One story that started circulating last week was the news that a lost test pressing of an album by Caustic Window – aka Richard D. James, aka Aphex Twin – was on sale on Discogs for a ridiculous asking price of $13,500.
Caustic Window was an album recorded by James due for release on Rephlex Records in 1994, but the record was pulled after reaching only the test pressing phase. Allegedly only four people own the pressing – James himself, as well as producers Cylob, Planet Mu boss Mike Paradinas, and Rephlex co-owner Grant Wilson-Claridge – and the album was deemed lost for good, with only two of its tracks surfacing over the years on official compilations.
Some of the nerds at the We Are The Music Makers forum decided to put their money together to crowdfund the purchase of the test pressing, and then strike a deal with Rephlex Records and Richard D. James himself for everybody who contributed $16.00 to receieve a digital copy of the album. All parties agreed to the deal, and the album looks set to see the light of day.
Originally, a minimum price was negotiated with the seller of the test pressing, but eventually it was decided that anybody who contributed would receive a copy of the album, stemming any piracy and ensuring more money goes to the rights owners (i.e. Richard D. James and Rephlex).
At the time of writing, the album has been backed by over 2,500 people, and its raised way over $40,000 – significantly higher than the original $9300 that was being asked. There's apparently still 26 days of fundraising left to go, so who knows what the final figure will be.
You can pledge to the project yourself over at its dedicated Kickstarter.