Thom Is At It Again

Posted by Lord Davidd of Birko OBE DASc on
Category: Music5 Comments

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One of our favourite people, Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame, is at it again releasing his latest solo album via BitTorrent in what he describes as an attempt to bypass “the self-elected gatekeepers” of the music industry. The singer said he turned to the file-sharing system as “an experiment” for the release of Modern Boxes; which includes eight tracks and a video. It also comes seven years after Radiohead famously shook up the music industry by giving away their album In Rainbows as a “pay what you want” online release.

In a statement, Yorke and producer Nigel Godrich said; “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 gatekeepers. 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.”

BitTorrent has been cursed by the music industry for so long because it has allowed fans to share songs for free. The album’s website said it was “a project conceived of in conversation with, and collaboration with, fans” and was “an alternative vision of how the creative internet can work; for creators, for good”.

Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes is Yorke’s second solo album, following up 2006’s The Eraser.

The move comes a year after Yorke pulled some albums from music-streaming service Spotify in protest at how much it paid artists.


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Lord Davidd of Birko OBE DASc

A sad and lonely old man who used to have a life but it has now been taken over by his dedication to the cause of saving Renault Bears, running Jammy Toast and searching eBay, car boot sales, charity shops, lofts and even under beds for his beloved bears. He has even now taken in Flat Eric to save him from homelessness – his life is no longer his own!


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