Radiohead: "The Butcher" "Supercollider"
Radiohead recently put their record store day singles up on their website to fans who purchased their latest album. “The Butcher,” which was recorded during The King of Limbs sessions, opens up with a glitchy percussion loop followed by a gloomy keyboard that gives off an unsettling vibe. Radiohead are masters off creating atmospheres, often times transitioning from portentous to angelic and everything in between. The production work on this track really stands out, in one instance Yorke’s voice is manipulated in a way that resembles a theremin on a Sci-Fi movie. On “The Butcher” the music does a distinct job of complementing Yorke’s lyrics; often ambiguous, they possess a keen ability to create incredible imagery. Equally as impressive on this track is Phil Selway’s ability to blend “authentic” drumming with irregular percussive loops.
The other track, “Supercollider,” dates back to the bands In Rainbows tour; however, this time around it takes on a completely new persona. In a recent interview, guitarist Ed O’Brien said the track was recorded after The King of Limbs was released. This track is probably the Radiohead track with the most prominent use of synthesizers, and also the longest song in the bands catalog. Despite its length “Supercollider” is much more understated then its companion. The track opens up with a pulsing bass sound and subtle percussion followed by a wonderful sounding synth. The song’s strength is in its subtleties, from the keyboard which mimics the melody line to Colin Greenwood’s brilliant bass line that plays off of its electronic counterpart. These two songs are definitely worth your time, and it almost seems like a given at this point, but be sure to throw on some headphones for these tunes.