Remix Magazine-July 2002 Issue
“Nigel was doing OK Computer,” says Sam Hardaker. “And we started bugging him to let us do a mix. We had met Radiohead before-they recorded in the studio where we used to work. We would sit on the sofa and watch football with Ed, Colin, and Jonny.”
Q: Does that deconstructionist approach inspire your own music?
Hardaker: Definitely. It’s more like Radiohead, the way some songs from Kid A are not really structured in a conventional way, but they always have choice melodies.
Q: How did your Radiohead remix come about?
Hardaker: Radiohead aren’t into remixes of their own music. I think they’ve only allowed a couple. But Nigel gave us an analog cassette of an early version of OK Computer, and we picked up “Climbing Up the Walls.” We thought it would be really difficult to remix most of the songs, but that one for some reason seemed possible; the song’s vibe lent itself to what we were thinking about. We sampled the chorus off the cassette and EQ’d it to take out the low end and make it really middle-y, just to see if it would work with the chords. We sent Radiohead the results to see if they were into the idea. Obviously, Nigel had warned them the he gave us the music.
Henry Binns: At first, they were like, “We really like the end bit. Could we have a bit more of that?” They liked it but said it didn’t sound finished, so that forced us to go back and address it.
Hardaker: The concept of something being finished was new to us. We would just tape things and then stick them on the shelf, so we needed a push. We just started throwing shit at it. They actually sent us the a cappella vocals, but we never replaced the ones we took off the cassette; you can hear bits of the original music and tape hiss. We don’t want things to be all clean-that’s bollocks. For us, that’s an essential part of the sound as much as anything else.
Q: How did remixing Radiohead affect your career?
Binns: Absolutely not at all. Other then a few Radiohead fans, nobody noticed. We just thought, “Okay, well, we had a go.”
Hardaker: At first, we heard nothing from anybody. Obviously, it’s not a dance record people would play out, and we didn’t think anyone on the radio would play it. But a few months later, Gilles Peterson was doing an end-of-the-year roundup of his favorite things, and he played our Radiohead remix! He was like, “This one is an absolute fucking monster-one of my tunes of the year. Look out for more good stuff from these guys.” I was like, “Somebody knows who we are, man!” Soon after that, we had a chat with Peterson’s label, Talkin’ Loud, and they asked us to remix Terry Callier’s version of “Love Theme from Spartacus.” They thought we’d probably mash it up in the same way, but instead we did this bacharach thing.