Radiohead has released an experimental app based on the 2011 track Bloom, PolyFauna, mixing together music and jagged computer graphics in what the band says is from “the imagined creatures of our subconscious.” Available for iOS and Android, PolyFauna turns a smartphone or tablet into a window on a new world, with moving the device panning around the evolving scenery.
The app’s content was born, Radiohead says, from its The King of Limbs sessions while recording the eighth studio album. It integrates both the sounds used in Bloom and the imagery created along with it, and is part of Radiohead’s “interest in early computer life-experiments.”
Exploring can be random, or users can opt to follow the red dot through the digital landscape instead. The advice is to wear headphones so as to best enjoy the beat-skipping audio.
It’s not the first time Radiohead has tried something different to push the boundaries of music in the digital age. Back at the release of In Rainbows in 2007, the band’s seventh album, Radiohead opted to make it available as a digital download first, letting fans pay what they liked – rather than a set price – for the music.
Dubbed “it’s up to you” or “pay what you want” the album saw 1.2m downloads by the time of its official CD release, though exact figures as to how much people paid in total were not released.
PolyFauna is similarly a free download, created by Radiohead and UK digital art practice and design studio Universal Everything .