Mystery is the new black, don’t you know
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.