For its latest release, British trip-hop act Massive Attack decided to do something different. Rather than sell their new EP, Fantom, as a regular physical and digital release, the band has uploaded it as a free-to-download app available via the iTunes App Store.
The app also doesn’t just play the band’s new music. Instead, Fantom uses geolocation and biometric data, as well as access to the iPhone’s camera, to create personalized remixes of each of the songs available on the four track EP.
Without the original songs to compare the remixes to — they’re set to come to the app at a later point — it’s hard to know exactly how the app is personalizing each track to the user. Still, for Massive Attack fans Fantom is a fun way to check out the latest tracks from their favourite band.
The app is currently available for the iPhone 5s and higher and there’s no timeline for when it will make its way to Android devices. For the time being, anyone on Google’s operating system will need to head to YouTube to check out the new EP.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a musician or group create an app to promote an album. In 2011, Icelandic pop artist Bjork released her eighth album, Biophilia, as a downloaded app. Like Fantom, the app, which is still available to purchase from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store, allows users to remix all 10 tracks from the album by playing a variety of different mini-games.