PMC hand-builds studio speakers to accompany mystery Wu-Tang Clan album

posted on Thursday, 26th November 2015 by Steve May

Loudspeakers  High-end  High Res Audio 

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Hip Hop band Wu-Tang Clan’s mystery album, sold to a private collector for an undisclosed sum, may have made headlines, but British loudspeaker specialist PMC has also played a key part in this extraordinary story. It was commissioned to produce a one-off pair of speakers destined to accompany the band’s ‘musical artwork.’

The album was sold on the condition that the buyer agree not to release any of the album content or artwork to the public for a period of 88 years; there is no physical or digital duplicate of the music in existence.

The company hand-built a pair of its MB2-XBD studio speakers (pictured below) which were used to mix the album. Standing six feet tall, they sport two 12-inch woofers and can handle 2000 watts – “that will allow the new owner of this one-off musical work of art to experience the audio exactly as its producers intended.”                              

The album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, was recorded and mixed exclusively on PMC MB2-XBD monitors. The Clan’s producers, Tarik ‘Cilvaringz’ Azzougarh and Robert ‘The RZA’ Diggs (pictured above), insisted that a pair of the speakers should be included within the sale, so that the new owner could hear the piece exactly as it was intended. 

On the album itself, PMC explains: “It is 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 to distribution as both a work of art and an audio artefact, the piece is a sonic sculpture presented in an exclusive 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.” No word on whether the tunes are catchy.

Talking about the PMC speakers, RZA says: "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."

Miles Roberts, PMC’s head of sales and marketing, adds: "It is a real privilege to be included within the project and is the ultimate ‘from studio to the home’ message we aim to convey. The speakers created to accompany the album are an absolute one-off, the likes of which we will never create again. We’re sure the lucky owner will be delighted with the performance."

PMC has a long history of working in the professional audio space. It supplies studio and hi-fi loudspeakers, and includes the likes of  Prince, Elbow, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, Capitol Studios and the BBC as clients.

PMC Wu -Tang -051-box _mb 2_full (1)

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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