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Head crash, data recovery & an ironic backstory of rereleasing a computer-critical album

by Jane is K.O. - 6.10.10

We just spent weeks going through rather timeless music we did ages ago, finally ended by a hard drive head crash of our main audio archive, during backing it up.

ROPE’s 2nd album It’s no fun to compute was released in 1999 on UK-based label Geist Records as an ironic comment on Kraftwerk’s statement “It’s more fun to compute”.

Finding a good album sound was very hindered by bad audio engines and limited audio signal bit depth of the time, so the results sounded stressed after months of work, and could finally only be half-repaired by mastering at Abbey Road Studios in London.
It seems almost inevitable, that making an album with such a title has to result in a stressful procedure & sound resembling that exact same title.

However, during searching through numerous old and partly unreleased music from 15 years of making, the plan came up to rerelease “It’s no fun to compute” digitally, and spiced up with unreleased material of the time.
We started a new cover artwork and discovered, that the designer of the original cover artwork had used a 3D variant of a type face called Westminster, which apparently had been developed in the mid 60s as the first or one of the first machine-readable fonts ever. We doubt that the designer was aware of this coincidence, but it certainly fitted the album title well.

Here’s the rerelease: