electrostatic discharge.”
Bengfang creates his original music to sound like a movie score, reveling in the dramatic potential of layering sleek synths, while looking to some of his favorite films for inspiration—think Blade Runner married with the Matrix in Tokyo and Hong Kong. “My central mission is to invoke thoughts and emotions that are not felt before,” he said. “It’s really simple—If I can do that, I’m happy.” Stream Bengfang’s Imperial Grade LP, below: