Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson has turned out to be the mysterious winner of an eBay auction for a rare printing of an unreleased album by electronic musician Richard D. James, otherwise known as Aphex Twin. Persson spent $46,300 to win the auction.
The album was originally conceived in 1994 by James under the name Caustic Window, and was never released. Only a select few had vinyl test pressings of the album, and recently one of those test pressings showed up on music marketplace Discogs, going for $13,500.
Eager to hear this previously unheard gem and prevent it from being bought by some selfish schmuck, Aphex Twin fans on music forum We Are The Music Makers joined forces to launch a successful Kickstarter campaign to purchase the album. Backers were given digital copies of the album, and both Richard James and record label Rephlex Records, who still had no intention of releasing the album commercially, gave the campaign their blessing.
With the rewards having been distributed amongst those who chipped in to the Kickstarter, the record was then put up for bidding on eBay, where it was purchased by Persson, who wrote “So I kinda paid a lot for a double LP from the ’90s,” on his Twitter account.
Half of the money will be given to a charity of the WATMM community’s choosing; currently it looks like Doctors Without Borders is the most popular option. The remaining money will be given to James and his record label.
WATMM Administrator Joyrex, who facilitated the purchase, wrote of Persson:
He’s a really cool guy, and didn’t even consider the charity aspect when buying it (but was really happy to hear that half is going to charity) – he’s been an Aphex fan since he was young.
My daughter was blown away that the guy who made the game she endlessly plays bought a record off her dad for 46K.
Although the album was only available as a digital download to backers, a fan-made digipak and CDr with appropriate artwork is being offered for fans who wish to give their album a physical form.
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