Thom Yorke released a surprise new album through BitTorrent

09.26.14 3 years ago

Steve Keros

After a week of speculation that the frontman of Radiohead had something new up his sleeve, it ends up that Thom York indeed does.

A new solo effort “Tomorrow's Modern Boxes” has been released via BitTorrent, sitting behind a pay gate, in what Yorke and longtime producer Nigel Godrich call an “experiment.”

The bundled Torrent files can be accessed through a new version of the software, which is already advertising the new effort on its frontpage. The album is under Yorke's name — not under Godrich and Yorke's project name Atoms For Peace — and is sold for $6. A purchase of the vinyl goes for £30 (including postage).

“It”s an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around…” reads Yorke and Godrich's post. “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.”

Yorke'?s partnership with BitTorrent also marks the launch of the BitTorrent Bundle with paygates, which allows artists to monetize their Bundle content directly. Fans can download the album here and pay using a credit card or PayPal in 140 currencies. The publisher covers the transaction fees and BitTorrent takes 10% after that,” said a press release from BitTorrent.

Radiohead already has a history of eschewing traditional label and retail sales models for its efforts. “In Rainbows” from 2007 was sold through a pay-what-you-want model, a first from a band on that large a scale. Yorke's last solo album was “The Eraser,” released in 2006.

Earlier this week, Yorke shared photos of previously unseen artwork on Tumblr, plus a mysterious spinning white vinyl record. He said that the band was in the studio, presumably a follow-up to 2011's “The King of Limbs.”

The music video for “A Brain in a Bottle” plays in the embed below.

Read the whole release, and check out the tracklist and artwork, below that.

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.

 

Thom Yorke & Nigel Godrich

Here is the tracklist for “Tomorrow's Modern Boxes”:

1 A Brain in a Bottle
2 Guess Again!
3 Interference
4 The Mother Lode
5 Truth Ray
6 There Is No Ice (For My Drink)
7 Pink Section
8 Nose Grows Some

Tomorrows Modern Boxes by Thom Yorke

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