19th century technology meets 21st century music over a bottle of beer in the latest extension to the Beck’s Record Label project. Beck’s has had a long association with music and art. In fact, at about the same time Heinrich Beck was brewing his first beer in the 1870s, Thomas Edison was tinkering away on designs for the first phonograph. Making the world’s first playable beer bottle was a formidable technical challenge. The clever people at Auckland firm Gyro Constructivists first had to design and build a record-cutting lathe, driven by a hard drive recording head. Then they reinvented Edison’s original cylinder player, using modern materials and electronics and built to very fine tolerances. Considering how beer has influenced recorded music since then, this physical collaboration was very appropriate and long overdue.

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