Radiohead
TKOL RMX 1234567


4.5
superb

Review

by Deviant STAFF
September 28th, 2011 | 182 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you thought that this was over, then you were wrong

"I think it's great. Especially with King of Limbs, out of all our records, it lends itself best to the remix treatment."

Now that the dust has finally begun to settle, and all the hype and the expectant and excited first listens have since melted away and been replaced by the ear of criticism and scrutiny, looking back finds The King Of Limbs to be one of the most misunderstood albums of recent years. Perhaps we were thrown off guard because for the first time in a long while we felt like we could actually get a handle on Radiohead, that they were no longer hiding behind something intangible and distant, but actually giving us something tangible and incredibly open. Immediacy isn't something that instantly springs to mind when one thinks of the group who almost single-handedly re-invented the alternative rock scene of the 90's, who then went on to embrace the cold and barren tundras of glacial-like techno as the reply to all the accolades. We've become accustomed to the idea of Radiohead never quite being Radiohead; or if they have actually been playing themselves all this time, that they've never been wholly comfortable just being defined by one indistinguishable sound. And so for some, The King Of Limbs failed because for the first time we weren't immediately awe-struck by some new incarnation of the group, we were taken aback by a band who had spent the better part of their career redefining themselves, now choosing instead to simply define themselves.

As far as remix projects go, they're generally hit-and-miss affairs, either falling into the category of being blatant cash cows, or sorry attempts by an artist or artists attempting to cross over into various other affiliations: club culture, hip hop or the metal scene. They play out more like grandiose "what if?" scenarios, one-play only hollow digresses that ring out with the turgid cries of misplacement. But Radiohead have long sat on the cusp of electronic music; Kid A is the obvious example, but even beyond that they've always experimented with their own fragile and fragmented takes on a variety of underground electronic exhibitions. And given not just the talent bought in for this affair, but the base product with which they're working from, TKOL RMX 1234567 feels like a complete album, void of simply being a pet project pieced together by a variety of different artists working in different fields. No, it's cohesive, concrete and solidified by a central theme, so amateur conspiracy theorists can now rest easy, knowing that their precious time was not all for nothing, because here is your The King Of Limbs part 2.

Working through a field comprised of equal parts techno, loose house music, garage and dubstep, the TKOL RMX project is a lengthy and almost mind-numbing journey that is as unsettling as it is provocative. Combining the abstract charm of a group who have long been at the forefront of cutting edge experimentation with some of the best artists in their respective fields, along with the best and brightest of the latest rising stars, picking out highlights from this juggernaut of electronic experimentation and expert examination makes for hard work, but they come thick and fast. The whole project opens up with Caribou's interpretation of 'Little By Little' and it sets the scene perfectly for the barren journey ahead, as he turns Radiohead's piece into a melancholic slice of lo-fi house, with loose percussion balanced precariously over a gently caressing string section.

Further on down the track, current blog house champion Jacques Greene's re-do of the shuffling 'Lotus Flower' begins off friendly enough before going into an overdrive of techno madness, while Lone's take on 'Feral' remains the most inviting, borrowing greatly from its roots and twisting the paranoia into a steady and hard hitting breaks-inspired piece. Both of Mark Pritchard's thoughts on 'Bloom' (one under his own name and the other presented under the moniker of Harmonic 313) are apocalyptic in nature, the former a twitchy and shivering oddyssey through sinister synth thumps, while the latter is a bass driven ride through reckless and frantic 808 territory. Up and coming dubstep artist Brokenchord continues on in much the same vein as his smash Girl Of 13 Summers 12" by converting 'Give Up The Ghost' into a stripped to pieces dubstep beat, attempting to form cohesion with the broken pieces, while Shed's version of 'Little By Little' is loose and primitive, like a kind of shaman's dance framed by a sea of faceless spectators. And yet the two greatest contributions to the project remain Blawan's and SBTRKT's entries into the saga; the former is a funky nightmare with Blawan's now famous garage house licks working in double time to keep up with his steady pulse of precision, and the latter is the cream of the crop of SBTRKT's recent works, combining his love for mournful garage overtones while tying it all down with a modernist dubstep touch.

For better or for worse, Radiohead have opened their doors and allowed a few outsiders to fashion their creations into something completely removed from their original forms, and yet aside from the frequent sampling that reminds us of their roots there's still so much here to tie it all back to the mysticism of The King Of Limbs. Whether or not your reaction to Radiohead's latest release was one of disbelief and wariness, this is the companion piece to leave you wide-eyed at what can be accomplished with a little ingenuity and help from some of the best in the business.



Recent reviews by this author
Aphex Twin SyroBanks Goddess
Burial Rival DealerDeadmau5 >album title goes here<
Mala Mala In CubaFour Tet Pink
user ratings (108)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Blair Chopin (4)
I'm playing with myself/Baby's got the bends/Let down and hanging around/Rats and children follow me...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 28th 2011


31215 Comments


Okay, a little clarification for those not in the know:

Over the last two(?) months or so, Radiohead have been releasing a series of 12" releases, that when put together form the TKOL RMX 1234567 compilation album. All individual releases are now available for purchase from:

http://thekingoflimbs.com/Store/DisplayItems.html

and the physical release (which came out in Japan on the 16th of this month) will be released on the 10th of October

Little By Little (Shed Remix): http://soundcloud.com/radiohead/radiohead-little-by-little
Bloom (Mark Pritchard Remix): http://soundcloud.com/radiohead/bloom-mark-pritchard-rmx
Lotus Flower (Jacques Greene Remix): http://soundcloud.com/radiohead/lotus-flower-jacques-greene
Bloom (Blawan Remix): http://soundcloud.com/radiohead/radiohead-bloom-blawan-rmx

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Adash
September 28th 2011


1356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I agree with you wholeheartedly on this one; so many sick tunes

telebyrd
September 28th 2011


869 Comments


have a pos

iFghtffyrdmns
September 28th 2011


7047 Comments


Dev reviewing Radiohead? I guess I don't know why I'm so surprised but I definitely am. Nice write up anyway pal.

Radiohead is like the one awesome band I don't listen to cause I'm afraid that if I did my head would just explode on account of all the other awesome music I listen to, and OK Computer would just put that over the limit. Perfectly sound logic, if you ignore it.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 28th 2011


31215 Comments


You won't be surprised if you sample those links

Yotimi
September 28th 2011


6505 Comments


Caribou, Lone, Four Tet, Shed - yeah I'm getting this

Digging: Chrome Sparks - Goddess

iFghtffyrdmns
September 28th 2011


7047 Comments


ahhh...... it's all so much clearer to me now.

Piglet
September 28th 2011


4654 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i was surprised by how well this was made. great review as well mate

Ovrot
September 28th 2011


10495 Comments


You never see any metal covers of radiohead songs

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 28th 2011


31215 Comments


That wasn't a statement just about Radiohead, but good to know

pizzamachine
September 28th 2011


12571 Comments


A Radiohead album that doesn't suck? This might just ruin my day! pos

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 28th 2011


23843 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

omg that summary is soooo good haha. I will now read the review and try to acquire this.

also lol @ sonic

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
September 28th 2011


6451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tracklist is epic

Digging: Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

StrizzMatik
September 28th 2011


3198 Comments


Waited until all the remixes were out before getting them. Can't wait to listen now

Digging: Finch (US) - Back to Oblivion

CrisStyles
September 28th 2011


767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really loving Greene's remix of Lotus Flower.

omnipanzer
September 28th 2011


21541 Comments


Nicely done sir, I'll have to keep my eyes open for this one.
POS of course.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 28th 2011


7307 Comments


K so I'm like, wiping jizz off from all over my keyboard right now.

Jokes aside, amazing review Deviant. This is exactly why I wanted you to do the write-up for this album - your depth of understanding of the essence of the genre + impressionable skill in the art of writing could to justice to the album like no one else would (and probably ever could). I'll now go and try to get into this album one more time; who knows, I might actually be able to understand it this time ;)

Oh, and the summary also rules hard.

(Minor niggle: Further on down the track, current blog house champion Jacques Greene re-do of the shuffling 'Lotus Flower' begins off friendly enough before going into an overdrive of techno madness - I think you're missing a possessive apostrophe and letter "s" there.)

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 28th 2011


31215 Comments


Oops

WhiteWallStargazers
September 28th 2011


2647 Comments


"who then went on to embrace the cold and barren tundras of glacial-like techno as the reply to to all the accolades."

Middle of the first paragraph, you have two to's in there. Good review, have a pos

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 28th 2011


31215 Comments


Oops [2]



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy