Droplifting Into the Mainstream: Subversive Musicians Infiltrate Industry's Mega-Stores


| September 29, 2000


Droplifting Into the Main- stream: Subversive Musicians Infiltrate Industry's Mega-Stores

Watch out! No (corporate) record store is safe from the latest weapon in the culture-jammer's arsenal: droplifting.

In an article in the October/November issue of Adbusters magazine Paul Schmelzer profiles the Droplift Project, an underground collaboration of 29 audio collage artists, who put together a CD mixing top 40, commercial sounds, B-movies and instructional films to create a unique sound. Then, in late July, members in cities from Los Angeles to Calgary, Minneapolis to Orlando, covertly 'droplifted' (a spin on 'shoplift') thousands of shrink-wrapped copies onto the shelves of Tower, Sam Goody, and other corporate music store chains.

The project has drawn praise from members of Negativland, 'possibly the only found-sound artists to legitimately appear in Tower Records' inventory,' writes Schmelzer. Negativland's Don Joyce points out the beautiful irony of the Droplift prank: a CD constructed from borrowed clips gets slipped into the corporate bin only to be commodified by the very industry that had previously refused to promote it. Says Joyce, 'It's an almost perfect integration of content, medium, and point made.' -- Leif Utne
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The music can be downloaded at www.droplift.org