Austin-based band The Octopus Project‘s latest music video, ‘Whitby,’ is an excellent piece of stop motion animation, starring a bunch of dancing geometric shapes hanging out in a library, kitchen, and other ordinary locations. It was created, shot, and directed entirely by the band themselves, who also have a hand in a lot of the art involved in their packaging and live visuals.
For the last 10 years or so we’ve seen the gradual decline of the music video. I’m not even sure if MTV plays music videos anymore but I’d guess the answer is probably “rarely.” But perhaps we’re not seeing the end of music videos, perhaps they’re just evolving? Yesterday saw the release of two of these evolutionary ideas – a 45 minute psychedelic video for MGMT’s new album Optimizer and an interactive music video for Arcade Fire’s new song “Reflektor.”
Like many, I was first introduced to the work of James Houston five years ago when he released “Big Ideas (don’t get any)”. Performed on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, an Epson LX-81 Dot Matrix Printer, a HP Scanjet 3c, and a Hard Drive array, the video was a strange and beautiful recreation of Radiohead’s “Nude”, where the bips, chugs and hums of the hardware chimed together in sweet unison.
“This? is some serious computer generated porn,” DallasCharter says, a note that is the most up voted comment on the new Oneohtrix Point Never music video. The artist much like the video is synthetic. His name is barely able to be articulated without some rigorous athletics because, like his sound, his name is something you expect to be intimidated by: it’s a high end, brilliant, fusing of basic techy concepts with a sublime slant. OPN’s aesthetic is a gold plated Casio. His newest music video feels like this too.
Directed by video maker, tech experimenter, and one of my favorite all time artists Takeshi Murata, the music video for the song is an appropriate mashing of the real and fake and real fake real. “Problem Areas,” the first song off of OPN’s latest single R Plus Seven and his first Warp release, is a typical OPN song highly polished and meditating on a simple chord structure beaten with plain bass and funny synth notes. Like the song, the video is completely artificial. Outside of the human hand pounding a musical or computer keyboard, nothing is actually made by hand: it’s made with a hand and executed by a computer.
It should be noted that we are fans of the directing duo Wriggles and Robins, aka Tom Wrigglesworth and Matt Robinson. Bobby first posted about Wrigglesworth’s (with Mathiew Cuvelier) short film, Le Mer de Pianos, back in 2011, and we’ve all continued to anticipate new work ever since. Thus, when W&R’s latest piece of cinematic magic hit our inboxes, we were gleefully flabbergasted as it involved projected animation, warm breath, and the band Travis—not exactly a combination you can easily visualize—and the results are absolutely stunning. We spoke to the duo to find out more.
You’ve gotta hand it to CANADA, those guys know how to direct music videos! Recently they teamed up with The Creator’s Project (a joint effort by Vice and Intel) to film a stylish new promo for French indie quartet Phoenix. Shot completely live, their video sees the band perform a medley of “Trying to Be Cool” and “Drakkar Noir” while the crew frantically change shot every 25 seconds. It’s a fantastic spectacle and one that overflows with inventiveness and creativity.
To follow-up on the watercolor music video that Bobby posted earlier this week, here’s another music video that uses colored water in a completely different way. It’s actually a fun experiment that involves mixing together Jon Hopkins, Linden Gledhill and Craig Ward. You might not hypothesize that the three men (a musician, a biochemist turned photographer and an art director, respectively) would mix well together because of their distinctly different expertise, but what comes of their collaboration is really stunning.
Eight years since their last album, Boards of Canada is releasing a new album called Tomorrow’s Harvest on June 10/11. The first track off of the new album is called Reach for the Dead, which picks up where the band left off, continuing their minimal electronic pioneering. This track is a slow build, so be sure to sit tight, strap on some headphones, and enjoy the ride. I’m totally looking forward to hearing more from this album.
I’ve also posted the video below, in case you want some trippy, abstract visuals to accompany your music.
Stuart Howard’s music feels accessible and removed all at once. Known more popularly as Lapalux, the Essex based producer has melded perfectly into Brainfeeder’s world of ambient, bass-filled downtempo stylings. We featured his music last year on Anon’s excellent mixtape. Unlike some of his contemporaries, the music of Lapalux never completely rests or relaxes. His songs swell with feeling only to enervate, emotional residue accumulating long after the song has ended.