How Did Wolfgang Tillmans’ Song End Up On Frank Ocean’s New Album?

The photographer is on the hottest record of the year.

How did a song by the photographer and artist Wolfgang Tillmans end up on Frank Ocean’s visual album “Endless”? Considered the hottest record release of the year, Ocean dropped the album on Friday, and followed up a day later with the release of another long-player titled Blond. (Or Blonde according to Apple Music).

Tillmans announced the inclusion of his electronic music track “Device Control” in the outro of Ocean’s album via Instagram this past Friday, just as he had found out about it.

In a photo caption, Tillmans explained, “Three weeks ago I showed him [Ocean] a few songs, which I had written and produced for myself, and he replied ‘Device Control is brilliant. Love. Can I sample it for the intro of my album?’ I agreed and to my excited surprise this morning he didn’t just sample it. He released my complete original track as the end of this amazing album.”

Enormously proud and happy that Frank Ocean did include my (yet unreleased) track ‘Device Control’ as intro and as a full length ending of his ‘Endless’ album! We were in touch about the intro, but I wouldn’t believe it until it happened. Three weeks ago I showed him a few songs, which I had written and produced for myself, and he replied 'Device Control is brilliant. Love. Can I sample it for the intro of my album?' I agreed and to my excited surprise this morning he didn't just sample it. He released my complete original track as the end of this amazing album. So now it's out - and in full length.. Below are the complete production credits. Thank you everyone involved! The song is on the forthcoming Wolfgang Tillmans ‘Device Control EP’ (Digital release date tomorrow) featuring also two addictive remixes by Berlin’s Daniel Wang & J.E.E.P. and one by US legends Salem, all of ‘Make It Up As You Go Along’ (The original is out now on vinyl and digital and Spotify - 'Wolfgang Tillmans') and a new vocal piece of mine in two versions called ‘Angered Son’. We will release the new EP digitally in the very next few days. Vinyl release will be Sept 16 as originally planned. Fragile003 on Fragile. Distributed worldwide by WordandSound. Wolfgang Tillmans - 'Device Control' Vocals, lyrics, melody by Wolfgang Tillmans Keyboards, harmonies, arrangement and drum programming by Tim Knapp at Trixx Studios, Berlin Intro: all instruments and production by Kyle Combs, New York Live drums by Rosie Slater recorded at Studio G, Brooklyn Additonal arrangement by Kyle Combs, Jay Pluck and Wolfgang Tillmans iPhone voice recording at Keithstrasse, Berlin and book binding machinery recording at Grafica Maiaduoro, Porto by Wolfgang Tillmans Mixed by Alexis Berthelot at Studio G, Brooklyn Mastered by Klaus Knapp at Trixx Studios, Berlin Written and produced by Wolfgang Tillmans, 2016 #frankocean #devicecontrol #timknapp #kylecombs #alexisberthelot #rosieslater #klausknapp #danielwang #salem #j.e.e.p. #jaypluck #wolfgangtillmans #makeitupasyougoalong #angeredson #betweenbridges #endless #blonde #boysdon'tcry #fantasticman #fragile #fragilelabel #fragile003

A photo posted by Wolfgang Tillmans (@wolfgang_tillmans) on

Ocean also used a photograph shot by Tillmans for the cover of “Blond,” the long awaited follow-up to his 2011 hit album “Channel Orange.” In an interview with Pitchfork, the artist opened up on how he met Ocean and how the pair’s collaboration came about.

“We were brought together by the wonderful people at Fantastic Man magazine, who had set up an exclusive cover story for their 10th anniversary album early last year,” the photographer said. “The shoot turned out to be almost impossible to set up…I had given up hope and said I had to go the Berlin next day. He said he would prefer to do it there. I didn’t think he meant it, but two days later he showed up at my Berlin studio.”

But, as Tillmans went on to explain, in true pop star fashion Ocean made a u-turn. “All seemed well, but a couple weeks later Fantastic Man got a letter from his lawyers in Los Angeles barring them from using the pictures,” Tillmans added. “It was a huge disappointment and felt very unfair, but we stayed in touch and he later wanted to use images for his book to accompany a future album.”

The Turner Prize winner is known for his involvement in music. His popular “playback rooms” were exhibited in Munich and Berlin, and he is due to release a techno EP titled [2016/1986] on September 16.

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