On Friday, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke dropped a huge surprise on us all, announcing that he was releasing a new solo album called Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes into the world. Like he did with the name your own price method of In Rainbows, he’s experimenting with a new release system with torrent service BitTorrent, allowing fans to stream the album for free, or buy the album for $6. Ah, the old Radiohead.
He posted the following letter detailing the album’s release on Friday via Dead Air Space:
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.
The album is available to purchase physically in the form of a very fancy white vinyl which you can read more about and purchase right here. In the meantime, enjoy a stream of the album below.
You had the weekend to digest. What do you think of the album so far? Let me know by leaving a comment below.