The world of non-fungible tokens or NFT’s to you and me is an exciting proposition for both artist and collector. With the advent of digital art becoming as important as its tangible predecessor a new age of digital ownership is upon us. The ideology of truly owning a piece of digital art is one that has plagued artists both musical and otherwise since ones and zeros were first used to convey a message.
Although the possibilities are huge for digital artists and the value of their work is truly realised, few underground artists have entered the world of NFT. Step forward DeWalta. An artist in every sense of the word that has evolved alongside his Meander label to produce truly thought-provoking music coupled with stark artwork that seems to channel the music before the needle is even dropped on to wax. His adaptation of modular kit is widely respected and his live jam with long-time studio partner Mike Shannon is a perfect example of this.
Fans of his work will know all too well the studio mastery and hardware skills that DeWalta harnesses. His ‘Croup Steel’ NFT package features a one-of-a-kind track by DeWalta which is composed and performed entirely on Eurorack modular synthesizers, the Sequentix Cirklon Sequencer as well as Elektron machines. This 100% original track will be provided in WAV and MP3 and it is accompanied by a very trippy hardware GIF and a high definition video (1080 or 4k mov) of the track performance. As well as the original, one-of-a-kind content the package will also include a copy of DeWalta’s 3 x Vinyl records, triple 12″ Album – Lyra & Lyra π.
Speaking with David regarding his exciting project he gave a very apt analogy of the NFT world, “There is only one original ‘Mona Lisa’ in existence. There may be many copies but there will only ever be one ‘Mona Lisa’. Using this example as an NFT, if you were to create two ‘Mona Lisa’s’ the value would decrease. The originality of the work, in this case, an NFT will determine its value.”
David went on to discuss his approach to NFT, “I am deciding in my case to release the NFT only once, there may eventually be copies out there via illegal file sharing sites, but only one is the original file. What NFT’s are doing is putting the value back into digital art.” The great part of NFT’s is that the artist remains in the reselling chain and they will always receive royalties from any future sales. Unlike reselling of vinyl on sites such as Discogs, where once the record is sold by the artist they no longer receive anything from future sales. This song will not be available to buy on Bandcamp or iTunes, only from actually purchasing this NFT. We have been lucky enough to receive the video of DeWalta’s performance of ‘Croup Steel’ where we have uploaded to our YouTube channel.
As well as this being a brand-new avenue for David’s own music, he also has a raft of new music from his community. His Meander label is amongst the most forward-thinking and on-point underground labels and he is preparing something rather special for his next release. The third edition of Meander’s Family Jubilee will see a two-part 180g release that will feature tracks from Cristi Cons, Topper, Christopher Ledger & Pressure Point, Pirvu, Sublee, and of course DeWalta.
David has been very busy in the studio since the start of lockdown and quickly established an online presence by way of his masterclasses. While discussing David’s NFT project he gave an insight into a new label he is currently working on. This new imprint will feature the work of his masterclass students and those connected to his microcosm of artists. By his own admission it is not decided if this will be sold as NFT’s or not, but the promise of a new musical direction, as well as Meander, is an exciting one.