This is a weird one.
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has released an album worth of new material today, available as a download on BitTorrent or as a vinyl record at the W.A.S.T.E. store. Above, you can watch the bizarre video for "A Brain In A Bottle" which is available as a free download through the torrent. For the full Tomorrow's Modern Boxes album download as a BitTorrent bundle, you'll need to pay $6.00 USD or £3.68. The vinyl record is selling for £30.
Earlier this week, Yorke made headlines by sharing a picture on his Tumblr of what the vinyl looks like:
On the W.A.S.T.E. Store, the album is described thusly:
A record born of silver darkness, pressed onto heavyweight 180g white vinyl completed with undersize 75mm centre labels, housed within heavy white board inner and outer sleeves.
These are printed with a metallic silver laminate then multi-tone black and a striking neon green; the whole is enclosed in a bespoke anti-static shield bag - a metallised laminated material usually used by the electronics industry for protecting components from electrostatic interference. The bag is printed with neon green on both sides, and has a resealable grip closure.
A message on radiohead.com reads:
As an experiment we are using a new version of BitTorrent to distribute a new Thom Yorke record.
The new Torrent files have a pay gate to access a bundle of files..
The files can be anything, but in this case is an 'album'.
It's an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around ...
If it works well it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work.
Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves.
Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers.
If it works anyone can do this exactly as we have done.
The torrent mechanism does not require any server uploading or hosting costs or 'cloud' malarkey.
It's a self-contained embeddable shop front...
The network not only carries the traffic, it also hosts the file. The file is in the network.
Oh yes and it's called
Tomorrow's Modern Boxes.
Having listened to only the first track, I must say that I am not impressed. The song is grooveless and tuneless, with virtually no appeal to anyone outside of Radiohead / Thom Yorke fanatics. What do you think? Is this high art, or is Yorke so high that he's no longer able to make good music? Let us know in the comments.
Thom Yorke Tomorrow's Modern Boxes Cover Art
Thom Yorke Tomorrow's Modern Boxes Tracklisting
a brain in a bottle
the mother lode
there is no ice (for my drink)
nose grows some
For Thom Yorke's latest music, news, and tour dates, check out his Zumic artist page.