The advances in 3D printing technology has already starting bringing some certifiably fascinating things to the world.

We’ve seen fully-functioning guitars, human prosthetic musical instruments, reproductions of iconic album art, and the world’s first 3D printed records.

Going one better than the Instructables researcher and DIY project maker that found a way to turn any mp3 into a 3D printed record, next month will see the launch of the world’s first 3D printing record store.

It’s not quite to the scale of retail giants of JB Hi-Fi, but London’s Soho will play host to the 3D printed record store, a pop-up shop called the Vinyl Factory, on the 13th and the 14th December.

Not only that, but there’s a high-profile artist that’s helping with the opening of the new store next month: Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke.

The 32-year-old frontman has teamed up with vocalist Bobbie Gordon for the release of a new single that’s set to make the pair the first artists to release an original music track on 3D printed vinyl, as The Daily Mail reports, with the single available for sale exclusively through The Vinyl Factory.

To celebrate the launch of the pop-up store and the musical milestone, both Kele and Gordon will be performing their new track, entitled ‘Down Boy’, live at the Soho space. Additionally, all proceeds from the sale of the 3D printed record will go towards charity, namely Nordoff Robbins, which provides music therapy and services to UK residents.

‘Down Boy’ was the result of the Bloc Party singer/guitarist selecting his singing friend as a collaborator as part of Bacardi Beginnings, a music mentoring project set up by the beverage company to give emerging artists unique platforms to showcase their music.

(Kele Okereke and Bobbie Gordon. Image: Bacardi Beginnings Source: Facebook)

“I’m really excited about being part of this year’s project and working with Bobbie,” say Okereke. “She has a lovely quality and fresh energy to her voice which works really well with the up-tempo dance track we’ve created;” described as mixing the dance music of his Kele solo project with the singing styles of Gordon, who’s sung for the likes of Adele and Cee-Lo Green.

“I’m so glad that Kele has chosen to work with me; it’s increasingly difficult to break through in this industry and it’s great to have that opportunity,” says Gordon, adding: “to then release it on 3D printed vinyl – that’s just brilliant!” Next month will see the launch of the world’s first 3D printing record store… [and] there’s a high-profiled artist that’s helping – Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke

The process used for the 3D printed record store and Soho pop-up were developed by Amanda Ghassaei, the keen technologist and Instructables member who came up with the programme for converting digital audio files into 3D printed records earlier this year.

Ghassei’s early experiments with her conversion technology included gravelly, but nonetheless audible versions of hits like Daft Punk’s ‘Around The World’, New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’, and Joy Division’s ‘Disorder’.

“I designed this project as a way to explore the limits of these 3D printers,” says Ghassei, explaining that “complexity is trivial to a 3D printer” as it processes large amounts of data, transforming audio waves into white, UV-cut resin into thin layers, though creating wider, deeper grooves than a traditional vinyl record.

The 3D printed ‘Down Boy’ vinyl single follows news that the Bloc Party frontman has released another EP of dance music under his Kele solo moniker, which further puts a question mark over Bloc Party’s status with talk of the band – last in Australia for this year’s Future Music and sideshows – splitting up following the release of new material this past June.

Following a remix of his own band’s track, ‘Obscene’, for a new mix called Tapes, the Heartbreaker EP sees Kele going fully fledged tech-house for the four-track release, issued by London’s Crosstown Rebels label on 25th November, as Consequence of Sound reports.

“I’ve always loved the inclusive and spiritual nature of house music, so the opportunity to make music for the most iconic and influential house music label in the UK is a dream come true for me,” says Okereke of the Heartbreaker EP.

Listen to the title track below, along with a behind the scenes video of Kele Okereke and Bobbie Gordon discussing their 3D record release for Bacardi Beginnings.

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