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Jack White revolutionizes the vinyl LP

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Just before the turn of the century, Jack White was toiling around the underground music scene in Detroit. While fighting to crawl out from the shadows of Iggy and the Stooges or MC5 Jack developed a novel strategy: become cool. The coolness of the White Stripes was undeniable but it was also contrived. The color scheme, the mysterious relationship between the band members, and the extremely eclectic musical choices were all designed to be cool. Now Jack owns a record label. And guess what. Vinyl is cool.

Sales of the vinyl LP keep going up worldwide and especially here in the US. Third Man Records, under the guide of founder Jack White, is one of the great independent record labels that is both taking advantage of, and creating, frenzy among music consumers to buy new releases on LP. If the LP is already cool, how can Jack take it to another level? Enter his new solo album Lazaretto.

Due out on June 10th, Lazaretto will be available in a variety of forms as is expected. One of those forms, however, is the Ultra LP version. What makes an LP ultra? Here is the rundown, from Third Man Records, of features built into this most unique musical vessel:

- 180 gram vinyl

- 2 vinyl-only hidden tracks hidden beneath the center labels
- 1 hidden track plays at 78 RPM, one plays at 45 RPM, making this a 3-speed record 

- Side A plays from the inside out

- Dual-groove technology: plays an electric or acoustic intro for “Just One Drink” depending on where needle is dropped. The grooves meet for the body of the song.
- Matte finish on Side B, giving the appearance of an un-played 78 RPM record
- Both sides end with locked grooves
- Vinyl pressed in seldom-used flat-edged format
- Dead wax area on Side A contains a hand-etched hologram by Tristan Duke of Infinity Light Science, the first of its kind on a vinyl record
- Absolutely zero compression used during recording, mixing and mastering
- Different running order from the CD/digital version
- LP utilizes some mixes different from those used on CD and digital version

Now that is cool. Lets all hope that the music is as good as the story.

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