Wired Fishes

8 Oct 2022

I very much like the mixing of a early drum machines exemplified by the series of videos Radiohead put out of Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood playing arpeggiated guitars over an old CR78 drum machine:

Unfortunately, that embed is region locked, but Radiohead have it on their website, so you can also see it here if so, and you can find the other one they did in this Thom/Johnny/CR78 trio here.

I suspect it’s just because that all feels somewhat obtainable as a sound I can recreate myself (with suitable effort) as a target for my practicing.

Here I’m trying to dip my toe in this, with playing the riff from Weird Fishes/Arpeggi, from Radiohead’s In Rainbows. Clearly amateur stuff on my side, but it makes a change from practicing over the more “traditional” sounding drums in GarageBand. The original was not this way, with a very much not digital Phil Selway on the drums, as can be seen on the opening of the “From The Basement” session:

That session is well worth a watch, not just for the music, but also to watch the band at work, to see what sounds come from where: watching guitarist Ed just sit on the floor and play his looper pedal for a while, or Johnny trade his guitar for various instruments that wouldn’t be out of place in a junior school that fit in perfectly.

Update: A hat tip to Will Thompson who pointed me at this recording of the song by Kelly Lee Owens which is a beautiful all electronic version of the song, which I really dig.