Last Monday Alberta Cross released their incredible debut LP, 'Broken Side of Time' and, with it, were the first band ever to use 'Augmented Reality' technology within their album artwork.
Augmented Reality (AR) is a new medium which mixes real-world and computer-generated images (virtual reality), making it look like virtual objects exist in the real world. Made famous earlier this year when Simian Mobile Disco created a "human synthesizer" at their album launch, Alberta Cross have worked with TANKindustries to take it one step further so that everyone who buys 'Broken Side of Time' can experience it in their own home.
Alberta Cross vocalist and guitarist Petter Ericson Stakee had this to say of the technology:
When I first saw this I was gob smacked... It felt like I was seeing a glimpse of the future
Included within the album's artwork are a series of placeholders which can be used to unlock secret video content at www.brokensideoftime.com. On visiting the site and selecting one of the markers, the user will see what appears to be just their reflection. However, when they hold the corresponding page in the artwork up to their webcam, it will launch an exclusive video made by Brantley Gutierrez, who has directed videos for Bjork and REM.
The album is pretty haunting in itself, we wanted the videos to show and put that across. Brantely and I talked about ideas to match the video with the music so he went to Salt On Sea in California, which looks like a ghost town that's been blown up by a nuclear bomb to shoot the videos. It was on old posh Hollywood star's getaway, they all bought houses there, and one night the whole place sunk into the sand because of a chemical reaction... Some of the old shit like old cars, houses, broken vinyl records are still there, half buried.
The content of each marker/code will be changed regularly and Alberta Cross will be uploading special videos, competitions and other content throughout the year, which will only be available to those who own the album artwork.
'Broken Side of Time' was released last Monday through Ark Recordings and scored an almost-perfect 4.5/5 from our very own Lucas Jones, with him declaring; "Alberta rips up convention and creates this wall of sound which manages to sound different somehow". The album also scored 8/10 in NME, saying it "soars like 'Mad' Dickie Ashcroft after an early-90s night on the brown acid."
The band will also be touring the UK in November - tickets on sale now, from just £5 + booking fee.