[sic] Magazine

Mark Reed’s Albums Of 2013

1 = Martin Rossiter , The Defenestration Of St Martin

Released at the very tail end of 2012, The Defenestration of St Martin passed me by as too new to know; would I love this record still in a years time?. And then, it struck me, like a speeding truck. Cast out, and unjustly forgotten by the cloth-eared ambulance chasers that are the press and media, Martin Rossiter – vocal god, formerly of Gene , who suffered by being brilliant surrounded by sludge that drowned them in a screaming morass of mediocre options such as Shed Seven and Menswear – released his first – and utterly – solo record. With just a voice and a piano, Rossiter writes songs that are so much further on from any of his then contemporaries; it’s embarrassing for the rest, in what has become an album that is easy to love, but not exactly always easy to listen to.

‘Three Points On A Compass’, just one man and a piano, is a ten minute eulogy on the nature of absent fathers. The only thing you gave me was this name, this stupid name. Whereas many of his contemporaries create a tinderbox of wrapping and lies to obscure the fact there is nothing at the heart of the work, and nothing for them to say, and it is all guitars and lights signifying nothing, Rossiter takes the opposite approach that less is more, and in this, a beautiful, sincere album, one man and a piano explore the world in a way that is both timeless and relevant, as if the outside world is just clouds around who we are. When you look at the world, and how we live within it, like an astronaut would after landing, how absurd is life? Here, Martin addresses the heart and the mind and the soul, not merely in the context of the world, but with an acute understanding of what it is that makes a man a man. Though there is a mild touch of Queen in ‘I Must Be Jesus’, though that is no bad thing at all.

These are not necessarily easy songs: not for this the sudden pop rush of a song from fifteen years ago, but a considered and careful songwriter crafting sound. The world has changed since the last millennia and we have all have done the same. Over 50 minutes, Rossiter writes a suite of powerful, sincere, and utterly genuine songs that cut to the heart. If you’d prefer to listen to Ben Howard I pity your musical poverty, and am jealous of the simple way in which you must see the world, but this. These are songs that make me see the world differently, and that is the greatest compliment I can pay any artist.

1 = Editors , The Weight Of Your Love


After six months, Editors fourth record just won’t let me go. To some, they have changed, and are not the same. But who wants to be the same forever? Who wants to go through life unchanging? The world has changed, and we have changed, but nothing has changed as we journey through life together, slowly and towards the future. ‘The Weight Of Love’ may sound flippant, using, after all the ‘L’ word, but it is Editors at their best. Whilst there is a left turn away from the potent mixture that made In This Light a compelling tale of electronics and electrics, this is a different and compelling record, the sound of a new identity but already known. And my God, these songs. I know I have said ‘these songs saved my life’ before, so many times. But these songs. They mean so much. I’ve only known these songs a few months, but everything here is an old story, an old feeling I have known for years. These are songs taken from the heart I didn’t know I felt.

And so very very personal.

The Weight Of Your Love is the gravity of romance. The power of love. Not in a liberating, way, but in the way that love carries with it something. A middle aged man knows the baggage of love. The luggage you cannot leave behind. It is heavy, and child-shaped, marriage-shaped, debt-shaped. From the opening song to the last, this is a record that utterly knows the meaning of romance, the terrible power of entanglement, that the thing that sets you free can also imprison you, that gives you powers can also tie you down, and that a relationship is swapping one set of terrors for another set. From the opening ‘The Weight’ to the final notes of ‘Bird Of Prey’ this is a record that sets Editors apart. Some – cloth eared fuckwits – say it sounds like other bands that ascribe to, hope for, meaning. Editors just have it. They know. They see things others don’t see. This is the world as it is.

‘What is This Thing Called Love?’ slays me. It has been years since the first time I heard something, I had to stop everything else, sit down, and just listen. It’s just a song, but it’s the story I’ve known over 20 years. Every word is ripped from my world. The first time I heard this I had to stop. I sat down, and just listened. Every word. And by the end, I was crying, This song is it. My world in a song. Knowing it is here I feel less alone in the world. Because someone else feels this. The comfort, as such, of being sad. No song I have heard in years – twenty years – has done so much for me. Nothing. Not even ‘Nothing’, the amazing song that follows it. It sounds like the changing of the world. Like the end of one universe, the start of another, as the world built unravels and falls away – as I’ve got nothing, nothing left – only you. We walk through a crowd of strangers.

The Weight Of Your Love is not just that, but this, but everything. Love, the word, the concept, the feeling, carries with it weight and gravity. It can bring you down, it can set you free. In all its forms, the laughter, the tears, love is beautiful. We know. You do. Every kiss is a promise made of wonderful things. Every moment of love comes with it an inevitable sadness, one day we will be separated, we will hurt, we will cry, we will be rent against our will from the things we love, be they life itself, or a parent, a child, a small rabbit. Love is to hurt, and to know that it hurts, and to be brave enough to love anyway. And that is the weight of love, and it’s a weight worth holding.

3 Suede , Bloodsports

The decade since Suede last released an album have been cruel to many of us. The world Suede existed in then has fallen to pieces, with the death of HMV, Woolworths, the rise of the iEverything, and a society where there is no such thing as the underground, just another option. But as ever, Suede do their best work under the Conservative jackhammer.

Where did it all go wrong? In retrospect, it’s easy to see where Suede fell off the path: following 1999’s underwhelming Head Music with a three year sabbatical from touring and a woefully-out-of-time-and-place final album ‘A New Morning’, the band limped to an end in late 2003 with some defiantly final shows. Few bands have been deservedly seen as having lost their way so spectacularly.

The risk of ‘Pixies Syndrome’ looms. The band could have become a rolling Nostalgia Machine, endlessly touring the same five records around the world to ever-diminishing returns as they become an irrelevancy. They – and we – deserve better. Here it is. Within seconds, the memory of disappointment that accompanied repeated listens to ‘A New Morning’ are banished.

Bloodsports is the first classic Suede album in 17 years. Whilst it lacks a true, eyes-wet-weeping bedsit piano ballad, it has everything else. Including the kitchen sink. Songs are rising and falling mini-dramas that have all the things that made Suede songs so damn glorious: understated but perfect guitar lines, harmonies to sink battleships, and a sense of wide-eyed romanticism and hunger. This is Suede’s second chance, and one that they will not fuck up. As ever, Richard Oakes, Suede’s unsung saviour lashes the record in swathes of sound and melody that is both hopeful and hopeless. Would you know, to be blunt that he wasn’t always in the band from listening to this? No, of course not.

I could list individual song titles, but would they mean anything? Probably not. But suffice to say that, my fears were that Suede would ruin the memory. My fears were unfounded. Every song is confident, and crafted; as if they had been waiting a decade to emerge. No longer is Brett Anderson the hungry and naïve visionary he once was, but now – and as evidenced by the records he made since in the past decade – no longer concerned with smaller things such as pigs and nuclear skies, but has grown to a much bigger vision. There’s a whole world out there, and Suede are in it up to the neck. The opening three punches of ‘Barriers’, ‘Snowblind’, ‘It Starts And Ends With You’ is the strongest opening set of songs in the Suede canon since the debut.

Everything about this record screams classic Suede : at 39 minutes it’s short, but thankfully, shorn of the lesser stuff that should have been b-sides that dogged the later albums. In terms of look, feel, sound, content, this is the best comeback record in a very long time – and, apart from Bowie’s The Next Day the best in my memory. And it is ideally presented: the Bloodsports are the battle, unspoken, and obvious, between the two warring factions in any relationship as they vie for position and prestige. Between the lure of the past and the hope of the future, between then and now, between me and you.

Back with a vengeance.

4 Daft Punk , Random Access Memories

A colossus astride a wave of hype, Random Access Memories is … quite good on first listen. It is only, later, after months of listening, I realise how truly perfect it is. The sound of summer beaches and action movies. Heavily indebted to the music of Daft Punk’s childhood, to the Harold Faltermeyer/Giorgio Moroder soundtracks of the 80’s, to the world of classic, elegant disco and Chic and funk and disco. There’s lashings of Kraftwerk’s futurism in a sense of a general, minimal aesthetic, of variations and explorations of themes, and of a melodic strength that stretches far beyond a mere sense of coolness.

There’s a confidence in ebb and flow, drama, and at the climax of ‘Giorgio’ as strings, drums, and drop-ins give the song a sense of a huge, unstoppable momentum as it powers inexorably on.

And yeah, you know ‘Get Lucky’, which sounds nothing like Daft Punk, and everything like 1978.

There’s nothing false about this: just the sound of two thirty something musicians making music that sounds exactly like the records they loved growing up: the clean and precise mechanics of sequencers and disco, dance, and thumping, aspiration soundtracks. These are the children of ‘I feel love’ and the Scarface soundtrack, ‘Axel F.’ and ‘Blue Monday’. And it’s all here.

It takes 8 years to make a record because you try hard to make sure every note, out of every note that there could be the next is the – perfect – note, but.. only after you have tried all the others. Sure, it’s a brazen tribute to the electronica of thirty summers ago, but reminds me of nothing more, and nothing less, than the instrumental b-sides and 12’ remixes that I listened to twenty five years ago, when huge vinyl slabs of music remixed by Moroder, Faltermayer, for forgotten soundtrack albums were my staple diet. It’s not an album so much as a collection of long-lost classic 80’s 12’s you’ve never heard. Songs are explored, broken down, built up, fractured into a thousand parts and recreated, all of whom exist to take the song to the full, epic potential. Sure, you’ve heard it all before, but we’ve heard everything before. There’s only so many notes, so many ideas, so many songs.

Nobody else sounds quite like this: which is both a great shame, and a great joy: because Random Access Memories is Daft Punk’s best thing yet.

5 Frank Turner , Tape Deck Heart

Britain’s best songwriter returns. They don’t make ’em like they used to. Unless you’re Frank Turner. An album every two years. 1,400 live shows in 7 years and counting. And, unlike many artists, who use their good ideas up in the first five years – and after which, fade into embarrassing irrelevancy and tired Xeroxes of greater moments – Frank Turner, the guitar-slinging, jetset, crime-fighting heartbreaker and troubadour, offers us his fifth solo album in seven years with Tape Deck Heart . Once again, a man and his guitar, and his muse, give us a slap of great songs.

Turner is growing old, and so are we, and songs like this are the ones that show us that inside everyone is a story, and some of the stories are ones we all share. How it feels to be there, how we have all been there – the names of the actors may have changed, but we are all here, and the song remains the same. I need someone who sings from his heart and means it.

And here we are. Melodies that anyone can remember. Music made with integrity, ideals, about real things, about the world we live in, about getting drunk, waking up with regrets, about a million things and everything. And every song has some words so utterly astute in seeing the world that they will inevitably be tattooed on someone’s body somewhere. And rightly so.

Not everyone can write a song about the closing of the London Astoria and make it sound like a hymn fighting against the inexorable progress of capitalism wins in my book. ‘Polaroid Picture’ is such a song, and it captures for me, the same sense of futile regret that came when they closed the best venue in London. Tape Deck Heart is just like other Frank Turner albums; a selection of rousing, smart songs with huge choruses and a heart the size of a country designed to make lives better, because sometimes, we have no choice but to write songs and be the change we want to see in the world. ‘Nobody makes it out alive’, he sings. Never a truer word sung.

6 Moby , The Innocents

Now 48, Moby shows no sign of stopping; with four albums under his belt since 2008, three remix albums, and expanded deluxe editions of almost everything, you might be forgiven for seeing the arrival of The Innocents with a shrug. Who wouldn’t? What can Moby say on his twelfth album that you haven’t already heard?

Well, to call it his twelfth is a slight misnomer: with all the limited edition releases, remix sets, and compilations of his non-album, extra-curricular work, this is album thirty one. It’s a Moby album and its business as usual. Whereas Moby once progressed – sometimes by slight steps – in each record, here, as with ‘Destroyed’, Moby has become predictable, familiar; boring. But also, as ever dependable. ‘The Innocents’ is classic Moby : the huge, sweeping and slow string motifs, the minimal piano, the gentle, resonant rhythms. As is his wont, Moby’s cracked and fragile voice is barely present: how I wish he would sing more songs on his records. Instead we get guest vocalists agogo – ‘Almost Home’ is a beautiful lament, voiced by The Flaming Lips chief space commando Wayne Coyne – it floats and shimmers as a sunset, a golden moment. Moby’s trademark, leisurely string arrangements and unhurried rhythms are slow but assured, confident in their slow pace.

Like most of his records, The Innocents is a record that rewards repeated, gradual listening; ideal, perfect, for slow mornings, for a quiet hangover, a contemplative afternoon alone, for washing up and allowing the mind to wander to wherever. . At the albums conclusion, ‘The Night’ features Mark Lanegan , resembling a despondent Nick Cav e with his own, individual vocal. Elsewhere the natural melancholy of his songs is lifted, smothered if you will, by females. ‘Going Wrong’, for example, is perfect for exhausted commuting – eyes closed, in a haze, somewhere between sleep and consciousness, as the mind wanders around at 7AM on the first train of the day. No need for thinking, just feel the slow surfacing of this music made alone.

‘The Perfect Life’ meanwhile is beautiful: it sounds like a broken hymn. Moby then ruins it all with an overdone drug metaphor, describing the glorious act of shooting up. At its heart it is, like much of Moby’s work, a mixture of joy and melancholy, the kind of ‘comfort in being sad’ that became Nirvana’s stock in trade; almost every song on this could be a gentle meditation for the time between spaces. Outside the world is hazy and foggy, the fields are unwalked, as a train cuts through them on the way to an office. Aren’t we forgetting something? The right to just be.

‘Saints’, and ‘A Long Time’, uphold the tradition of a near perfect instrumental backing, despoiled slightly by human intervention, in both cases, a largely wordless mantra; ‘Saints’ resembling an electronic version of Pink Floyd’s ‘Great Gig In The Sky’, with an assemblage of vocal takes made out of the wordless crooning or others that somehow aspires to more than, greater than, beyond mere words. As ‘The Night’ comes in, Mark Lanegans vocal, reminiscent of Leonard Cohen . The album closes on the largely instrumental ‘The Dogs’, where Moby’s understated voice slowly fades out to a huge set of stings and lines, sounding for all it does, like the climax to a Hollywood movie. Being as it is, Moby’s house is overlooked by the inevitable Hollywood sign, perhaps this is no surprise at all: The Innocents makes everyday life seem like a movie, and as the perfect soundtrack to the tedious commute, or jogging, or whatever else it might be. Another solid, and strong record, but utterly, and always, business as usual from Moby.

7 David Bowie , The Next Day

The world is impatient. Already the world is flooded with reviews of this, many landing just an hour after they first pressed ‘play’ on the MP3 player. Already. I WANT IT NOW. But here it is. The record no one expected, the comeback no one considered, released quietly and with no press activity, David Bowie returned after a decade absence, with his best record since 1980.

The Next Day is goddamn glorious. 14 perfect songs. Bowie returns, and with an unbroken stride, confidently makes his mark. No one at his age (69, or thereabouts) should be making records so stridently lively, so articulate, so damned vital. This is proof, that you don’t need to go cowed and dimmed, into the sunset of artistic redundancy so many of his once-contemporaries willing desiccated themselves into shadows of past glories. Put shortly, Bowie will never go crap.

So much has changed in the past decade. HMV, Jessops, Woolworths, the cassette, the CD, the mobile phone, the fax machine, all dead. Bowie still alive. You might be expecting a contemplative, thoughtful treatise over the years. No such luck. Aside from the beautiful ‘Where are we now?’, Bowie, for once, revisiting his former lives, and his former loves, with a sort-of-beautiful lament. Hot damn. Bowie still takes my breath away.

It opens with a confident, bull-out-of-the-gates ‘The Next Day’. Memories fade. Spirit burns. The chorus is simple, and yet, invincible. ‘Here I Am – Not Quite Dying.’. It is defiant. ‘Dirty Boys’ is part of the albums opening four-punch of assured, and fearless, classics. It may only be 2 minutes 58 seconds. But when you considering that was the perfect length of the perfect 7’ single fifty years ago, everything should make sense.

‘Love Is Lost’. A bold song of reinvention. A descending, and gothic keyboard line, falls into a morass of spindly guitar lines, and Bowie’s stream-of-unconsciousness dialogue where everything is hinted at, everything makes sense, the world looks different and yet the same, the same world seen a way you have never seen before.

Aside from the mis-step that it is the hollow ‘Dancing Out In Space’ that is all flash and little substance, there is not one moment missing from this great record. With his band, whom he has played with (in the main) since around 1995, this is a man at the apex of his abilities, a natural talent reclaiming what was never lost in the first place. I dread to think of the great records he could have made in his absence, but the one we has is enough.

The entire album is made of songs you didn’t know you needed, but the moment you hear them, you cannot live without. How could I made it to GULP my age, without falling in love about how David Bowie steals cricket bats? Where many of people pass by Bowie’s skill, it’s with words. They all go on about the music, the image, but if he was singing about ‘Flibble Po, The Human Cow’, you’d zone out quicker than a child reading an instruction manual. These words are worlds, dexterous, human, funny and poignant, often all in the same line.

As it comes to an end, the last song ‘Heat’ might – or might not – be the last song on the last Bowie record. Who knows? It is a succinct four minutes, as Bowie takes his voice, and serenades us with something, I don’t know what, but it sounds ‘I tell myself / I don’t know who I am / my father ran the prison.’ As ever, and even now, Bowie – like all of us – is questioning. Who are we? Why are we here? What happens on the next day? There are no answers. Just new questions.

Even though Bowie is clearly aging, and who can deny that growing old is but a triumph of human will over the clock, the message here, if there is one, is that you need not grow old in a dimming light, that you can burn like the prettiest star at ancient age. And, any pensioner who can make – or, put another way. Bands much younger are so undemanding. Why settle for less? Why not dare to touch the stars? Why be so bloody limited? The only limit is your imagination. Though I don’t care how young, or old, or how cool, or uncool, David Bowie is. All I know is what my ears tell me. And my ears tells me that this is the best Bowie record in over three decades, easily in my top 5 Bowie albums, and that makes it one of the best records ever bloody made.

8 Pet Shop Boys , Electric

It’s difficult to keep track of how many albums the Pet Shop Boys have released – 14 all-new studio albums, 2 b-side box sets, 3 soundtracks, 2 live records, 5 remix sets, 3 ‘best-of’ records, over 50 singles, and several assorted concert DVD’s – which makes Electric’s place, as anything other than another Pet Shop Boys record, difficult to determine : made of songs worked on immediately after Elysium , newer recordings, and a determinedly lively retort to the previous record, Electric is the yin to Elysium’s yang. The closest relative it has, to me, is 2003’s Disco 3 , a record made of fast and energetic songs made quickly in response to its predecessor, the disappointing Release . Here, the same approach, with a short (47 minute) album made of 9 punchy songs is the approach. But it is not anything but a new Pet Shop Boys record. What the Pet Shop Boys do best is not the mature and considered love song; but the literate, and bonkers disco frenzy, of heartbreak on the dance floor. That the combined age of this duo is around 113 is not evident at all in the music. They’re practically the Rolling Stones of disco, apart from the fact that they keep making good records and have a back catalogue to die for.

Electric is a resolutely unapologetic record, high tempo, sweeping disco epics, – not so much a return to form – as a restatement of intent : and being alphabetically sequenced, it starts – and ends – with a climax of sound, from the pounding ‘Axis’ to the huge chords frenzy of ‘Vocal’. In-between the album is a variable feast, reminiscent in some ways of 1993’s limited edition Relentless , 1988’s Introspective , and many a b-side and club mix. My 3 year old, for example, told me to turn the silly noise during ‘Shouting In The Evening’, which is built on a squelchy, distorted bass. But it sounds great. The albums low point, for me, is ‘Thursday’, where Example provides an unexceptional bridge rap over a glorious orchestral break, and Chris Lowe intones the days of the week. It’s still got future hit written all over it. And whilst there may not be a single, stunning, stuck-forever-in-the-setlist classic of the calibre of their Imperial Phase, Electric is so much better than any act with an average age of 56 should be making, so much more ambitious, uncompromising, and passionately in love with the possibilities of the future.

What a great year for albums! This is the best single Pet Shop Boys album in a decade.

9 Karl Bartos , Off The Record

10 years after his previous collection – Communication – Karl Bartos releases his fourth solo album. The elephant in the room being his former band, and a shadow he cannot escape from, is that of Kraftwerk ; the straitjacket without whom he probably would not have risen to any prominence – and a word you will see a lot of in the next few paragraphs.

Indeed, this collection is largely made of reworked and completed sketches, experiments and demos he wrote during his tenure in the band from 1975-1990 – however, to call this ‘Kraftwerk’ rejects is both cruel, and not accurate. Hutter and Schneider were notorious for a glacial work rate, and a tightly held paranoid control over their work, resulting in six records with Bartos (including his uncredited appearance on ‘The Mix’), and just two – one a concert set – since his departure twenty two years ago. But ten years in the making, ‘Off The Record’ sounds like his former band in an alternate universe, made of punchier, shorter, pop songs. Which proves how much contribution he made to the band, even if nobody really considered it at the time.

Despite being poorly sequenced – the lead single is also the worst song on the record by a mile – as ‘Atomium’ is a vocoded hymn to the huge Brussels structure of the same name, the songs themselves here are solid, and dripping in riffs that could easily have fitted on any Kraftwerk record. With an average length of around four minutes, these suites, largely created on classic old synths and textured with dense arrangements that drip in melody and ideas.

Occasionally, Bartos mis-steps: the short 102 second ‘Binary Code’ is a rolling arpeggio that seems taken from the Automatic Phillip Glass Riff Generator.. The opening rhythms to ‘Rhythmaus’ and ‘Hausmusik’ sound very much like a preset Casio jazz tone from 1982. Then again, the Japanese engineers who designed synths influenced the sound of that decade. Other times – ‘Instant Bayreuth’ and ‘Hausmusik’ for example, sound like long lost classics of decades past that for some baffling reason are only now being heard.

In the meantime though, ‘Off The Record’ is to these ears, a continuation of Kraftwerk. The direction the band were facing when Bartos left is taken here: a combination of elegant synth textures and understated melodies, insistent and driving rhythms, and spacious production are matched to his restrained, precise language. Where it evidently differs from the other band, is in that Bartos writes livelier, faster material, with very specific pulsing bass lines and textured vocals through machines. From a flippant perspective, this guy is utterly influenced by Kraftwerk. Wait! He was in Kraftwerk! Oh, he’s ripping himself off. It’s like criticising Paul McCartney for making records that sound like he used to be in The Beatles .

Some of it, the keen eared will have heard before : ‘Deus Ex Machina’ is built from the same base as Electronic b-side ‘Imitation Of Life’ (recorded during Bartos tenure as contributor to the band in 1994-1996). Other parts of it – ‘Rhythmus’ – bear the same flavour as the ‘Computer World’ title track with huge lashing of ‘Abzug / Metal On Metal’. ‘Hausmusik’ bears a resemblance in spirit and style to ancient (and long-deleted) Kraftwerk track ‘Dance Music’. Nonetheless, it all sounds oddly familiar; not as imitations of the past, but as visions of a future that could have been.

Lead single ‘Atomium’ is the weakest track on the record. It sounds like a jingle advertising a building in Brussels, which it probably is. Heavy and primitive bass riffs and matched to discordant 50-film soundtrack style chords. It is, to be blunt, not very good by the standard. Which means it’s bloody good by the standard of say, Keane.

To me, Bartos was at least as much a critical part of Kraftwerk as any other in forming the sound and melodies that characterised the band: and here it is evident in spades. The production is (be necessity) somewhat dated now – a vision of a future that, by the time it came to pass, was just normal. The future is here and now, and this, shows just how important Bartos was in shaping it in our ears.

Instant bayreuth / atomium / rythmus / nachtfahrt / hausmusik / binary code / international velvet / the tuning of the world / without a trace of emotion / music ex machina / vox humana / silence

10 Atoms For Peace , Amok

There are three types of people. Those who like Kid A . Those won don’t. And those that have never heard of Radiohead .

Ever since 1995’s The Bends Radiohead have become huge without necessarily trying : a three year absence, resulting in the very different Kid A’/’Amnesiac could have decimated their career – certainly other, better bands have recoiled from fame the same way and doomed themselves to a life of penury. Now, two decades on, Radiohead operate in their own world. In the meantime, Thom Yorke has a second career. Though ostensibly a debut, Amok is really the second Thom Yorke solo album under a band name, using the same musicians that toured the Eraser debut a few years ago.

Without checking, you would think that Amok was recorded at the same time by the same people and not seven years later: the music is clearly different to his band, and in my opinion, better – a more considered sound that removes the rough edges of grating guitars and replaces them with dense synth textures, complicated and atmospheric drum patterns, and an overall sense of overwhelmed, exhaustion. Thankfully the sound is not compromised by Flea’s (from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers ) often asinine basslines which are thankfully tempered and thoughtful here. The percussion from former REM sticksman Joey Waronker bears few of the hallmarks of that band, being as it does, that the music is made from rearranged and remixed recordings of general jam sessions, instruments replaced with electronic imitations, sounding oddly human yet not.

It’s difficult to pull out individual songs from the first few listens, and they all form a cohesive whole of material that are all individual yet very similar in style and feel. The mostly single word titles, and the occasionally muffled diction create a sense of wilful obfuscation, or a deliberate distance generated: only with ‘Judge, Jury And Executioner’ is a sense of a crack in the light, a way in, seen, but – like many of Yorke’s more recent songs – they seem at first at least to be about something abstract, something distance, something unclear.

Amok is a difficult record, but not a perverse one : it requires the old fashioned virtues of paying attention – and lots of it – and repeated listening. Nothing on here will get played on the radio – then again, who cares what is played on the radio? The vast majority of it is absolute drivel anyway. This, an extension of The Eraser is a sequel. The same but more. The record ends at the same place it started, which is with little sense of drama or completion.