Thom Yorke Drops Surprise New Album Via BitTorrent

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Thom Yorke Drops Surprise New Album Via BitTorrent

Thom Yorke is the epitome of a riddle wrapped in an enigma, so it’s no surprise that the release of Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, his first solo album in eight years, slithered right under the noses of the whole music industry. Having cemented himself way back when as a boundary-blazing king of the unconventional, Yorke followed on from the landmark ‘pay-what-you-want’ sale scheme of Radiohead’s In Rainbows album, and released this latest offering via BitTorrent. By utilising the brand new ‘pay-gate’ feature on the peer-to-peer network, you can pick up the album legally for the persuasive cost of $6.00. Yorke and his producer/longtime collaborator Nigel Godrich made the experimental move to BitTorrent “to see if the mechanics of the system are something the general public could get their head around”. By bypassing the”self elected gate-keepers” of the music industry, this new method could potentially pave the way for artists to have greater control over their distribution and internet commerce.


The album itself is as steeply obtuse as one would expect from Yorke, sitting very much at the experimental minimalist end of the electronic spectrum with splashes of glitchy-synth. There are some truly beautiful moments to be found among this transcendental soundscape; typically when the angelic melancholy of Thom’s voice is silkily lain atop of a dissonant melody, such as in the last track “Nose Grows Some” (reminiscent of “Videotapes”). Other tracks such as “A Brain In A Bottle” heavily rely on musical loops and layers, with an unrelenting synthy pulse at the core. Then lastly you have “There Is No Ice (For My Drink)”, the kind of song that should come prepackaged with a handful of accompanying narcotics and only played in an empty blacked out room with a single strobe light.

It’s really a mixed bag of musical taste, not typically the kind of love at first sight album. This is because Yorke and Godrich have created something that is far beyond the typical palate of mainstream electronica. Due to this multi-dimensional production, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes commands multiple emersion experiences from the audience, and with each listen rewards that effort with fresh musical discoveries and a deeper enlightened understanding of Thom’s tortured soul. Yeh that statement sounds as wanky as it reads, but lets be honest, there’s no such thing as too wanky when dealing with Yorke… good thing he’s talented enough to negate it.

You can download the full album bundle here.


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