It speaks volumes on Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter's versatility as a rapper when his rhymes are stripped of their melodies, glued to the music of two of the most influential British bands of the past century, and turns up results that are predominantly successful. When Danger Mouse created his infamous mash-up record 'The Grey Album' by fusing Carter's 'Black Album' with the Beatles' 'White Album', music fans clambered over each other to download the innovative scheme.
Now New York-based producer Minty Fresh Beats (aka Max Tannone) is undertaking a similar task by layering Jay-Z's vocals over a selection of the Oxford band's compositions. Although both acts have been hailed as visionaries in their respective genres, it's hard to see how the rapper's curt mannerisms would slot into Thom Yorke and co.'s increasingly off-the-wall doodles, but a large portion of these hybrids somehow work surprisingly well. '99 Anthems' - a fusion of '99 Problems' and 'The National Anthem' - is deliciously ominous, while 'Lucifer's Jigsaw' (Lucifer/Jigsaw Falling Into Place) is similarly disconcerting.
Still, there are several unions that aren't as fruitful. The seams of 'Optimistic Moment' (Optimistic/Moment of Clarity) and 'Dirt Off Your Android' (Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Paranoid Android) are both tellingly obvious in comparison to some of their slicker counterparts, 'Dreaming Up' slightly too detached to hit the target. All told, though, 'Jaydiohead' is likely to upset judgemental Radiohead purists the most - but even they can't really complain, since it's free to download from www.jaydiohead.com. To that end, it's at least worth a listen.