Time for a little DONDA DIY, apparently. Kanye may actually be dropping the much-anticipated record tomorrow, following that Chicago listening party, if the arrival of the absolutely bizarre DONDA Stem Player means anthing.
The tiny, silicone DONDA Stem Player is made in partnership with Kano and allows users to "customize any song" from the forthcoming album. This is achieved by plugging the device into your computer and splitting the individual samples (vocals, bass, drums, etc), letting you create your own songs with pieces of Kanye's production.
Pretty forward-thinking to offer the isolated pieces of DONDA direct to fans, even the actual record hasn't even come out yet.
The rotating image seen on Kanye West's website (where it retails for $200) is also a neat way to showcase concept art without actually having the fleshy device ready to go — it also doesn't reveal the DONDA album cover.
Bear in mind, DONDA Stem Player is more than a mere storage case for DONDA samples: it apparently allows for 4-channel mixing, loop and speed control, live sampling, in-unit listening via external speakers or headphones, lights that flash in time with the music, and much more.
Plus, hey, the light colors can be customized. Host your own DONDA listening party!
Another key takeaway: the Stem Player can be loaded with the music of your choice via the Stem Player site, which has an email for interested parties to reach out about distributing their own music. For now, only customers in American and the UK can purchase one, though.
Maybe $200 isn't such a bad deal for a device that will arrive sometime in the near future. Well, at least it "Ships With DONDA" so customers will literally have the album "in hand," so to speak. Who knows when it'll ship — none of the DONDA merch has, despite granting Kanye ample profits — but the site claims "this summer."
According to Yeezy die-hards, the Stem Player has been in development for at leastseveral months. Leaks of an early version developed in partnership with the audio experts at Teenage Engineering showed up on social media earlier this year, but nothing concrete came of it — until now.