If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Radiohead should be blushing. Close on the heels of BBE’s collection of future-soul-tinged Radiohead reworkings, comes Radiodread, a surprising and impressive roots-style reggae remake of the band’s entire landmark album OK Computer.
A tribute to the universal appeal of Radiohead’s songwriting, old-guard reggae luminaries Toots and the Maytals, Sugar Minott, Frankie Paul, The Meditations, Israel Vibrations, and Horace Andy take on a track each, with inspired results. And rising pop star Citizen Cope’s characteristic bluesy drawl works perfectly here over dubbing guitar skanks and deep mesmerizing bass lines. The album also features NYC natives Victor Axelrod aka Ticklah (best known as a longtime member of Brooklyn’s monster afrobeat orchestra Antibalas and frequent DJ Spinna collaborator) and acclaimed (and unsigned) singer/composer Tamar-kali—both names to watch.
These are not just saccharine lovers rock versions of Thom Yorke over the latest dancehall riddim (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but thorough reinterpretations and arrangements that transform OK Computer into reggae music without losing the essence of either, and enriching both in the process. Pick Radiodread up from Easy Star Records or iTunes.
by DJ Scribe