Dedicated fans have worked out that a ZX Spectrum can be used to decode a mysterious transmission from 1996
Patrick Clarke

17:09 14th July 2017

More about:

Dedicated (or perhaps simply obsessive) Radiohead fans have worked out how to decode a secret message, hidden away in the cassette tapes that accompany the deluxe edition of their new OK Computer reissue.

The OKNOTOK boxset includes a cassette mixtape compiled by the band themselves, which concludes with a track called OK Computer program. A Reddit user noted that it “appears to be a ZX Spectrum compatible program or message. The Spectrum loads programs from audio cassette tapes, which explains why Radiohead chose the cassette format for this part of the release.”

After further digging, another fan worked out that by feeding the sounds from the end of the cassette into an emulator version of a ZX Spectrum, an 8-bit computer launched in the 1980s, and was presented with ‘roughly 30 lines of code’.

These lines of code display the band members names and a brief message: “With all our love.” It’s dated December 19, 1996, but it’s unclear when it was developed. The band recently shared a characteristically obscure and borderline frightening unboxing video for the OKNOTOK set, starring a certain ‘Cheiftan mews’.

The band are due to play a controversial set in Israel later this month, with Thom Yorke involved in an ongoing war of words with Ken Loach over the ethical issues surrounding the show. The gig has been protested by pro-Palestinian campaigners ever since it was announced, who claim Radiohead should respect their calls for a cultural boycott of the Israeli regime.

More about:

Photo: Ben Jablonski