Various Artists - Exit Music EP 2

People get confused about cover versions. They are a labour of love, not some sort of disrespectful treatment of the classics. Everyone involved in the “Exit Music” project love the music of Radiohead – “Songs with Radio Heads” doesn’t attempt to replace the originals as “definitive versions”. Instead, like the Futureheads cover of Kate Bush or the Slits cover of Marvin Gaye, this is an exercise in translating well loved tracks into a different genre.

“Exit Music” also taps into the dancefloor potential of Radiohead, long recognized by DJs ranging from Paul Oakenfold to the Scratch Perverts. The band themselves are devotees of both hiphop and dance music – commissioning remixes from respected figures such as Madlib, DJ Shadow and Four Tet. With an increasing number of under the counter remixes beginning to surface, BBE thought it was time to collect together the finest hiphop and dance cover versions of Radiohead songs. Ranging from gentle acoustic treatments to raw funky versions, BBE have taken the songs of Thom Yorke into realms even he couldn’t imagine. And with a new album from Radiohead expected in 2006, “Exit Music” may only be the beginning…

Knives Out, the second single of Amnesiac is a riff based song featuring all of the members playing their "original" instruments. It has drums, bass, and 3 guitars along with a great vocal. Wajeed takes all of what’s needed from the original to give it a new vibration. A slighty different mood and ambience from the original, a straight forward laid back mix has been unearthed, making the listener realise just how good the original is when taken apart and rearranged. With haunting distant vocals, synth bass octaves and lush Rhodes chords, Wajeed simply delivers his own take on the conventional original, leaving us basking in a prolonged adulation of both the original and this re-working.

Pete Kuzma, Jill Scott’s band leader has rearranged High & Dry into a
completely soulful new idea. With silky serene vocals provided by the ever
so competent Bilal, Pete Kuzma has arranged a version of a song which puts
the term “cover” in a light of praise.  Kuzma has given the song a new vibration.  With break downs, solos, tempo changes and it’s own amazingly sublime hook, it has been transformed into a good feeling homage to the original.

A jazz tinged masterpiece, “The National Anthem” saw Radiohead recruit The Orchestra of St Johns to capture the organized chaos of a Charlie Mingus performance. With one of the most brutally effective basslines in the Radiohead canon, a jazz performer with a true appreciation of the low-end was the perfect choice to record “The National Anthem”. That person is nine-time Grammy nominee Meshell Ndgeocello who has performed with everyone from Prince to Basement Jaxx. The first woman to be signed to Madonna’s Maverick Recordings, she has recently become one of the key figures in the Okayplayer community, based around The Roots. Ndegeocello has shown her skills of interpretation before: she contributed two tracks to the “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” soundtrack, remixed Charlie Parker’s “Relaxin At Camarillo” for Savoy Jazz and covered  “Two Doors Down” for a Dolly Parton tribute album. For her Radiohead version, she brings in her regular drummer Chris Dave who lays down a gritty backbone to Ndegeocello’s funky sexual reading of Yorke’s work.


Exit Music EP 2


01 Waajeedof Platinum Pied Pipers feat. Monica Blaire - Knives Out
03 Meshell Ndegeocello & Chris Dave - The National Anthem
02 Pete Kuzma and Bilal - High and Dry

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