Jonny: „The starting point for that was trying to build a drum machine out of very old Star synthesizers. Kind of using the same things that the Roland technicians would have had in 1978 or whatever. To decide how to make something sound like a snare drum out of white noise, and how to create the sound of a bass drum or kick drum out of filters. So it was like, we basically built a drum machine. And I played a record on top at random and had a radio playing and was just trying to generate all this chaos all over this drum pattern. And then Thom cut it into sections and ended up having a sample of the record I was playing which was this compilation of electronic composers. They had some competition in 1972 to see who was writing the best modern electronic music in a classical style. And it’s been a very interesting process because I wanted to track down the composer to tell him we’d done it and ask permission and stuff. And at that point he’d been 18, 19 and at college and no one knew what he was doing today.
And it turns out he’s a professor at Princeton, professor of music. And he came last night, saw the show and was very excited, and was describing the songs in a very interesting way. It was really nice to meet him.”
(KCRW, october 12th 2000)
Jonny: "I built a drum machine. It came out of old components. Something just generating white noise, and something that was kind of opening and closing the white noise. It was sounding quite good and I had a rhythm going, but I needed some chaos. And so I shamelessly put on some records on the turntable and tuned a radio in and just wanted to fill it up because it was far too empty. And I gave Thom a recording of this, about half an hour long, and he cut it into pieces and repeated certain sections.
There’s this melody in it, it’s really beautiful, I can’t remember how I made it, cause I was playing keyboard as well, and I thought this must be something I have played. It’s only four notes. And it was only a few days later when we’d finished the song and spent days on it, that I put the same record back on and these four notes came out clearly, so I had to track down Paul Lansky. And the record was interesting because it was made in 1974 when he was a student. And I wasn’t sure what he was doing now, I didn’t even know if he was still a musician or anything. This was a student competition record, ‘who can make the best electronic music in 1974’. And then I found out that he’s at Princeton and a professor of music. So I wrote to him and explained what I’d done, you know, a bit embarrassed and sent him a copy of the recording. And luckily he liked it, liked what we’d done with his music."
(Mixing It, january 20th 2001)
For a long while during the Kid A sessions, he was totally uninterested in melody, just into exploring texture and rhythm. The result was tracks like Kid A's 'Idioteque', which sounds like two-step Garage with a PiL/"Death Disco" twist, but is actually "an attempt to capture that exploding beat sound where you're at the club and the PA's so loud, you know it's doing damage".
(The Wire, july 2001)