The extremely German "extreme laser-noise duo" Laser has made a record by designing a pattern in a vector program, then etching that design onto a piece of plexiglass using a laser. Something tells me the most "experimental" part of this album might be what it does to the needle on your record player, but it's a cool idea nonetheless.
A cool idea that has been tried before! Here's a record that was made the same way by Lasern (I know, I know). In this case, it's a bigger overall pattern, rather than eight discreet loops, and it sounds like, well, it sounds like a bunch of noise, though it's not just noise. I fully realize this distinction does not exist for some music fans, and that's OK. I'm surprised you read this far, honestly.
Both of these laser-cut plexi albums are instances of "Let's make a pattern and see what it sounds like." In other words, turning vision into sound, without having any idea what the sound would be beforehand.
In a way, this is basically reverse-engineering. We've gotten used to "seeing" music, in all those digital representations of waveforms — first in audio editing programs, now in many basic audio players. Here's what the "Tangled Hares Summer Furz Mix 2010" by Val Martino of Unicorn Hard-On looks like, for instance:
Remember when Kate Bush put what looked like a picture of a waveform on the cover of her album Aerial, and Adam Kempa turned it into an MP3 we could listen to? That was fun — even if it didn't really work — and an example of turning vision into sound.
And Chladni plates are another example of sound-as-vision that have been around a bit longer. Here's Meara O'Reilly "singing shapes" in salt using a microphone and a Chladni plate:
Anyway, let's get serious now and talk about the future. I believe that lasers are the future.
Dig, if you will, a picture: One day, Grimey's has a machine behind the counter. The machine has a laser in it. You tell Anna3000 (not the machine, that's just what we call Anna in the future) you'd like a copy of the new Now That's What I Call Witch House!!! compilation. Anna3000 inserts a vinyl blank into the machine, and a few hot, laser-inscribed minutes later, the album has finished. The artwork prints on a separate machine, which is basically a high-quality laser printer. Anna3000 inserts the record in the sleeve, scans the barcode, and you're ready to do whatever one does while listening to witch house comps on laser-made vinyl.