Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood is launching a record label

New imprint from the Radiohead legend will champion classical music

Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood has launched a new record label, Octatonic Records, with two debut releases already announced.

The label is an imprint of Council Records and will focus on new classical music from selected musicians around the world, as well as some of the Radiohead guitarist’s own compositions.

“I’ve been documenting the musicians I’ve worked with and encountered in the contemporary classical world,” said Greenwood of the project. “Since doing my first soundtrack, I’ve become friends with lots of these remarkable musicians, as well as familiar with the music they play. It’s a whole world out there.”

The first two releases, simply titled ‘Volume 1’ and ‘Volume 2’, will be released on September 24 digitally and on vinyl on October 4. Check out the tracklistings below.

‘Volume 1’:

Side A – Industry – Michael Gordon performed by Oliver Coates
Side B – Water – Jonny Greenwood performed by Greenwood with Daniel Pioro and Katherine Tinker

‘Volume 2’:

Side A and B – Partita No.2 in D Minor for solo violin – J.S. Bach performed by Daniel Pioro

Jonny Greenwood performing live in Manchester, July 2017 (Photo by Andrew Benge/Redferns)

Beyond his work in Radiohead, Greenwood has received critical acclaim for several of his modern classical film soundtracks, including There Will Be Blood and the Academy Award-nominated Phantom Thread, and hopes this latest project will further boost interest in classical records.

“I hope these recordings encourage more people to see live classical music, and to take an interest in the featured artists,” he explained. “And, whilst a recording can only ever be an approximation of the real thing, I’m going to work hard to produce recordings that encourage you to see this music as something vital and passionate.”

The artist recently debuted some of his own new music at the BBC Proms, where he also curated the show for the first time. You can view footage of the track and the full concert here.

Apart from Greenwood himself, the show featured Daniel Pioro and Katherine Tinker – both of whom will be released on Octatonic – the BBC Proms Youth Ensemble, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Hugh Brunt. Composers included Heinrich Biber, Penderecki, Steve Reich and Greenwood.

Jonny Greenwood

Jonny Greenwood

As well as playing down the chances of there ever being a Bohemian Rhapsody-style biopic of Radiohead (while revealing who he’d like to play him in said film), Greenwood has said that he is currently devoting all of his attention to his solo work– adding that Radiohead were on the backburner due to Thom Yorke’s upcoming “dystopian anxiety” album and the “Brazilian-inspired” debut solo record from guitarist Ed O’Brien. Despite not having heard O’Brien’s solo material, Greenwood added that Yorke’s next solo album “sounds great” and “has some great strings on it”.

Meanwhile,  Yorke recently revealed that the band were planning to “do something really cool” with archive material from ‘Kid A’ and ‘Amnesiac‘.