But for the first time in history an album has been created as an integral part of a computer game.
'The Silver City' by Viard contains hidden messages and clues to online alternate reality game (ARG) Perplex City, which is billed as the world's largest treasure hunt.
Alternate Reality Game
The winner of alternate reality game Perplex City will gain £100,000
Viard's album, which is a wonderfully produced slice of electronica, is only available to gameplayers who purchase a Perplex City starter pack.
There are two clues hidden somewhere amongst the album's ten tracks – a spoken word section at the end of one tune, and a Morse code part on another.
Unsuspecting DJs could already be playing Viard's coded music, as the game makers have distributed 250 white labels.
They've even set up a record label called Hesh Records to distribute music integral to the treasure hunt, and to future Perplex City episodes.
Blur The Lines
Ethereal Electronica: Viard
"We've created a record label, released an album, and sent out white labels to DJs.
"Hesh Records has a website which game players and the ordinary public can view - you can even email Hesh's owner.
"The idea is to make Perplex City seem as real as possible."
The identity of the man behind Viard's ethereal electronica is being kept secret, but it is known that he's an accomplished techno producer – something that can be heard from the quality of his production.
It's been an odd project from the off
Viard, Perplex City
Viard"It's been an odd project from the off," Viard told DJmag.
"I've had to do an immense amount of thinking and understanding of what I'm involved in," admitted the producer.
"The character Viard is one of many fully developed characters within the world of Perplex City – what is incredible is the sheer depth of the characterisation.
"I've been involved with Perplex City since the very beginning and as such really didn't need too much of a brief to create the music, I had pretty much free reign to work on the tracks."
Whoever Viard is, he's made history.
Perplex World"Each release has to be meticulously planned so as to integrate properly with the Perplex City world and story – you also never know if even the slightest vocal, sound or beat will be misinterpreted as code or how players will take to the music."
Tens of thousands of people are already playing the British part-puzzle, part-story, part-game in a bid to discover the location of the 'Receda Cube' hidden somewhere on Earth.
The first person to solve the web of intrigue will win a £100,000 reward.
"Perplex City is the sort of puzzle where sheer brain power isn't as valuable as creative and lateral thinking," said Michael Smith.
"In other words, a quick-witted child is as likely to piece the story together as a retired Maths professor."
Check out the game at www.perplexcity.com
Perplex city's Hesh Records can be found at www.heshrecords.com
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.