Newton – Plays Negativland’s “U2”
San Francisco bay area-based culture-jamming band, Negativland, has broken its silence regarding the passing of Casey Kasem. The late radio legend who just passed was featured prominently on Negativland’s 1991 EP/maxi-single “U2” (released & withdrawn by SST/Seeland) which has been a touchstone of the band’s career ever since.
In tribute, Negativland is offered the original multi-track master of the song for free download with the intent of allowing anyone and everyone to re-work the seminal track.
Newton has accepted this invitation and has created unique mixes. With these works he will not only pay tribute to the late radio legend, but also to U2, and Negativland themselves as their EP “U2” with its well-documented legal battles has influenced Newton’s perspectives on sound.
From: Hal Stakke, Legal Counsel/Seeland Records
Subject: In Memoriam, Kemal Amin “Casey” Kasem (27 April 1932 – 15 June 2014): Negativland releases “U2” tracks for remixing and reuse
One of the most beloved voices in music radio, Kemal Amin “Casey” Kasem, died on Fatherʼs Day 2014 after a long illness, and also a very public family squabble over his continuing care. Negativland pays tribute to this broadcasting legend by reaching into its vaults and presenting what is perhaps Kasemʼs best-known work, on Negativlandʼs long-unavailable “U2” maxi- single, offering up for public consumption (and now, for creative reuse) what has been hidden from view for 23 years.
In 1991, Negativlandʼs “U2” single had one of the shortest releases in music history, squashed like a bug after less than ten days on store shelves, under legal fire from the Irish rock band U2ʼs music publisher (Warner/Chappell) and then-record label (Island). The history of this fracas was detailed in Negativland’s book and CD release, “Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2” (Seeland 013).
Now, instead of merely reissuing the “U2” record itself, Negativland presents, for free digital download, the original un-mixed studio multi-track tape for re-mixing, re-purposing and re- inventing in whichever way the listener may choose. Negativland encourages the re- contextualization of this seminal work for whatever reason, whatsoever. In keeping with the working methods and philosophy of Negativland, and the Fair Use provision in U.S. Copyright Law (Section 107, http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html), the group offers up this raw material in the hopes that entirely new versions of the work are created and disseminated.