Track of the Day 497 : Radiohead – Idioteque

From ages 13 to 19 I listened, in the main, to indie guitar music. Not to the exclusion of all else, but it was certainly my genre of the choice. Like many, many other people at that time (the nineties, essentially), Radiohead were one of my favourite bands. Aged 19 I discovered the joys of staying up all night dancing to techno and electro music, and whilst I didn’t quite leave the indie bands of my teens behind, they weren’t at the forefront of my thoughts for a while. Except Radiohead that is, who had been busy discovering the world of electronic music themselves.

When Kid A was released in 2000, it was met with mixed reactions to say the least. For some Radiohead fans, the (near) abandonment of guitars and lack of conventional song structures betrayed everything they loved about the band. Although, if a lack of conventional song structures bothered them, they may not have been listening to OK Computer that closely.

Kid A though remains my favourite Radiohead album to this day. I was smitten from the opening piano chords of Everything In It’s Right Place, through the propulsive jazz-influenced National Anthem, right through to the somewhat more traditional closer, Motion Picture Soundtrack. Idioteque though, remains the most important track to me. With its’ 4/4 beats and pulsing electronic sounds, it is the only Radiohead track I have heard, or am ever likely to hear, in a techno club (played by Dave Clarke if I remember rightly). Nothing compared to the thrill of hearing Thom Yorke’s voice in that unexpected context, a connection between my old life and my new.


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