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By Meg Watson
September 27, 2014
By Meg Watson
September 27, 2014

He's back! It's been eight long years since we first heard Thom Yorke's glitchy solo grooves in The Eraser now, out of nowhere, he's dropped a sneaky surprise album overnight. Tomorrow's Modern Boxes sees Yorke return to his trademark sound with a full LP of sneaky sneakster electronica. But you won't find this album in stores just yet. As always, Yorke has something else in mind.

Similar to the release of Radiohead's In Rainbows where fans could pay whatever they wanted for an online download, Tomorrow's Modern Boxes has been released via BitTorrent. It's a bold move. Seeking alternative methods of distribution, Yorke has chosen to embrace the technology the music industry struggles with the most. The album, in fact, is the world's first paygated BitTorrent bundle.

"It's an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around," reads a statement on the Radiohead website. "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."

By releasing the music direct to the public, artists are able to keep a much larger share of the profits. For each album sold, BitTorrent reportedly takes a 10 per cent cut and Yorke gets the remaining 90. This combined with the savings on production and publicity means they are able to set the price at a mere US$6. Score.

"It it works, anyone can do this exactly as we have done," the statement reads. "[This would enable] those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves. Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers."

BitTorrent's CCO Matt Mason told Mashable that this is a system many artists will soon be employing. And, why not? Unless you work at a record company, it seems like a win-win situation.

Tomorrow's Modern Boxes is available for download via BitTorrent now. You can listen to the first single 'A Brian in a Bottle' prior to downloading. But don't be stingy, give this legend his $6 for the full thing.

Published on September 27, 2014 by Meg Watson


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