After creating one of the largest viral phenomenons on YouTube with his 2013 hit “Harlem Shake,” the Brooklyn-based producer Baauer has returned to the electronic music scene with his first-ever full-length album, Aa. In order to celebrate the recent release of Aa, the trap musician hosted a listening party in New York City on March 25th. The event was sponsored by NYC-based 3D printing company MakerBot and nutritional food product company Soylent. Together, they offered select fans a night full of bass-heavy beats, nutritional Soylent drinks, and an exclusive 3D printed surprise, courtesy of MakerBot.
In order to give the party attendees a physical piece of the new release, Baauer enlisted the help of MakerBot to 3D print the artwork used as the Aa album cover. The cover, which reflects a modern, millennial-inspired still life composed of feathers, a dreamcatcher, and other natural items, was 3D designed and printed by MakerBot on their Replicator Z18 3D printer. With a respectably large build size of 11.8in x 12.0in x 18.0in, the Z18 was an ideal machine for producing both smaller and large-scaled prints of Baauer’s album art.
The smaller sized 3D prints were placed in gift bags that were given out to the attendees, while the larger-scale samples were used to decorate the venue’s bar, tabletop, and DJ booth. The Aa print was created in a variety of different colored filaments, ranging from translucent red to glow in the dark. The producer wanted to provide the listening party guests with a physical representation of his album, and did so in a way the reflects the dense atmosphere of his heavy sound.
“The first few samples were printed at a large scale on a MakerBot Z18, with blue, grey, and glow in the dark filament. Then, we went smaller and used every color, from gold to translucent red, so that we could give them away to people who attended the party,” Baauer explains. “I had it printed so that I could physically hold the art.”
According to MakerBot, Baauer is a self-proclaimed fan of 3D printing technology, and wanted to use it to have a way to touch and feel the detailed album artwork. In order to accomplish this, a CAD file with a low polygon count was created, retaining each individual detail of the artwork. The Aa 3D print provided an innovative, hands-on experience to the listening party, accompanying the producer’s signature sound in an eye-catching way.
The album features a vast collection of powerful and spirited tracks, including the songs “Day Ones” and “GoGo!”. With heavy sounds that are sure to flood the dance floors, and a handful prominent features from artists such as M.I.A, Pusha T, and Future, Baauer’s Aa will attempt to build on the viral success that the producer cultivated from the song Harlem Shake. In that respect, both the producer and 3D printing companies like MakerBot have something in common. As hype starts to fade from their strong first impressions, both Baauer and MakerBot seem to be branching out towards new horizons, attempting to build up and strengthen their reputation layer by layer.
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