New Stuff/Kinda Old Stuff/Really Old Stuff: OK Computer and Kid A (8-Bit)

With technological advances, listeners today have become obsessed with improved sound qualities. We drop thousands of dollars on stereo equipment no longer with the hope that it’s the loudest, but the clearest. Heck, Bose has created an entire business model by telling us whatever speakers or headphones we are using are not good enough. Does the way we present music need to advance parallel to the advances used in making music? Sometimes, but I don’t believe it is of paramount importance.

Luckily for me, there are people like YouTube user QuintonSung who subscribe to the “less is more” theory. While it seems like recording two of the most detailed and critically admired albums of all time in the lowest audio quality possible seems insane, it’s not. In fact, it’s very listenable, consistently fresh, and at times simply mesmerizing.

Kid A lends itself better to synthesized recreations because, with the exception of the untouchable “How to Disappear Completely” and the dizzying “The National Anthem,” no acoustic instruments were used, while OKCPU featured several.OKCPUin 8-Bit is still fantastic, especially QuintonSong’s rendition of “Paranoid Android,” which delves in plenty of improvisation if you listen closely.

These albums are worth listening to because they give the listener a better appreciation of Radiohead‘s melodic genius. Yes, it is fun to hear Mario bleep-boops on “The National Anthem” and “Paranoid Android,” but it’s absolute bliss listening to the wall of fuzz on “The Tourist” or the halcyon buzz on “Motion Picture Soundtrack,” and I learned a lot more about these two albums when stripped to the bare minimum than I did about reading about them online. I’d buy them, but apparently they cost twenty gold, and I don’t know what that means.


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