Intro: In October, prog-rock band Radiohead released their seventh album, “In Rainbows,” to much critical and commercial success.
Now Bay Area hip-hop producer Amplive has sliced, diced and otherwise remixed the album to create a short LP entitled “Rainydayz Remixes.”After some legal grappling with Radiohead’s management, Amplive was given permission to offer the album online for free.
Pros: With only eight songs, “Rainydayz Remixes” exhibits a strong variety of musical styles. A handful of tracks are rap oriented, like the hard-hitting “Video Tapez” which benefits from the skillful rhyming of Del Tha Funky Homosapien. But Amplive is just as much fun when flying solo, transforming songs like “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” and “All I Need” into rambling trancelike voyages.
Cons: The unnecessary intro track, “Rainydayz” features a bad voiceover (“within every rainbow there are rainy days”) and demonstrates Amplive’s borderline-obnoxious proclivity for attaching the letter “Z” to the end of his song titles – but these complaints are superficial. However, some of Amplive’s more vigorous experimentations with the turntable do exceed the boundaries of good taste.
Definitive Track: Amplive turns “Faust Arp” – a short, quiet anomaly of a track on “In Rainbows” – into “Faustz,” his album’s exhilarating conclusion. Thom Yorke’s breathless vocals are sliced, doubled and rearranged with intricate precision while jumbled guitars and violins fade in, out and echo. Naturally, all of this is accompanied by an absolutely thumping beat.
Conclusion: The purpose of a remix is to give new life to the source material.
In this task, Amplive succeeds: his compositions are invigoratingly conceived, consistently surprising and catchy.
But unfortunately, and perhaps inevitably, they fall short of the originals.
Of course, that shouldn’t be much of a deterrent for potential listeners. After all, “Rainydayz Remixes” is free.