Supercollider / The Butcher Supercollider / The Butcher


Radiohead RadioheadSupercollider / The Butcher

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Radiohead  Supercollider / The Butcher TICKER TAPE LTD. (TICK002, 12”)

Although there were many clues (at least, in the imaginative minds of their followers) that what we heard on “The King Of Limbs” was only the first part, the release of this 12” for Record Store Day confirms that if Radiohead wanted their new album to last 38 minutes and sound like it does, it’s because it was their desire to make it like that. These two new songs wouldn’t fit on the record like some have said, and wouldn’t have made it better or worse. They are, though, better as an appendix to “In Rainbows” ( “Supercollider”) and Thom Yorke’s “The Eraser” ( “The Butcher”). So they will be welcomed both by the fans who applauded the latest twist in the band’s sound and those who were complaining that the new material wasn’t easy to listen to.

On the A-side we have “Supercollider”, a song they already played live on a few occasions during the previous tour. So the most avid fans will already be familiar with its ethereal melodies, and they’ve been asking for a studio version for a while now. The result is seven minutes and three seconds, in other words, the longest song they’ve ever recorded (without counting the live versions of their songs). From that viewpoint, and with a band that has become more and more slippery over the years, one could think we’re dealing with a dense and inaccessible piece. But nothing could be further from the truth. The duration is used to their advantage, to create a magic mood that takes us to the Kingdom of Morpheus. It’s not dream-pop, but it’s close.

On the flipside we find “The Butcher”, a previously unreleased song that’s only slightly beneath “Supercollider”. It’s somewhat in the vein of “The King Of Limbs” and “The Eraser”; it was, after all, recorded during the sessions for the first. Built from an apparently simple percussion structure, the song creates a phantasmagoric atmosphere, scary at times. Keeping in mind that they’ve already denied that they will have new material any time soon, the best thing to do is to enjoy these two new gems, which are so much more than just B-sides. You never know when they might return.

Álvaro García Montoliu

Radiohead - Supercollider Radiohead - The Butcher

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