Tuesday 11 September 2012

Atoms for Peace - Default

The title, Default, might seem obvious.  At first listen this sounds like Thom Yorke on auto-pilot.

But keep going and, like the best Yorke tracks, Default's intricacies unfurl.  Complex beats jerk and jitter; textures are gradually layered, drifting in and out of consciousness like the squares of the video; weird sound bites and effects provide punctuation; Yorke's falsetto yearns and floats.  Somehow it sounds simultaneously like a retro 8-bit oblivion and a minimalist, electronic future.

And then you read on and discover this isn't the latest track from Yorke, but from his supergroup Atoms for Peace comprising Yorke, Flea (of Red Hot Chili Peppers fame), Nigel Godrich (longtime Radiohead producer), Joey Waronker (drummer for the likes of Beck, Smashing Pumpkins and REM) and Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco.  Their input, if anything, is totally overshadowed by Yorke.  Even the band name comes from a track on Yorke's solo debut 'The Eraser'.

So, Default is Thom Yorke all over.  But a supergroup?  I don't think so.


Listen: Default is available now, with an album to follow in 2013.