The music industry doesn’t want you to read this

For some musicians, the near-total disappearance of the material trappings of making records — no CD pressings, no physical artwork, and minimal marketing — has ushered in a sort of digital renaissance.

Trent Reznor and his band Nine Inch Nails have thoroughly immersed themselves in this movement with the release of Ghosts I–IV, a 36-track instrumental collection clocking in at almost two hours (Volume 1 can be downloaded free). For ten weeks the band members worked without strict songwriting edicts and with “no clear agenda.” The end result is a batch of wonderfully minimalist piano-infused tracks with a hint of guitar-laden electronica.

While we don’t get the pleasure of hearing the usually morose Reznor sing of his pain (as in the Johnny Cash–covered “Hurt”), Ghosts holds up as pure ethereal joy not just for the ears but for the brain as well. Reznor has said more volumes are likely — we can’t wait.

VIEW the Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts I–IV website

LISTEN to tracks from Ghosts I–IV on the Nine Inch Nails’ MySpace page

SEARCH for more information on Ghosts I–IV

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. The music industry doesn’t want you to read this