Mys­tery is the new black, don’t you know

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS - EMILY LONG­WORTH

It feels like Thom Yorke wouldn’t know a press re­lease if it hit him in his elu­sive, bearded face. The Ra­dio­head and Atoms For Peace front­man up­loaded a photo of an uniden­ti­fied white vinyl record to his Tum­blr ac­count re­cently, and caused his en­tire in­ter­net fan base to col­lec­tively soil them­selves with ex­cite­ment.

But who could re­ally blame him for be­ing a cow­boy of stealth? Mu­sic pun­ters have re­cently been taken over by the kind of scream­ing, flail­ing ma­nia that’s usu­ally re­served for the darts hall. Mys­tery is the new black, and Thom “The Power” Yorke has suc­cess­fully bro­ken through the fan- base ap­a­thy that seemed to have set in in re­cent years.

Hav­ing in­for­ma­tion is old news. Yorke’s not the only rogue- trader in this game: there’s a no­tice­able rise in the pop­u­lar­ity of se­cret venues, TBC artists and mys­tery spe­cial guests, just like last year’s sur­prise- re­lease al­bums from David Bowie and Bey­oncé, and artists, such as Aphex Twin, tak­ing to the dark­net to dripfeed in­for­ma­tion on their new re­leases. All of this cre­ates events that are more wrapped in mys­tery than the shroud of Turin.

Tonight, Nialler9 hosts a gig in BlockT with a wholly unan­nounced line- up. Se­cret Cin­ema in London con­tinue to host furtive film- view­ing ex­pe­ri­ences that seem to be the cin­e­matic equiva- lent of get­ting punched in the face in a dark room, and mean­while back at the dis­cotheque, Dis­cotekken have their top disco tech­ni­cians work­ing on a se­cret Dublin laneway that will be the lo­ca­tion of their next hoo­ley.

But what if that mys­tery vinyl was in fact – oh, let’s say – a plate? Or a re- re­lease of Thom Yorke’s The Eraser on an over­sized, nov­elty eraser? Ex­pect the en masse dis­posal of record col­lec­tions and re­place­ment with rare vin­tage plates and/ or gi­ant sta­tion­ary very soon.

If Thom Yorke has al­luded to them obliquely, they must be more rel­e­vant than ev­ery­thing else you own.

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