Never one to do things by the book, J. Tillman is taking a different approach when it comes to streaming the latest album from Father John Misty. Rather than make it available through traditional mediums such as NPR or iTunes, Tillman has “invented” his very own “digital music streaming service.”
It’s called SAP (short for Streamline Audio Protocol) and, as Tillman explains, it’s goal is to “prevent anyone from spending money ever.” He writes, “As an artist, it has been thrilling to see how a decade or so of increasingly free music on the internet has facilitated a veritable anarchic consumer utopia for fans of sharing, rating, discovering and music. Within the last year or so, I started to ask myself a question: We all know free is great for the fans, but how can we extend this freedom to artists as well? Is there a way to ensure that no one, artist or fan, ever has to spend, or lose, any money on music ever?”
Here’s how it “works”: Albums are “‘sapped’ of their performances, original vocal, atmosphere, and other distracting affectations so the consumer can decide quickly and efficiently whether they like a musical composition, based strictly on its formal attributes, enough to spend money on it. SAP files sound incredible when compressed and streamed at low resolutions over any laptop speaker or cell phone. They are cheap to produce and take up even less space than the average MP3. They contain just enough meta-data to be recognized by sophisticated genre aggregation software. Everything you love about discovering and sharing free music, minus the cost to anyone: artist or fan.”
To preview the platform, Tillman is streaming his new Father John Misty album I Love You, Honeybear in full on his website. I hear the new Radiohead album is the next release destined for the platform.
I Love You, Honeybear, in all its non-SAP glory, will be released on February 10th through Sub Pop Records. Below, listen to the album version of “Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)”.