Inside the Radio head
20 years after the release of the two alienesque albums Kid A and Amnesiac of Radiohead released respectively in 2000 and 2001, the band offers us an anniversary boxed set named KID A MNESIA gathering the two initial albums with a third one entitled Kid Amnesiae that the band defines as "a memory palace of sessions and unreleased material half forgotten, half remembered".
Although we can find the tracks Man On War and If You Say The Word which are enough to go and have a listen, the real interest for me of this reissue is in the opportunity that offers us Thom Yorke to plunge us visually into the throes of his reflections and his psychic state of the time, after the worldwide success of OK Computer, and the tormented entry of humanity in the third millennium. Through a beautifully bound book, but especially through a virtual exhibition entitled KID AMNASIAE realized with the famous video game publisher Epic Games, he offers us a real immersion in the hundreds of paintings and drawings he made at the time with his visual artist sidekick Stanley Donwood, who created all the visuals of the band.
Personally, when I saw the trailers of this new kind of exhibition, I was expecting a kind of virtual gallery, certainly improved in the Radiohead style, but in the vein of what we can see regularly for some time. Shame on me. How could I have doubted the band's creativity and flawless perfectionism?
The videogame medium is here magnificently exploited with the intelligence and the creativity that we know them, and manages to transcend the pieces specially deconstructed and spatialized for the occasion by the producer Nigel Godrich. The pieces of the exhibition follow one another in a confusing but peaceful and pleasant wandering. We like to lose ourselves with curiosity and admiration in these long staircases and corridors adorned with sketches, texts and engravings, before arriving in a new room where a new surprise awaits us each time. The quality of the graphics is incredible, allowing us to perceive the texture of the paper and the pencil strokes when we get close to a drawing. The highlight of the exhibition is for me the sumptuous immersion in the graphic representation of How To Disappear Completly, emblematic song of the album Kid A and all the work of Radiohead according to Thom Yorke himself.
We could spend hours talking about this virtual exhibition as there are so many fascinating things to say about it, just as we can spend hours walking around it with a constantly renewed pleasure.
At a time when the whole universe is getting excited about the concept of metavers, even though it is more than 30 years old, Thom Yorke and his friends are peacefully delivering
and with a timing that only they have the secret, a fascinating videogame experience, perfectly realized and absolutely unavoidable.
The video can be downloaded for free from the Epic Games website (about 9GB, the weight of quality!)