CD on one side, vinyl record on the other

Techno artist Jeff Mills produced this CD/5" vinyl single for "The Occurrence." One side of the disc is a normal CD, the other side plays on a normal analogue turntable.

The Vinyl And CD Release On One Disc From Jeff Mills

Axis Records (unlinkable Flash-blobs ahoy!) (via Make)


  1. I will be interesting to see which side is rendered unreadable first. My bet is against the CD side.

  2. Neat! Two obsolete media in one disk!

    It should have a tiny spindle on it for a wire recording.

    1. “It should have a tiny spindle on it for a wire recording.”

      Personally, I find nothing captures the authenticity of perfomance, the essential “you are there” je ne sais quoi-ness of musical experience, quite as well as the Edison Wax Cylinder.

  3. Nate Young of the band Wolf Eyes has been making these for ages on an old vinyl cutter, it’s such a great Idea!

  4. In other words: one side is an obsolete medium for which players will not exist in a few years; the other side is a phonograph record.

  5. So a 7″ record can hold 3 and a half minutes at decent rez,
    a 5″ record = less than 2 minutes?

  6. Pretty cool but I believe both Wolf Eyes and The Locust have already done this (though maybe their versions didn’t actually play in CD players).

  7. I’m genuinely curious as to how this works, because it’s the label side of a CD that has the data closest to the surface. Which is why scratched playing surfaces won’t kill a CD, but a scratched label will.

    I wonder how you get the grooves into the top of a CD without dramatically thickening it beyond Red Book playability.

  8. @Ladyfingers: I would think that you put the phonograph media on an outer band of one side, and the CD media on an inner band on the other so that they do not overlap. A CD reads from the inside out, and a record plays from the outside in…

    1. You totally nailed it. If you look closely, you can see that’s exactly what they did! The grooves on the vinyl side are only on the outer half-inch or so (you can see that the inner area is very reflective), and the outer edge of the CD side is a bit darker, it doesn’t have data written to it.

  9. If anyone can find any info on how these CD/record hybrid thingies are produced, I’d be much obliged for a linkey.

    1. @Axx You just use a vinyl lathe (very expensive, don’t even think you’ll be able to afford one) to cut the audio directly onto the plastic surface of the CD.

  10. jeff mills is the man, he’s been doing this sort of thing for years. his vinyl releases often have odd spacing of the grooves so that they form interesting patterns and spirals and in between those groves and in the run out space at the center are slogans and poetry usually centered around jeff’s fascination with science fiction. the sounds themselves are always beamed straight from the futire! at it’s best detroit techno is pure afro-sci-fi music!

  11. @ Ladyfingers. Red Book Standard does not effect the physical properties of a CD. It is the structure of information on the disc. This is why you can get discs which have a CD on one side, and a DVD on the other. The disc here just has the vinyl effectivley glued onto the label side.

    1. I think the Red Book standard does actually put limits on the thickness of an Audio CD.

      Between 1.1mm and 1.5mm as I recall. There were a few failed attempts at sandwiched double-sided CDs back in the day before flipper DVDs that I recall reading fell afoul of the physical limits of the Red Book standard.

  12. There was an indie rock band in Boston that did this back in the mid-90’s (I think they glued a 5-inch single and cd together), and there is one serious problem with it– a lot of turntables won’t play all the way through the song: as the tone arm approaches the spindle it reaches the point where it automatically picks up, returns and shuts off. Of course if you have Technics 1200 or similar DJ turntable, no problems.

  13. Yeah, The Mars Volta released a single a few years back in this format that you could get for free at Best Buy. It did come with a foam adapter so you were able to play it on your record player, but the sound quality was absolutely terrible, and my disc drive could never read the CD side.

    Still, its a cool concept, I hope it brings back promo flexi records that use to come in magazines.

  14. Waiting for someone to invent the machine that will play both simultaneously….

    1. the machine that will play both simultaneously….

      My brain is spinning on that now (not that it’ll get anyone anything useful)… I remember seeing some art exhibit, years back, of old clay pottery having recorded sound, which was being played in the gallery with a laser stylus. I imagine, since CDs spin exponentially faster than vinyl records typically, one could somehow devise a laser stylus that would somehow be able to skip around and make sense of, say, a 45rpm disc, spinning at 500rpm (or whatever), in such a way that the same vinyl disc could be made sense of on another player, at its usual, slower pace.

  15. Ok well, I bought it…. Way expensive for a cd. But I love Jeff Mills & am a sucker for vinyl, plus its a non-RIAA label (a pre-requiset to me buying any new music)…
    First CD I’ve bought in probably 5 years (bought some vinyl a couple of weeks ago)
    I’ll report back on the specifics!

    1. Got it, played it & as suggested by some others the vinyl side does have pretty terrible sound quality – but hey, its a novelty. I honestly didn’t espect too much out of it. Decent album either way! And no, i saw no adapter with it.

  16. Not a good combination. The moment you lost attention and place the cd side upward in vinyl player, its the destruction of a cd.

  17. This reminds me of the first time my mom tried to play a CD in a CD player: after it ended, she went to go flip it over.

  18. Yeah, these are a double fail. Better to release a 2 song 5″ with a CD in the same packaging. The whole adapter is bound to get lost and good luck slot loading one of these.

    Speaking of 5 inch vinyl singles though my buddy just successfully kickstarted one for his catastrofolk group Whitman and the killer bay area noise/thrash/punk band No Babies:

    Soon to be available at

    promo over and out.

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