Chain Reaction

Author: admin | Published: 2/6/07












Artist: Various
Album: Various
Label: Chain Reaction
Year: 1996, 1997
Designer: Unidentified
Type of music: Minimal techno
Notes: As somebody once described it: “packaging heaven”. This, despite several reports that expansion of the metal in hot weather has resulted in broken CDs. I’d definitely agree that it’s utilitarian design heaven, rivaled only by The Designer’s Republic’s sleeve for Autechre’s LP5 (upcoming). These metal cases perfectly reflect the concrete minimalism of Berlin’s Hard Wax store. Maurizio is technically not on the Chain Reaction label, I know. The card digipaks of the later Chain Reaction albums are okay, but they just don’t compare to the metal cases.

Note my copy of the marvellous Decay Product by Various Artists (aka Thorsten Profrock aka T++) – fifth image down – is bent out of shape and the … compiled – sixth image down – is showing a spot of rust. Excellent.


  1. […] Reissue repacking compact disc — colin on June 10, 2008 at 2:40 pm […]

    Pingback by Hardformat » Reissue repacking — June 10, 2008 @ 2:40 pm
  2. […] – Hongkong, which although remastered apparently offers one less track than the original. View the original (well, at least its spine – it’s the first on the left on the […]

    Pingback by Hardformat » Uninspired reissues — June 10, 2008 @ 2:42 pm
  3. I love packages like this, because as good as a brand new digipack looks, as it gets wear and tear, the aesthetic fades – but when you have something like these tin cases, they only manage to become more and more visually appealing as time goes on.

    Comment by J. Bennett — July 1, 2008 @ 2:34 am
  4. Unfortunately when this site was deleted from the server it used to sit on we lost all the comments. Much as I love these tins, quite a few people wrote to say that they were infamous for cracking the CD due to expansion in heated rooms.

    Comment by colin — July 7, 2008 @ 11:37 am
  5. I own quite a few of these. While the packaging is cool, you must must admit that the typography is terrible.

    Comment by Heiki — September 16, 2008 @ 9:30 pm
  6. Hm, somehow I think typography is beside the point given the utilitarian approach, in fact what is there contributes to the surely deliberate semi-anonymity of the CR project. At least that’s my take on it.

    Comment by colin — September 17, 2008 @ 6:33 pm
  7. A nice idea, but the packages did eventually destroy my discs.

    Particularly dangerous for computer listening/ripping, because at 52x speed, a small stress fracture can result in an exploding CD and a ruined optical drive.

    Comment by Brian Prince — January 21, 2009 @ 4:55 am
  8. it is weird to see these all fresh and new, mine have all rusted and look a lot more like what the music sounds like than these!

    Comment by rg — June 30, 2010 @ 9:19 am
  9. Sounds great rg! though there’s a bit of rust appeared on mine and the Various Artists/Decay Product is all bent out of shape.

    Comment by Colin — October 6, 2010 @ 10:48 pm
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