It remains to be seen if we’ll get any new music from Radiohead this year - drummer Phil Selway says that the Oxfordshire five-piece plan to get together and “start looking at other ideas for what comes next” - but in the meantime, here’s a recreation of the band’s 2007 album In Rainbows using sounds from classic 1996 Nintendo N64 game Super Mario 64.
Created by YouTuber On4word (opens in new tab), and “dedicated to all toadstool beings”, this was produced using the suitably retro SoundFont format, which was originally developed in the 1990s by E-MU and Creative Labs. This enables you to create your own sounds using custom samples (in this case, taken from Mario 64) and then play or sequence them via MIDI.
As you may recall, SoundFonts initially came to prominence thanks to support for them in Creative Labs’ Sound Blaster range of PCI soundcards, which were hugely popular among computer musicians back in the ‘90s.
Now, though, the SoundFont format has dropped down a pipe and made its way to the Mushroom Kingdom. The In Rainbow Roads album (Mario Kart fans will get the joke) features all 10 tracks from In Rainbows and sounds painstakingly accurate to us.
Appropriately enough, On4word has even adopted the ‘pay what you want’ model that Radiohead used when they released In Rainbows. This was viewed as revolutionary at the time, but has since been adopted pretty widely in the creative arts industry.
In Rainbow Roads is available now on Bandcamp (opens in new tab).