Radiohead’s “Nude” Played On Vintage Hardware

This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. I had to share.

As creator James Houston explains,

I’ve just graduated from the Glasgow School of Art’s graphic design course. This was my final project.

Radiohead held an online contest to remix “Nude” from their album – “In Rainbows” This was quite a difficult task for everybody that entered, as Nude is in 6/8 timing, and 63bpm. Most music that’s played in clubs is around 120bpm and usually 4/4 timing. It’s pretty difficult to seamlessly mix a waltz beat into a DJ set.

This resulted in lots of generic entries consisting of a typical 4/4 beat, but with arbitrary clips from “Nude” thrown in so that they qualified for the contest.

Thom Yorke joked at the ridiculousness of it in an interview for NPR radio, hinting that they set the competition to find out how people would approach such a challenging task.

I decided to take the piss a bit, as the contest seemed to be in that spirit.

Based on the lyric (and alternate title) “Big Ideas: Don’t get any” I grouped together a collection of old redundant hardware, and placed them in a situation where they’re trying their best to do something that they’re not exactly designed to do, and not quite getting there.

It doesn’t sound great, as it’s not supposed to.

Big Ideas (don’t get any) from James Houston on Vimeo.

That’s right. James created a mix of Radiohead’s “Nude” using the following:

  • Sinclair ZX Spectrum: Guitars (rhythm & lead)
  • Epson LX-81 Dot Matrix Printer: Drums
  • HP Scanjet 3c: Bass Guitar
  • 10 Hard Drive array – Act as a collection of bad speakers: Vocals & FX

An amazing show of modern creativity using tools of our favorite bygone era. Hats off, James!

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