XL Records owner Richard Russell’s latest project, a Lee “Scratch” Perry collaboration “I Am Paint,” is available only via trade

From Paper Magazine:

Months before the world was introduced to the first ever “artist owned” streaming service, TIDAL, XL Records owner Richard Russell was pondering many of the same questions about the value of music that Jay Z and friends have attempted to answer with their $9.99/$19.99 monthly subscription fee. Following his critically acclaimed production collaborations with Gil Scott Heron, Damon Albarn and Bobby Womack, Russell’s latest project, the track “I AM PAINT” (released under the artist name ‘RLR’ ), samples reggae legend Lee “Scratch” Perry and is being made available on vinyl only, in a limited edition of 250.

Each one-of-a-kind vinyl was individually hand-painted by Russell and Perry and is only available via a barter system. According to the simple terms on their website, anyone wishing to snag a copy must make something to swap and send it to a west London P.O. Box. What that ‘something’ might be is totally up for interpretation, and opens up an interesting dialogue about the value of music beyond the usual monetary terms, a concept long debated by the likes of The KLF (who burned £1 million at the height of their career in the ’90s) Radiohead (who released their pay-what-you-want” album In Rainbowsin 2007) the Wu Tang Clan (who plan to auction their one-of-a-kind new album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin to one lucky fan for an estimated $5 million, according to RZA) and most recently, Jay Z and friends with TIDAL.