Black City Totem

Matthew Dear taps the Boyms for an object-based digital release of his latest album

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For the release of Matthew Dear’s latest album, Black City, his label decided to take a slightly more inventive approach to packaging. Teaming up with award-winning design firm Boym, Ghostly International will release an ominous-looking totem, inscribed with a unique four-character code that accesses a download and stream of the full digital album, as well as an exclusive track.

The Black City mini-sculptures, described as “skyscrapers that might populate Dear’s creeping, nameless city,” references the Boym Buildings of Disaster, a series that darkly riffs on the object-history of architecture. Known for their clever takes on everyday objects, by leaving the surface of the hand-cast aluminum totem almost completely blank, the designers leave the real meaning up to its owner.


Dear (a Texas-born electronic superstar who also cofounded Ghostly) continues to throw down the hits with Black City. It drops 3 August 2010, along with the limited edition of 100 totem pieces, which will sell for $125 each from Ghostly’s Store.