"Magic Beanz"

Thom Yorke Atoms for Peace

A high-pitched mumble, synths whooshing like wind-swept snowdrifts, guitars that sound like anything but, and skittering digital beats with their own unique groove logic: Yes, Thom Yorke's got his ghost-in-a-machine mojo working on this new track from Atoms for Peace, his band with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, brilliant hired-gun drummer Joey Waronker and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Like a lot of the band's best songs, "Magic Beanz" (taken from a DJ mix that Atoms for Peace made for a French radio station) comes on like a perfect cross-breeding of two different strands of musical DNA: Radiohead's 22nd-century prog-rock and Yorke's own one-man-and-a-laptop solo recordings. These beanz grow into their own kind of CGI stalk, branching out into the digital ether while flickering like a Tron cyclist trying not to disintegrate into mere code.

From The Archives Issue 1183: May 23, 2013
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