In june 2003, around the time that Hail to the Thief was released, Radiohead started an internet competition called The Loophole, where they provided samples for fans to create music and send it in. For this purpose the website www.digitallandfill.co.uk was created, a link to this website was prominently featured in radiohead.com. These were the instructions:


Are you good at making noise? You like a challenge? Well you might like to have a go at this.

You see, we want you to write a track for us, based around the Radiohead audio loops provided on this site.

Make an audio track, send it to us, and then every month, we will put up a new selection of what we receive up here, on the other end of a prominent and attention-whoring link from radiohead.com and absolutely free for the world to download. You, my friend, could become a minor celebrity.

 


Digitallandfill.co.uk will contain in total 82 short audio loops. Download them, and use them to make your own audio track, add as much of your own sound as you like, as long as you respsect copyright laws (see the legal bit below). You may mess around with the loops themselves too as much as you like. Be inventive and interesting. Go nuts. But don't just slap them on top of your demo tape, that's not going to impress anyone.

We are accepting the tracks as MP3 files only, sent to us either through email or this site. Your finished MP3 must be less than or equal to 10Mb in size. We would prefer the quality of the MP3 to be at least 192kbit / 44100Hz / Stereo - which will give you about 7.5 minutes. But longer doesn't necessarily mean better. 7 and a half seconds can be just as great as 7 and a half minutes.

If you need help turning your audio into MP3's, good free software for doing that is RazorLame for the PC and iTunes for the Mac. Other platforms probably know how to do that sort of thing themselves, I'm sure you're used to being told that.

 


On July 25th, the submissions section will open on this site, giving you chance to upload your finished work to us electronically. This section will stay open right through the competition, so no need to rush your masterpiece. You may enter your track at any time, we will not discriminate between when a track was entered when we pick the 20 tracks each month. You'll have a better chance if you take a bit of time over something rather than slap it together in a hurry.

On August 11th, we will be hitching our trousers right up around our waists and picking the first 20 or so tracks to go up on this site using a method which may involve both developing tinitus and throwing darts at walls. This lot will stay up for one month. Then we will do that all over again on September 9th, October 8th, November 11th, December 9th, and January 7th.

We'll try our best to stick to that, but we reserve the right to be late, forgetful, slack, etc. It's like second nature to us.

Any questions about this? Are they sensible? Please email loophole@digitallandfill.co.uk

 

The loops themselves were made available in two groups. The first one appeared in june 2003 and was titled 'Manhattan', then in october 2003 another batch was added, called 'Baghdad'. All 82 loops can be downloaded below as 256kbps mp3s (they were originally made available as wav files and still circulate in this form). Many loops are taken from known Radiohead tracks (in some cases early versions like demos or different mixes), and where that's the case there is a short note below the link to the mp3.

1
2
3
4
8
11
('Optimistic')
12
('Optimistic')
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
22
23
24
25
29
30
31
32
34
('The Gloaming' - an element used in '33.3 Recurring')
35
('The Gloaming' - an element used in '33.3 Recurring')
R93
R94
R95
R96
R98
('Scatterbrain' - drums of the released version)
R99
R100
('Scatterbrain' - probably an element from the demo)
R101
('Scatterbrain' - probably an element from the demo)
R102
('Scatterbrain' - probably an element from the demo)
R106
('Myxomatosis' - different mix or even version)
R110
R114
('Where Bluebirds Fly' - an element used in the track)
R115
('Where Bluebirds Fly' - an element used in the track)
R116
('Where Bluebirds Fly' - an element used in the track)
R118
('Paperbag Writer' - unused vocal sample)
R119
('Where I End And You Begin' - similar to end sound effect)
R120
('Where I End And You Begin' - released version, heavily processed)
R125
('Where I End And You Begin' - an element used in the demo)
R135
('A Punchup At A Wedding')
R138
R142
R143
R145
('Sit Down. Stand Up.' - sample of heavily processed vocal)
R148
('Where Bluebirds Fly' - an element used in the track)
R149
('Kid A' - drum sample)
R152
(Jonny singing, heavily auto-tuned)
R153
(Jonny singing, heavily auto-tuned)
R154
(Jonny singing, heavily auto-tuned)
R155
(Jonny singing, heavily auto-tuned)
R156
(Jonny singing, heavily auto-tuned)
R157
(Jonny singing, heavily auto-tuned)
R158
(Jonny singing, heavily auto-tuned)
R159
(Jonny singing, heavily auto-tuned)
R160
(Jonny singing, heavily auto-tuned)
R161
(Jonny singing, heavily auto-tuned)
R162
R163
R164
R165
R166
R167
T56
T57
T59
('I Am Citizen Insane')
T60
('Nasty People')
T61
('Nasty People')
T62
('Nasty People')
T68
T69
T70
T72
(unknown full band instrumental)
T73
(unknown full band instrumental)
T74
(unknown full band instrumental)
T75
T82
T83
T85

The winners would be selected by the band. 20 mp3s would be made available for free download every month from august 2003 until january 2004. All in all 100 winning tracks were selected this way from countless contributions over a period of six months. Here's a list of the winners. The time frames indicate when the files were available for download:

August 11th - September 9th 2003

pomme de terre - francis geigh iii
Steef van Winkel - close to 40 seconds (declicked)
Angels Mend Us - Talking Backwards for No Reason
joga - egoism and communism
Greenjeans Studios Production Team - Damned Chinamen Dreams
kid n - black static
ktelfunk - To Dream In Manilla
longsleeves - Quick Fade Edges to Prevent Clicks
UNCLEJOHNNY - disturbing asian fantasy
earthsimulator - after the storm
oneline - I'm Stuck To You
Television Robbers - Noctourniquet
Watchman Blue - Bleed Good Blood
Jeff Boardman - Have You?
spaceiinvadr - cloud are snowing squares
jflora222 - 222
Chris Rawlings - Paperstaken
The Other Leading Brand - Just Like Thom Yorke's Blues
Paulgood30 - Thier Their
hexxon - anachronistic chronology

September 9th - October 7th 2003

sonic fruit - appearing sixteenth
PROFESSOR 3 - SPIRIT INSIDE
Fabien P. - Radiographie Cr?nienne.
earthsimulator - apocalypse14
Michal Zlotkowski - Late In The Day
airfoil - stowaway luggage
Dane Jacobs - Untitled(loophole track)
Anthony - Meadow Stomper
Nick Sherman - Nowhere left to Hide
jcatchpole - reiterate again
goodhands team - the loophole
daniel johnson - fruit bats
dtrenz - capillaries
Mikrogram - Yes Sir!
Askai - Barotrauma
Helios - Virnelle Lyder
scutopus - SAMO
pa_screech - eggs
the starling precept - formula 6-4
Lost Requiem ronevans22@hotmail.com - Rise

October 8th 2003

audiocide - manual retry
beak - bird voiced frog
C. Lisinski - Chewing on Skin
CIRCUIT SCARECROW - HUNG LIKE A RABBIT FUCK LIKE A HORSE
darcin - stay in school
DAS - MarsWalk
Digital Dada - What a Child Knows
doof - Everybody's Dead
Jon Richards - Nightmare
Matthew Davis - Previous owner
megachoir - elongated monkies
Micropyll - Nightshadows and Wooden Monsters
Notbremse - Werduryne
OkClave - T-Jo RTS
Paul de Lange - 3,14
Plantage - Under Math Equals
Richard J. Dingus - hobbyism 88
TaigaBear - L'etoffe du chef
Thomas W - I am Flying and Floating On Wind
Trolleymusic - Nightmare (loophole)

November 11th? - December 16th

Orphan Inc - Sullen Vice
we||cky - Video Connection 2025
muzzle - scream express
inhaler - CBS
The Orange Frequency - Unravel
heidemann - c'mon kids!
Bucket - Vmod
triptikon - au fin du couloir le soleil brille
mr special - labotomy
ffeW - ...als wij maar dan het wil.
monteau - libra the balance libra the scales
Greatjoshofegypt - C'est Impossible
Merteao Kor - 3:42 AM
fabio fonda - osdi
PeteJ - Electrodes
urizen2000 - Children of the Stars
QBall - My Loop Hole
Shape2 - Blue Loops of Manhattan
J.E. - Une Petite Chienne
faded reality - matter

January 6th 2004

Debris - hereinthemiddleofabox
evolume - dirty dice
Experimental please - Looplucidity
i am tv - no escape
jp_shiima - Wherever you want
lichen-dating - as I am the infidel
m.white - D3vc
Matias Coduri - 2 Vidas Para Tirar Todo A La Mierda
Mekong Delta Funk - a frozen footprint
Monchhichi Jazz Ensemble - World Series
mononomo - climb and fall
mwave - T295
Paul de Lange - Boneyard
stu - bad dream in america
tauboo - uitvlucht
telemekis - rent
The Kid In Half - Dazephonic
Theadore - This is the Final Radio
tor johnson - primal electronik
X. Astolfo Gomez - Drunken Giant Robot (Mazinger Z)

In april 2004 the competition officially ended with this message:

The Loophole is now closed

Thankyou very much to everyone who took part.