James Blake, in my mind, just keeps getting better an better. Above is the first single called “Retrograde” from his album Overgrown which comes out April 6. The sound of this track is certainly an evolution from his previous albums and EPs. The song structure is less experimental, it’s a bit like a pop song in format, but his trademark vocals and blown out instruments give this song such incredible power.
It only makes sense that The Knife will go all out in an intoxicating, slightly NSFW nine minute video. I mean, it’s only been since 2006. So by revealing that their next full length Shaking the Habitual will be a 98 minute, triple-LP (with a track called “Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized” that breaks the 19 minute barrier) and a European tour with twenty stops, 2013 has proved active for the band/sibling duo. With seven years since their last release, Silent Shout, the detail-obsessed, twisted-identities of Karin and Olof have been synthesized into this eccentric, focused short film by Marit Östberg.
Drums stumble like dominoes as Karin Dreijer hauntingly coos during the first few minutes. As the melodies ascend up note by note, the percussion builds into some heavy beast as Östberg explores the mundane hugs, long stares, sexual energy and broken glass of different peoples lives. The aggressive second half, something partially as diabolical as Richard D. James not giving a fuck, delves into a head banging, percussive beat. As the protest gets shut down and the crowd scatters, the beat remains relentless, weird tweak and, well, confusingly hypnotic. But to warned: pisses are taken, leather straps utilized, and stories entwine towards the end pf the track as the rhythm becomes self-conscious. A no shits given given attitude. A rowdy, engaging, creepy piece of music to start February.
“A Very Unusual Map” is a new music video from the French producer Hibou Blaster. The video is a lot of fun, featuring a bunch of cool looking characters dancing around and mixing with Hibou Blaster’s lush sounds and the songs aforementioned map.
The video is animated by BBBlaster, a Vjing, illustration and animation duo composed of Loup Blaster and Dalkhafine. Their aim is to promote animation and electronic music from the North of France and from the looks of this video they’re going a pretty great job! I love the rhythm, bright colors and movement in this video. It’s a wonderfully hypnotic watch!
My favorite music videos have always been the ones disguising themselves as short films. There’s something more powerful about watching a video devoid of the artist who sings it, or one that puts them in a world outside of their projected image. Vincent Haycock is a director working almost exclusively—and brilliantly—in this medium. His videos for the likes of Calvin Harris, Florence Welch, and MSTRKRFT take the ethos and energy of a song and place it in a specific, often hyperrealistic setting. It’s as if the songs are merely the soundtrack to a lush, spare, complex, and deceivingly emotional cinematic journey.
Analog-synth weirdos Black Moth Super Rainbow make some pretty strange videos to accompany their brand of warbly, vocoderized psychedelic music. With the release of their 2012 album Cobra Juicy, the first two videos from the album express that weirdness in very different ways.
Lead single Windshield Smasher starts with a familiar tale of an argument over a GPS malfunction that quickly leads into a frighteningly surreal confrontation with a crowd of latex-orange-skull-masked hoodlums assaulting the protagonists by giving them haircuts and force-feeding them birthday cake. I love the juxtaposition of uneasiness and lightheartedness in this video. The visceral reaction to the seeming danger makes the cake and haircuts even weirder to watch.
The second video, Hairspray Heart, starring Dustin Runnels (a.k.a. Goldust, of pro wrestling fame), reads less like a linear story and more like a hallucinatory transmission from something like an imagined public access television station. I feel like this video is like a confused, nostalgic dream of a kid from the 90s who’s been watching too much pro wrestling. You might want to watch some cat videos after this.
We featured some pretty rad videos on the site yesterday, so I figured I’d keep the trend alive with this new video for the song Cirrus by Uk musician, Bonobo. The song itself is an evolution of Bonobo’s sound, with a bit more of an upbeat rhythm to the track and less violins this time around. It’s certainly a winner in the sound department.
As for the video it was directed by Brighton-ish based director Cyriak who’s known for his somewhat mind-bending videos. The video for Cirrus is no different. What starts out as a few simple repeating elements soon becomes a chaotic collage of video snippets that take on a life of their own. He says that he uses Photoshop and After Effects for most of his animations, which I find totally astonishing. I’d suggest watching this video several times so that you can fully appreciate the amount of work he had to put into this incredible music video.
Poland-based creative duo Kijek/Adamski have done some amazing work in this new video for Katachi by the Japanese multi-instrumentalist Shugo Tokumaru. For anyone who knows the painstaking process of stop-motion animation then you’ll know exactly how impressive this video is. Made with approximately 2000 silhouettes extracted from PVC plates using a computer-controlled cutter, the video is a rush of color and a parade of movement. For Kijek/Adamski, the video is “an everlasting chain of convulsive memories”.
Tokumaru’s track itself is pretty wonderful too. Taken from his latest album In Focus?, the album was released late last year in Japan and came out in the US last week through Polyvinyl. There’s a free stream of it currently on Under The Radar which I recommend you go check out. It’s a wonderful album!
I think it’s still pretty awesome that some folks are cranking out awesome looking music videos. With the death of Music Televion I would have thought that the medium would have died out, but just like the record, the classics never fade. This video for Kris Menace’s track Hide, which features vocals from Miss Kittin, was animated and directed by Mathieu Bétard. What Bétard has done so well is capture the energy of the music and translated it into two dimensional drawings full of spontaneity. It’s impressive that he was able to create so many different patterns and shapes in a 4 minute song. Definitely one of the best videos of 2013 (all 22 days of it).