Biggleswade, U.K. (November 30, 2015)—PMC Speakers has produced a unique pair of its MB2-XBD studio monitors that are allowing the new owner of a one-off musical work of art created by the Wu-Tang Clan to experience the audio exactly as its producers intended.
The album, entitled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, was recorded and mixed exclusively on PMC’s MB2-XBD monitors at a studio on Staten Island, NY. Producers Robert “The RZA” Diggs—Wu-Tang’s founder—and Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh insisted that a pair of the speakers should be included in the sale so that the new owner could hear the piece exactly as it was intended.
Once Upon a Time was made exclusively available in a private sale to a single collector; there is no physical or digital duplicate in existence. Neither the buyer’s name nor the price paid has been disclosed by New York auction house Paddle8. The conditions of sale stipulated that the buyer agreed not to release any of the album content or artwork to the public for a period of 88 years.
According to RZA, "In order to curate the experience of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for the collector, we decided to have two PMC MB2-XBD speakers included with the album. These speakers were used during production and mastering and distil this work into its purest form and in sculpting each beat, each frequency and each flash of feeling, they are themselves a work of artistry."
A retrospective soundscape that threads 31 songs, skits and stories into a 128-minute-long aural screenplay, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is the last album to include contributions by the entire surviving Wu-Tang Clan and represents the apotheosis of the group’s three-decade career. As a one-off album envisioned from execution through distribution as both a work of art and an audio artefact, the piece is a sonic sculpture presented in a unique hand-carved nickel-silver box. It is accompanied by a 174-page manuscript containing lyrics, credits and anecdotes on the production of each song, printed on gilded Fedrigoni Marina parchment and encased in leather by a master bookbinder.