It's strange, because when I hear more recent (Let's say, 'In Rainbows' onward) Radiohead material, I think that the mixes aren't what would be traditionally thought as great. Far from it, in fact. I don't really hear glue. I hear disparate elements that occupy much more of the stereo-field than apparently we are supposed to, these days.Not orchestral, but the song "Reckoner" by Radiohead is probably one of the best mixes I've ever heard. Everything has its own space but it's all glued together masterfully. The mix was done by Nigel Godrich who was the producer for "In Rainbows".
Listen to that tambourine in the left-speaker - Rough as hell (Not a whiff of quantise, audio-tidying etc.), and I'd venture - way too loud. But it's great! Feels real and live, and these elements tickle me even more when I listen in headphones, as I mostly do.
I think this direction was definitely informed by Thom's first solo album, which is so beautifully raw:
Takes me back to the four-track days. Really feel like I'm in the same room as him.
Yesterday, I sa saw an interesting video which seems to turn the idea of balance somewhat on it's head:
Anyway, to circle back to the topic at-hand, here are a few examples that come to mind:
Still one of the best sounding albums I've heard is 'Mind Bomb' by The The:
Then there's 'Secrets Of The Beehive' by David Sylvian; this gem, in particular. Pretty dense mix. Lot's of stuff happening, and yet they still manage to capture and reveal the depth of David's voice. Liquid/Sonic gold, I tells ya:
And lastly, no mix list would be complete without a proper schooling. Trevor Horn demonstrating that a great mix starts with a great arrangement: