With the death of legendary “American Top 40” DJ Casey Kasem resurrecting interest in their infamous “U2” single, the Bay Area culture-jammers Negativland tonight announced they’re paying tribute to the beloved radio host whose profane tirade anchors the controversial track by inviting fans to remix the song using the original multi-track master.
To that end, Negativland is offering free downloads of the multi-track master of the two mixes of the song from the hastily deleted 1991 single, with each version broken into eight individual .wav files.
The purpose, according to a statement released by the band (see below), is to allow “for re-mixing, re-purposing and re-inventing in whichever way the listener may choose. Negativland encourages the re-contextualization of this seminal work for whatever reason, whatsoever.”
Negativland — which has a new album, It’s All In Your Head, due out in October — released a statement from their attorney, Hal Stakke, regarding Kasem’s passing on Saturday, the band’s “U2” single and the new effort to bring light to the deleted track by asking fans to re-imagine it.
Below, that statement — and the link to download the multi-track master of Negativland’s “U2”:
From: Hal Stakke, Legal Counsel/Seeland Records
Subject: In Memoriam, Kemal Amin “Casey” Kasem (27 April 1932 – 15 June 2014): Negativland releases “U2” tracks for remixing and reuse
One of the most beloved voices in music radio, Kemal Amin “Casey” Kasem, died on Fatherʼs Day 2014 after a long illness, and also a very public family squabble over his continuing care. Negativland pays tribute to this broadcasting legend by reaching into its vaults and presenting what is perhaps Kasemʼs best-known work, on Negativlandʼs long-unavailable “U2” maxi-single, offering up for public consumption (and now, for creative reuse) what has been hidden from view for 23 years.
In 1991, Negativlandʼs “U2” single had one of the shortest releases in music history, squashed like a bug after less than ten days on store shelves, under legal fire from the Irish rock band U2ʼs music publisher (Warner/Chappell) and then-record label (Island). The history of this fracas was detailed in Negativland’s book and CD release, “Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2” (Seeland 013).
Now, instead of merely reissuing the “U2” record itself, Negativland presents, for free digital download, the original un-mixed studio multi-track tape for re-mixing, re-purposing and re-inventing in whichever way the listener may choose. Negativland encourages the re-contextualization of this seminal work for whatever reason, whatsoever. In keeping with the working methods and philosophy of Negativland, and the Fair Use provision in U.S. Copyright Law (Section 107, www.copyright.gov/fls/
fl102.html), the group offers up this raw material in the hopes that entirely new versions of the work are created and disseminated.
Listeners / remixers are encouraged to post their creations in these locations: www.negativland.com and www.facebook.com/
Negativlandland. The original record as briefly released in 1991 may be heard via the band’s website here or via YouTube here.
Negativland is a San Francisco Bay Area-based group which has been making music and collage since 1980, releasing more than 25 albums on CD and LP on their own Seeland record label. Their newest work, Itʼs All In Your Head, a long-form “collage documentary” about belief in God, will be released on Seeland in October.
The original single artwork: