Six-time Grammy Award winner deadmau5 has teamed up with cyberpunk illustrator Mad Dog Jones for a collection of NFT-backed artwork. The collections are both entitled ‘Hypervision’, with an original edition and an open edition, and were auctioned off a few weeks ago on Nifty Gateway, a blockchain-based marketplace for digital art and other collectables.
Each collection had two pieces of work; the original collection was made up of two exclusive pieces and the open collection was open for unlimited purchases of unique NFTs. Both collections are now sold out, with Block Heater bid out at US$66,717.66, and a total of 215 newly minted NFTs sold from the open collection. The original collection is a pair of 30-second, soundtracked vertical animations of the same location: a purple-tinged corner of a neon city that looks a lot like post-apocalyptic Japan. The Open Edition featured Lotus Train and Dead Ramen; the first piece is backed by an ethereal soundscape while the latter is backed by a darker industrial theme with a four on the floor kicking for the full 30 seconds.
Mad Dog Jones’ work is clearly influenced by Japan, specifically anime and the cyberpunk aesthetic. He’s collaborated with musical artists over the span of his career, snagging credits for merchandise and poster work with A$AP Rocky, JabbaWockeeZ and Run The Jewels. Deadmau5’s soundtrack to the NFT pieces is brooding and cinematic, guided by a moody piano motif and punctuated tastefully with minimal but sonically aggressive, distorted drum production.
Non-fungible tokens — NFTs — have been all the craze in the art world since late 2020. With NFT-based collectible items ranging from digital art to digital shoes to sports cards to virtual real estate, there is now a greater and grander incentive to purchasing digital items. NFTs contain distinct information of creation and ownership of an item, meaning that fakes will lose their power to devalue original pieces of art. Scarcity is back. Consequently, market power and value — which should have always belonged to them anyway — is returning to the artist.
So when blockchain technology finally and inevitably disrupts the music world, which has already been happening with decentralized music platforms such as OPUS and Audius, let’s hope that the capitalist power structure of the streaming industry comes crumbling down too.