I often think that if the ailing record industry really wants to find a way out of the large, internet shaped hole it seems to find itself in, it could do worse than look at what Radiohead are doing and copy that.
First there was the rather succesful way in which they launched their last album In Rainbows. Whilst it’s been suggested that more people decided to use peer-to-peer file sharing services to download the album illegally than did so from the official site (despite the fact that it was possible to download it for free anyway), I’ve also seen figures that the band managed to make just as much from the launch as they would have done from a standard one and got a whole heap of free publicity as well.
Then they encouraged fans to create remixes of the video for the track House of Cards, a video which was, without the UGC element, pretty impressive in its own right, for the way in which it was made entirely without standard cameras. They’ve put a whole gig’s worth of material onto YouTube. And now they’ve invited people to remix the track Reckoner and are inviting fans to vote for their favourite ones. Whilst none of these ideas are particularly revolutionary in their own right (I seem to remember someone like Meat Beat Manifesto doing the remix thing back in the mid 90s) they show a willingness to ignore boundaries which is very refreshing.
Well, one of those remixes was by a chap who goes by the name of Kultivator. I’ll be entirely honest with you and admit that he’s going out with an old friend of mine (hi Orla!) but that doesn’t change the fact that his remix is pretty bloody great. And that’s why I’d like you all to go and vote for the Kultivator remix of Reckoner by Radiohead (here or using the widget in the right hand column): it’s spooky, hypnotic and deserves to do very well indeed.