Under Byen + Sidste Carsens: Alt Er Tabt.
Under Byen + Sidste Carsens: Alt Er Tabt.
There’s something unsettlingly intimate yet oddly fascinating about watching strangers eat. Not every bodily function becomes social, and as far as bodily functions go the range of experiences possible within the act of eating are pretty unlimited. There aren’t too many different ways to breathe and blink and heartbeat and cell divide; eating, however, is almost infinite.
Infinite in its goodness, but also in its grotesqueness. In his video for Swedish electro-duo Dmitry Fyodorov’s “Simcoe”, the first track off their upcoming album “Shapeless”, SektorFilm director Markus Waltå whips up a rhythmic orgy of mundane food moments. The blankness, the shovelling, the swallowing without chewing. All of this, contemplating in close-up what each of these subjects are thinking (or trying not to think of) as they eat, builds slowly into the one thing that’s more satisfying to do with food than to eat it: to fight with it.
Canadian Alan Poon directed one of my favourite music videos of all time, 2008′s incredible macro-masterpiece for Bowerbirds’ “In Our Talons.” That track was a fiery lament against man’s destruction of the natural world, and Poon created a perfect visual to accompany it: a twisted, contorted microscopic look at our affect on the Earth and everything else that isn’t us.
In his latest, for Zeus’ “Marching Through Your Head”, he continues to examine stop-motion and hyper-realistic nature imagery to create a dreamy, sharp, saturated landscape. This time, with a more light-hearted track, he gets to be humorous and play with marching shoes that grow bushes which turn into Zeus who jam, appropriately, in a ruin on the top of a mountain.
I first discovered Danish experimental pop collective Efterklang when some of their music was featured in Jeremiah Zagar’s brilliant family autobiographical film “In A Dream.” Both the film and the music were some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
Efterklang’s sound is ethereal and dreamy and huge. Luckily, it leaves itself so open to visual interpretation. Not a blank canvas, but a launching pad, ready to propel the song into whatever video the lucky director gets to imagine.
For “Modern Drift”, that director is Danish multi-media artist Kristian Leth. The song is gorgeous, and for it Leth has sewn together a stunning and simple vision of nature and life that is achingly lovely.
Caribou is easily one of the best things that’s happened to music in the last ten years. I remember where I was sitting the first time I heard “Melody Day” and tripped over myself to find out who was making that colossal, layered, glorious mash-up of sound. I didn’t think it could, but it gets better, courtesy of Caribou drummer Brad Weber…
Pick A Piper is a collective from Weber along with Angus Fraser, Dan Roberts, and Clint Scrivener. They leave no sonic stone unturned: flute, trumpets, glockenspiel, flutes, hand claps, bells, and basically anything you can hit to make a sound. But more than anything it’s the percussion assault that gets you. Their music doesn’t just have a beat, it’s multi-rhythmic. It’s expansive, it’s communal. It feels put together from the best parts of a bunch of disparate sounds that only make sense when they’re together.
It feels like it could be chanted. It loops and soars and doesn’t sound like it will ever need to stop, because it’s nothing as easy to know as lyric-chorus-lyric-chorus-bridge-chorus. It’s timeless, like it might have just been dug out of the ground, and it’s also joyous, like it might have been passed down to them from generations. It sounds like happily putting your arm around someone when you’re drunk and staring into a campfire.
So far they’ve only released a 4-song EP, I’ve listened to it constantly for two days. I demand a full-length album. …Please.
For now, stop what you’re doing and listen to my favourite tracks, “Dene Sled” and “Hallam Progress”:
Plus check out a grainy, colourful, almost pre-digital looking video, directed by Weber himself, for their single “Rooms.”
David Shrigley is an animation and illustration icon. One of the few animators whose work is so individual that you can usually immediately recognize it’s Shrigley from a single still, his sparsely drawn, seemingly haphazard illustration work is legendary.
I was a little surprised and worried when I came across a video by Shrigley for luxury knitwear brand Pringle of Scotland. In January I’d seen on one of my favourite blogs, Kitsune Noir, that Pringle had commissioned one of my favourite photographers, Ryan McGinley, to make a film showcasing the Spring/Summer 2010 line that featured the terrifyingly austere Tilda Swinton wandering the misty Scottish highlands in various knits. To me, it was dull and, while beautiful, a waste of McGinley’s phenomenal talents. I was nervous that Shrigley’s work wouldn’t shine either.
I didn’t need to worry. Not only is the video quintessential Shrigley, but it’s totally entertaining; I laughed out loud more than once. Turns out Pringle of Scotland has a refreshing sense of humour, not only about itself but about the entire fashion industry, and they’re not afraid to show it.
There are times when you fall in love faster than you thought you were capable of. All your old signals fade and your plans re-arrange without a word. Your stars align in brand new ways and all the nights you had designed become a dream for your days. Your heart expands and for a time your reality is married to the possibility of everything you can envision. Like a message in a bottle, gently nudged from your shore, this vision travels and, if you’re lucky, the person you love picks it up and carries it with you.
Sweetly, without warning, you construct your potential and in this moment your future and your present melt together. Into an instant eventual, an immediate inevitable. A second where the possibility of love stretches before you like an ocean and you travel through your imagination; vast and epic and filled with hope, the way each wave yearns to curl up and crash back into the same waters it was first pulled away from.
This is that feeling.
Following their work together on the video for U2′s “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight”, the heart-achingly exquisite “Black Lake” is a collaboration between one of my favourite directors, David O’Reilly, and Jon Klassen and it’s beautiful.
There’s something about the intrinsic freedom and improv history that’s sewn into jazz that lends itself particularly well to experimental visuals. Without words to guide along a pre-determined narrative, we’re left with an ultimate freeflow; we decide for ourselves what the story behind the sounds is, and the director gets an ultimate carte blanche to create whatever visual story he or she wants.
Directed by Japanese director/animator Takafumi Tsuchiya (a.k.a. Takcom) for experimental jazz outfit Samurai Jazz Quintet, “Pico” is twitchy, graphic, dimension-shifting animation gem. It follows no convention or boundaries, just visualizes, with complete abandon, the sounds it has merged with.
Via No Fat Clips
I love the artistic study of the collision between the digital and organic, and the idea of a point where our physical evolution meets mutation and takes a shocking genetic leap forward. I’m drawn to depictions of that intersection where our microchips merge with our bodies, and how we’re forced to consider how the rest of us may react when the first of us transcend the boundary of the human and the mechanical and transform into an unimaginable new hybrid.
The new video for amazing alt-electronic outfit Delphic’s “Doubt” is a stunning physical metaphor for emotional mutation. Their faces and bodies crystalize, galvanize, and alchemize themselves against their emotional trauma and manifest into a physical protection for, and even aggression against, their new emotional world. Like second skins, metallic armours and cellular defenses slowly spread across their bodies.
Reminding me of the amazing genetic mutational imaginings of Lucyandbart, the vid is directed by another artist with experience in visualizing the future.I first discovered Andy Huang over two years ago with his spectacular short film “Doll Face”, a story of robotic narcissism that has to be seen to be believed, which he followed up with his sinister and disturbing “The Gloaming.“
Via No Zap
I hate to think of my music video tastes as a foregone conclusion, but this vid has the hallmarks of everything I love: retro, colour, pixellation, Cubism, profanity, electro, a hint of Bauhaus, and video game references. I can’t stop myself and nor would I want to.