Saturday, July 7, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins - Machina II: The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music (2000)

With the release of their new album "Zeitgeist" the newly reformed Smashing Pumpkins are back on track - and what better way to celebrate their return than to offer you a download of the "Machina II" album and the three EP's.

"Machina II: The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music" is an album by the Smashing Pumpkins that was released for free on the Internet on September 5, 2000. A sequel to "Machina: The Machines of God", it has thus far not had a commercial release. It consists of three EPs full of B-sides and alternate versions, and one double LP which is the actual album. Both "Machina" albums are concept albums. At the time the album was released it was to be the final Smashing Pumpkins studio album

Near the conclusion of the Machina sessions, it was Billy Corgan's wish to release a double album of material, but Virgin Records was unwilling to do that following the disappointing sales of Adore. After the release, and poor sales, of the single-disc Machina/The Machines of God, Corgan then wanted to release a second Machina album separately, but Virgin declined to do this as well. As a final farewell to the fans, and as a snub to the unsupportive label (as evidenced by the album's title), it was released independently as "Machina II: The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music". The album was released on Corgan's own label Constantinople Records. Only 25 total copies were made. The records were shipped via FedEx to several heavily active fans in the online community, with instructions to immediately redistribute it among the fans.

Because of the high interest in the album and its extreme rarity at 25 copies, a vinyl "Machina II" can be considered a holy grail for Pumpkins fans. On August 5, 2005 the Q101 copy (#19/25) was put up for sale on eBay. The seller decided to end the auction four days early when the bidding had reached $10,000 from a bidder in France. This bidder has since disclosed that there was a mutual agreement after the auction was ended to cancel the sale transaction. It remains to be seen if this copy (or any other) will go up for sale again publicly in the near future, but the episode suggests that an original vinyl copy could fetch a five-figure sum.

A number of a release sources exist for "Machina II". All of them are sourced from vinyl.
Virgin Promos: This source is from in-house promo CDs made at Virgin Records (sourced from the vinyls), made before Machina II was released to the public over the Internet. Two versions of the promos exist, a UK (type I) and U.S. (type II) version, both with 4 CDs corresponding to the vinyl copies. As it was done in-house at a record company it generally assumed to be a high-quality transfer, though some of the faint voices which can be heard in the background before some of the EP songs are cut off, and in general it is missing a considerable amount of audio between song transitions.
Q101 Transfer: As mentioned above, the radio station Q101 received one of the 25 vinyl copies. It was subsequently transferred to 2 CDs by the station (one CD containing the EP tracks and one containing the LP tracks). Because the transfer was done by a high profile radio station (presumably with high-end equipment and professional oversight) many assume the transfer to be of good quality. Copies were given away as prizes from the station.
SPIFC Transfer: The SPIFC transfer was produced from a vinyl copy by a member of the SPIFC. A transfer was eventually performed onto two CDs with "high-end" equipment. The SPIFC offers MP3 downloads of the transfer to members and held a contest giving away CD-R copies. When analyzed the audio from the SPIFC transfer shows a 21 kHz tone which casts some doubt on the quality of the transfer.
MP3 Web Releases: Following the vinyl release a number of MP3 versions quickly surfaced on the web. A select number of people involved in the Smashing Pumpkins online fan community received one of the 25 releases. Using audio equipment they had immediate access to these were recorded onto computer, encoded to MP3 and quickly released for the masses. Later MP3 releases may be from one of the CD sources listed above or newer lesser known transfers.
Commercial Releases: Four tracks from "Machina II" have been released commercially. These are of specific note, because these versions were sourced from the master tapes rather than amateur vinyl transfers. "Real Love" was featured on the Rotten Apples compilation. "Lucky 13" and "Slow Dawn" appeared on Judas O, which was included with early copies of Rotten Apples. The Machina II version of "Try, Try, Try" was one of the B-sides to the "Untitled" single, titled "Try, Try, Try (Alternate Version)." The studio banter that preceeds "Try, Try, Try" on "Machina II" has been removed from this version."
Source: Wikipedia

This is the 320 kbps version of the album, made available on Billy Corgan's official website - probably the best quality version you'll ever come across.

Machina II: The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music:
EP1 (CR-01)
: 1. Slow Dawn, 2. Vanity, 3. Saturn9, 4. Glass (Alt. Version).
Download - MegaUpload
EP2 (CR-02): 1. Soul Power, 2. Cash Car Star (Version 1), 3. Lucky 13, 4. Speed Kills (But Beauty Lives Forever).
Download - MegaUpload
EP3 (CR-03): 1. If There Is a God (Piano Version), 2. Try (Version 1), 3. Heavy Metal Machine (Version I/Alt. Mix).
Download - MegaUpload
LP (CR-04): 1. Glass, 2. Cash Car Star, 3. Dross, 4. Real Love, 5. Go, 6. Let Me Give the World to You, 7. Innosense, 8. Home, 9. Blue Skies Bring Tears (Version Electrique), 10. White Spyder, 11. In My Body, 12. If There Is a God, 13. Le Deux Machina, 14. Atom Bomb.
Download - MegaUpload

For more Smashing Pumpkins related info & goodies - including tons of live bootlegs & rarities - go to:
The Smashing Pumpkins Audio Archive

Do yourself a favor and check out the movie "Zeitgeist" - an independent movie about what Christianity, 9/11 and The Federal Reserve all have in common.



Molto Grazie!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this! I couldn't find it anywhere else on the internet! :)