Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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Childish Gambino is releasing a mysterious virtual reality vinyl

Childish Gambino is releasing a mysterious virtual reality vinyl

Childish Gambino has a new album coming out on December 2nd entitled Awaken, My Love!. Check. Childish Gambino has a new “virtual reality” app called PHAROS (though it’d be more accurate to call it a glorified 360-degree video app). Check. Childish Gambino has a “virtual reality vinyl” coming out. Check?

Details on that last bit are fuzzy, but it’s what the store page enlists it as: a “virtual reality vinyl.” It likely has to do with Gambino’s app PHAROS. The app was recently updated with a 360-degree video of a live performance from his September camping-weekend-concert at California’s desert-bound Joshua Tree. Maybe the virtual reality vinyl unlocks more performances in line with that. Or could the virtual reality vinyl mean something more? Something maybe akin to the hologram-projecting vinyl of Jack White’s “ULTRA” edition Lazaretto?

details on the VR vinyl are a mystery

Who knows. The PHAROS app update features a performance of an iridescently painted Gambino as he performs “Me and Your Mama,” the upcoming Funkadelic-inspired record’s intro track. It’s what one might expect from a 360-degree performancein that you’re watching a concert from the front rowexcept for the tall, CGI shadowy figure that looms overhead. When Gambino originally announced the Joshua Tree concert, his only performance of the year, he dubbed the location as “spiritual.” And you don’t really get more spiritual than a towering shadow monster stomping around the background.

Kinda looks like an Angel from Neon Genesis Evangelion, honestly.
Kinda looks like an Angel from Neon Genesis Evangelion, honestly.

Donald Glover, Childish Gambino’s real name, has had a busy year. He wrote and starred in the FX series Atlanta, a dramedy about life in Atlanta as Glover’s character tries to help manage his cousin’s budding rap career. He released an app. He’s gearing up to release his first album in three years this Friday, which carries a sound that’s a stark departure from his previous work. He recently got cast as Lando in the upcoming Han Solo prequel film for the now-massive Star Wars filmic universe. Honestly, dude needs to catch a break. Maybe his own VR vinyl will alleviate with a virtual escape of sorts. That is, if we ever figure out what the heck it is.

We’ve reached out for more details on what specifically this virtual reality vinyl entails, and will update accordingly if we hear back.

If you’re interested in finding out for yourself, you can download the PHAROS app here, or preorder the Awaken, My Love! VR vinyl. And dang, listen to the track below from the album. So good.

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