Special Thanks to Matt Kessler: Radiohead's interactive museum piece "Kid A Mnesia"

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Nodima

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That is, if you like their music and all that. And if this period of theirs borders on a religious experience for you like it does me, well, buckle up!

This is perhaps the most Radiohead thing they've ever released - spasmodic, fractured, self-reverential, self-effacing, austere and in shambles all at once. Circa 2000s Stanley Donwood art blown up to be big and tall and admired but intentionally pulled from low resolution scans lest ye forget what the 2000s looked like, bathed in Unreal Engine lighting so pristine at times you forget you're not playing a hipster P.T.

Again, if you're not a fan of this band or don't have the controller in your hand there might not be much there for you since that's all there is to it, being a fan of the band with a controller in your hand, but if you're any kind of music nut it might still be worth checking out. While this is old music and nostalgia does a lot of heavy lifting here, the exhibit also acts as a sort of self-guided walking tour through liner notes, discarded concept art, throwaway lyrics, Windows Media Player visualizers and cavernous rooms that play out like interactive stem manipulators that's pretty novel. While Radiohead is special in that Unlimited Money kind of way, I doubt they'll be the last band to do this, nor that someone will someday debut an album with something like this attached.

I've included footage from my second hour of the game below for the merely curious, though I will say it opens with what many consider the showstopper of the whole experience so click play at your own discretion. If you'd like to just skip ahead to the novelty that is Matt Kessler receiving special thanks from Radiohead during their interactive art piece celebrating two of the most over-discussed albums of all-time, that's at the 30:50 mark.

Oh and one last thing: if you're a full on sicko, yes, you can just linger in the "Hunting Bears" room forever and let those mangy guitar notes serenade you until you pass out.

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ALLTheDinos

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I’ve been meaning to check this out after downloading it last week. I’ll admit that I’m not a huge fan of Kid A or Amnesiac (I don’t dislike them, I just way prefer The Bends and In Rainbows). However, this is a real weird thing to exist, and I mean that in the best way. Thanks for the writeup!

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Shindig

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I hope Morning Bell turns up twice.

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davidmerrick

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I lost my shit at that Kessler credit at the end.

As a Radiohead fan who loves Kid A and especially Amnesiac, this ruled, the "How to Disappear Completely"/"Pyramid Song"/"You and Whose Army?" sequence especially.

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Nodima

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#5  Edited By Nodima

@shindig: Without spoiling much, they did something very weird with this song that most people will probably never see/hear. All I'll say is it's a bit like Giant Bomb Infinite.

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mellotronrules

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#6  Edited By mellotronrules

oh nice! i'm glad someone mentioned this on these forums (i was talking it up on discord on release day). 'kid a' is probably my favorite album of all time, and although i've only spend about 30mins so far in the 'experience,' it defo has those The Most Gigantic Lying Mouth of All Timevibes which is legitimately thrilling if you're radiohead nerd (or if you just like the artfully bizarre).

i somehow stumbled into the 'how to disappear...' sequence in my first quick session, and it kinda blew me away. will be returning for sure.

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csl316

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Do you sorta walk through through the album? Is it free?

I love Radiohead but I have no idea what this is or where to ger it.

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Nuttism

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This seems like a similar idea to the Björk - Biophilia exhibit in 2011.

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davidmerrick

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@csl316 said:

Do you sorta walk through through the album? Is it free?

I love Radiohead but I have no idea what this is or where to ger it.

I've described it to friends as "tripping balls at a Radiohead art installation."

You can get it for free on PC (Epic Games) or PS4!

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HeyItsDale

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@csl316: It's definitely not just going through the albums. More like an art installation inspired by them.

As a huge fan of these two albums, I liked the exhibition, but there were definitely some annoying parts (getting stuck in the 3 song loop a second time with no way to exit for example), but I definitely enjoyed the experience overall. Just be aware going in that there's no real "game" here.

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langdon_alger

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Oh god I'm such an idiot. I started watching your video and I'm like.." i saw none of this...HOW?!?" When I played I walked around for an hour and a half and then just turned it off. I kept going in circles and couldn't find a new area. I didn't realize there were credits...

Do.

Do I need a walkthrough...

For a museum?

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Shindig

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#12  Edited By Shindig
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yoctoyotta

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#13  Edited By yoctoyotta

I know it's not the same quality or execution or purpose, but the description of this Radiohead project brings back memories of Primus' Tales from the Punchbowl album. All the way back in 1995 (edit - actually, the "enhanced" disc was a re-release of the '95 album in 1996), it had a whole weird-AF somewhat-interactive PC multimedia experience (Macromedia Shockwave I presume) included on the Audio CD that I couldn't get enough of as a 12 year old just getting access to a cd-rom drive at home for the first time.

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owl_cave

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It's definitely for sickos and I've had alot of fun exploring around. It's also properly creepy much like the albums themselves, which I really appreciate. The vibes are outstanding imo. The sequence that plays inside the pyramid also does some really interesting things with the way that its animated and shaded.

Overall I'm super happy how it turned out and that it is actually pretty substantial for a free experience. Looks good on PS5 too.

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ALLTheDinos

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Finally hopped in and explored for an hour or so last night. There are some really incredible visuals in this thing (which pointedly says “this is not a game” in one of the first areas), particularly in the three-song section everyone is talking about. I ended up reaching an ideal stopping point during my run, but I can’t wait to get back in another night and figure out where Morning Bell is.

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Shindig

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I think Morning Bell is very blink and you'll miss it. I've been through this three times now. I would enjoy more of these and hopefully it gives artists (in a general sense, not just musicians) a way to promote and experiment stuff.