The Slip (also known as Halo 27) is the eighth studio album from Nine Inch Nails. It was released as a free download on May 5, 2008, a CD/DVD package on July 22, 2008 and a vinyl on August 4th, 2008.
The album is available for download in a variety of formats, including MP3, lossless FLAC and high-quality WAV files. When playing the MP3 files in an MP3 player a different piece of artwork is displayed for each song, as was the case with Ghosts I–IV.
While Trent Reznor is known for laboring over his music for years at a time, The Slip was written in a month and recorded in just three weeks, with mixing, mastering, and art taking one additional week. The album was originally intended to be an EP, but quickly grew to album length.
- "999,999" - 1:25
- "1,000,000" - 3:56
- "Letting You" - 3:49
- "Discipline" - 4:19
- "Echoplex" - 4:45
- "Head Down" - 4:55
- "Lights In The Sky" - 3:29
- "Corona Radiata" - 7:33
- "The Four Of Us Are Dying" - 4:37
- "Demon Seed" - 4:59
- "1,000,000" (Live Rehearsal) - 4:12
- "Letting You" (Live Rehearsal) - 3:57
- "Discipline" (Live Rehearsal) - 4:12
- "Echoplex" (Live Rehearsal) - 4:51
- "Head Down" (Live Rehearsal) - 4:04
A1 "999,999" - 1:25
A2 "1,000,000" - 3:56
A3 "Letting You" - 3:49
A4 "Discipline" - 4:19
A5 "Echoplex" - 4:45
B1 "Head Down" - 4:55
B2 "Lights In The Sky" - 3:29
B3 "Corona Radiata" - 7:33
B4 "The Four Of Us Are Dying" - 4:37
B5 "Demon Seed" - 4:59
- High-quality MP3s (87 mb), encoded with LAME at V0, fully tagged.
- FLAC lossless (259 mb)
- FLAC high definition 24/96 (942 mb), better-than-CD-quality 24bit 96kHz audio
- M4A Apple Lossless (263 mb)
- High definition WAVE 24/96 (1.2 gb), better-than-CD-quality 24bit 96kHz audio
The FLAC, M4A and WAVE formats are distributed via torrents through tracker.nin.com. All formats include a PDF file with artwork and credits, all songs include individual track art and lyrics embedded. All files are 100% DRM-free.
The Slip is available as a physical product in CD and vinyl formats. The 6 panel digipak is limited to 250,000 pieces worldwide, each individually numbered, and includes a DVD of NIN performing five live tracks from The Slip at rehearsals, a 24-page booklet, and an exclusive sticker pack. It was released on July 22, 2008 in the US and Canada, and on July 21, 2008 in the UK and Europe.
Originally, the physical product was intended to be released in the US, Canada, and Japan as a numbered CD/DVD package limited to 250,000 units, with unnumbered editions to be released in the UK, Europe, and Australia with the same content as the North American and Japanese editions. It is not known at this time why the decision was made for the numbers produced to be reduced to 250,000 overall.
The double gatefold vinyl release contains one 180-gram LP and a 24-page booklet. Unlike the CD release, the vinyl is not numbered. It was released in the US and Canada on august 5th, 2008, and in the UK and Europe on August 4th, 2008.
The physical product also comes with three 4" x 4" stickers, each representing one of 9 illustrations to album songs (printed in booklet or individually embedded in distributed media files), with the difference that none of the stickers have the red lines. The stickers appear in consistent order, which allowed community to dub them 1st, 2nd and 3rd sticker packs and create The Slip Owners Database .
Third Disc & 11th Track
There was some confusion about the physical release, mostly due to information on Amazon.com (US) and other online retailers. The product description indicated the release included three discs which were rumored to include an unreleased or “hidden disc” of unreleased studio tracks entitled “The Take Over”. Later on, the track listing on the site was updated to show 11 tracks. The 11th track was entitled “Slip”.
All of this was clarified as rumor and error when the official release information was posted on July 21, 2008 at theslip.nin.com/physical
- Written by Trent Reznor
- Performed by Trent Reznor, Josh Freese, Robin Finck and Alessandro Cortini
- Produced by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder
- Mixed by Alan Moulder
- Programmed by Atticus Ross
- Engineered by Michael Tuller, Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder
- Mastered by Brian Gardner at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, California
- Room tuning: Steve “Coco” Brandon
- Art direction: Rob Sheridan and Trent Reznor
- Cover styling: Amy Hall
- Hair: Cori Bardo
- Project coordination: Brett Bachemin
- Assistance: Alynn Dotson
- Management: Rebel Waltz
- Business management: William Harper and Michael Walsh for Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman
- Legal: Gary Stiffelman and David Byrnes
- World wide booking: Marc Geiger for William Morris Agency
- Press [us]: Steve Martin (Nasty Little Man)
- Press [uk]: Frances McCahon (RMP)
- The Null Corporation Europe: Didi Parlevliet
- Published by: Form And Texture (ASCAP)
- Label: The Null Corporation
© 2008 NIN
- Thank you: Bob Morelli, Alan Becker, Danny Buch and everyone at Red; Digidesign; Elena Dickstein and Preferred Travel; Jeffrey Ehrenberg and Vintage King; Jeffrey Horton and Native Instruments; Paul J. Cox Studio Systems; Phillip Scholes and SSL; Rockit Cargo; Roger Cordell and Big City Music; Ross Garfield and Drum Doctors; Shawn Cleary and Analogue Haven; Shivaun O’Brien and Sound City Studios; Sudjam; Topspin Media Inc.; West L.A. Music
- Thank you (continued): Bruno Bondanelli, Candy Soo, Chris Whitemyer, Christina Lum, Craig Johnston, David Phillips, Irina Volodarsky, Jeff Davis, Jeff Masud, Jessica Trento, John Coleman, Josh Smith, June Munsinger, Karen Ciccone, Kelly Jao, Marie Lewis, Rich Fownes, Ross Rosen, Shamal Ranasinghe, Sherri Durrell, Tamar Levine, Zia Modabber
This album is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.
More information: www.creativecommons.org
- nine inch nails live: Alessandro Cortini, Robin Finck, Josh Freese, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Trent Reznor
- Produced by Michael Angelos
- Directed and edited by Rob Sheridan
- "Letting You", "Head Down", and "Discipline" mixed by Blumpy
- "1,000,000" and "Echoplex" mixed by Ken Andrews at Red Swan Studios
- Production Manager: Mark Demarais
- Director of Photography: Simon Thirlaway
- Camera Operators: Simon Thirlaway, Rob Sheridan, Hilton Goring, Dan Bombell, Ethan McDonald
- Mastered by Tom Baker at Precision Mastering, Hollywood, CA
- DVD media services by Broadness, NYC.
Prior to the album's release, a message was posted on nin.com, simply stating "2 weeks!". The previous time the same message had been posted on the site had been to forbear the release of Ghosts I-IV. Two tracks, "Discipline" and "Echoplex", were also released through radio and the internet respectively, both containing the message "go to www.nin.com May 5" in their ID3 tags.
On May 5th, nin.com was updated with the title Halo 27 and a link to theslip.nin.com with the message: 
(thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years - this one’s on me)
The album site requires a password to be submitted where the link to the download page can be sent to. The site itself states:
as a thank you to our fans for your continued support, we are giving away the new nine inch nails album one hundred percent free, exclusively via nin.com.
we encourage you to remix it, share it with your friends, post it on your blog, play it on your podcast, give it to strangers, etc.
According to a Rolling Stone article, the album was finished May 4th and sent to Sudjam, the company that manages nin.com, at 9:30 p.m. for a midnight release.
In a nin.com update on June 26th, 2008, it was reported that since the album's release on May 5th, 2008, over 1,400,000 people had downloaded The Slip from theslip.nin.com. That number represents individual people, and excludes multiple downloads from the same order.
In a Patreon post, Rob Sheridan explained the inspiration behind the album cover:
The Slip's cover was a direct homage to this 1982 (Roman) Cieslewicz poster (for a Paris exhibition on town planning, of all things):
As soon as I showed it to Trent he was struck by it, and we wanted to create something similar for the cover. So the intent of the photo was very clear from the beginning, and that helped me choose the right tools to execute it with. I set up a black backdrop and a bright desk lamp (to get a hot, overexposed light source that would sharply fall off into shadow) in a back room during Lights In The Sky rehearsals in 2008. NIN keyboardist Alessandro Cortini stood in as our arm model, and I had Trent walk forwards into the frame and then had Alessandro physically grab Trent's shoulder and jerk him back slightly to stop him. This created the motion blur on Trent's face that communicated the action in the image, captured with a slow-ish shutter speed. We did a few takes, and I was able to let them go back to rehearsals after maybe fifteen minutes of shooting - that was all I needed to get the right raw materials.
I found the perfect capture from the shoot, edited it in Photoshop, and then took it into Exposure, modifying the vintage B&W daguerreotype high contrast preset to give the photo the softness, heavy grain, and blown-out photocopy look we were inspired by in Cieslewicz's poster. From there, I added the broken red bar design element and the same worn paper texture used throughout The Slip's art to unify it.
Of the individual track artwork, Sheridan stated: "For Nine Inch Nails' album, we created logos representing each song, and embedded them in the MP3s to give each song its own visual identity when played digitally. Each logo played upon the meaning or title of the song, sometimes overtly, sometimes very abstractly. A scribbled red line crossed into most of the images, struggling to find harmony with the shapes, but ultimately failing." In a Patreon Q&A session, Sheridan was asked about the art for "Demon Seed" and he explained that it was "the end of the journey of the red line that moved through the artwork of that record, trying to make sense of the rigid forms, sometimes fighting them, before finally overtaking them. It was Trent's idea to have the line take over 'Demon Seed' so completely/aggressively. It tied in to the meaning behind the music, which isn't my place to discuss as TR tends to keep that stuff close to his chest." In a Twitter post, Sheridan explained that the track logos were inspired by De Stijl/Neoplasticism.
The cover of the booklet is a new piece of artwork that depicts several light gray lines on a dark background (the same color as the one for 1,000,000). Five lines, two on the ends and three in the middle, all travel straight downward from the top edge to the bottom. Two more lines, in between the three middle and two outside, on each side, start straight downward, then slant inward, then travel straight downward parallel to the other lines before they would intersect the ones in the middle. These lines combined form a variation on the NIN logo (second "N" being backwards).
The multitracks for the single "Discipline" were made available on remix.nin.com at the same time it was released as a free download. Multitracks for the remaining songs on The Slip were made available on May 5, 2008 as a free download from remix.nin.com.
For more information, see Lights In The Sky Tour
The album (as well as Ghosts I-IV, which was released the same year) was supported by a tour that visited North and South America. This tour was notable for having the most ambitious production of any NIN tour up to that point, using groundbreaking lighting and video technology. The middle portion of the set, referred to as the "Ghosts" portion, utilized some of that album's unorthodox (for NIN) instrumentation such as marimba, banjo and small percussion.
All songs from The Slip have been played live except "The Four Of Us Are Dying" and "Demon Seed", though the latter has been rehearsed.
Relation to Year Zero
Like Ghosts I–IV, the release of The Slip came as a surprise to most fans, who were expecting the next release to be a continuation of Year Zero. Reznor has indicated in interviews since the release that a Year Zero sequel was still in the works.
Aside from Art Is Resistance logo in the artwork for "Letting You", there are no clear, direct references to characters or events in Year Zero. Some tracks share similar themes, such as abuse of power ("Letting You"), an avatar of destruction ("Demon Seed"), submission to authority ("Head Down"), imprisonment ("Echoplex") and the appearance of entities in the sky ("Lights In The Sky"). Other songs, however, like "1,000,000" and "Discipline", seem completely unrelated and feature more "traditional" NIN themes of personal turmoil. It remains unclear which portions, if any, of The Slip should be considered canon in the Year Zero storyline.
The high quality wave download torrent includes a subdirectory named "The Slip art", containing JPEG images. However, the file "02-1000000.jpg", has an incorrect file extension. This is actually an Adobe Photoshop CS3 (Macintosh version) file with a single layer and no significant meta information attached. The final page of the PDF gives credit to "(c) 2008 niin." This appears to be a typographical error. There also seems to be a mistake in the wave files; The track "The Four Of Us Are Dying" is mistitled "Demon Seed" and vice versa.
Audiophile message board Hydrogen Audio noticed mastering errors on the 24/96 high-def WAVs, which was followed by posters "ningineer" and "treznor" who wrote that they had recontacted the mastering studio and released the WAVs in addition to high-def FLACs. On May 15th the nin.com Halo 27 blog post was edited with the message: "Some friends at hydrogenaudio pointed out an error with the high resolution WAVE files we didn't catch. The corrected files are now posted along with high resolution FLAC files as well. If you're interested in these, simply re-download the new files. Sorry for the hassle!"
A Google Earth KML file representing downloads of The Slip according to geographic region was made available from nin.com on June 26th, displaying over 1,400,000 downloads (not including multiple downloads) that had come from theslip.nin.com. On July 16, 2008, Reznor posted two images of the physical product on nin.com. The post was entitled "The Beginning and the End". The first image shows him holding two copies of the album, hiding his face behind them. The second image shows the backs of both CDs. The one in back reads 1/250,000 and the one in front reads 250,000/250,000.
- theslip.nin.com archived at Portrait of Decay
- The Slip Multitracks at archive.org
- The Slip at nincatalog.com
- Un-official The Slip owners database
- Google Earth KML file to show worldwide download stats
- The Slip at Amazon
- The Slip at eBay