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Oct 18, 2019
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Atoms for Peace – Amok

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Although Atoms for Peace would possibly sound like some sort of Bono-spearheaded marketing campaign to assist war-torn international locations, it is truly the title of a band, one of many newest in a string of aspect tasks put collectively by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. Amok is their first album collectively, and though it isn’t fairly an idea album, it does have a kind of working theme.

One of many main ideas of the album is the wedding and mixing of human components with digital sounds and reproductions. Partly, this mixture comes from the meeting of band members. Every comes from a unique however (principally) well-known group. Right here we’ve got Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Nigel Godrich (Radiohead’s producer), Joey Waronker (Beck and R.E.M.), and Mauro Refosco (Forro within the Darkish). On a extra technical stage, in recording these songs, the band aimed to breed within the studio the totally digital songs Yorke had put collectively on his laptop computer.

You’ll be able to hear that human-electronic crossing in a track like “Ingenue,” which carries the theme ahead by its attention-grabbing use of Yorke’s voice. The monitor has an undercurrent of playful, digital rhythms, however Yorke sings (nearly coos) lyrics above it. The sensation it evokes is kind of like floating above a turbulent sea. It is truly a really stunning pairing.

“Until” has a really comparable really feel to it. And also you get a kind of tribal chant of voices, too.

Having stated that, there’s not plenty of differentiation between the songs on Amok. At first, I wasn’t eager on the issue of determining which track was which with out glancing at my laptop. Every monitor consists of Yorke’s distinctive voice towards a roiling physique of beats, and he would not do a lot to range his fashion.

After all, as a vocalist, Yorke is not as dynamic as some folks, so (understandably) there are limitations to what he can do. A part of me likes his consistency all through the album, however then once more, one other a part of me stored hoping for one thing to actually shake up the established order.

Going again to the kind of hybrid nature of the music right here, I believe plenty of what holds this album collectively is the best way that Yorke retains that human component in play. For all the technical prowess right here, the album by no means lets go of your hand, stranding you in a jumble of bleeps, bloops, and computerized sound. As a substitute, you could have Yorke’s voice to hold you alongside.

The largest disadvantage to the album is that, by way of substance, it units off however by no means actually finds itself anyplace new. Regardless of 9 tracks (roughly 4 or 5 minutes every), the album is kind of sand-boxed. That could be excellent news for some followers of newer Radiohead releases, however to folks searching for one thing drastic and completely different, it may come off a bit repetitive.

Possibly, down the street, Atoms for Peace will push into extra unexplored territory and add a bit extra to let their music actually stretch. Regardless, Amok is a superb album to take a look at.

You’ll find it at your native Slackers.

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