I’m a rather outspoken fan of both Bonobo and Cyriak so when I found out that Ninja Tune recently facilitated a collaboration between the two I was pretty fuckin’ pumped…so much so, in fact, that I didn’t watch the attached til this morning. The end of last week had been pretty busy and the last thing I wanted to do was have the initial screening take place on a small-ass screen with some tinny earbuds delivering the audio.
Cyriak’s visuals are gonna be kick-ass no matter what (Exhibit A) but this music video is especially nice because both his work and Bonobo’s sound are all about a steady layering-on. Each artist starts with small, simple and discrete atoms – a stripped-down drum part or short, simple video loop – and starts piling them on top of one another until the whole far-exceeds the sum of its parts. It’s the same ‘spirit’ that’s inherent to many other things I enjoy – electronic music, programming, nature and fractals just to name a few – so to have it distilled into one three-and-a-half minute dose is, well, thrilling. Art is just magic sometimes. Fuck yeah.
Even though I already knew about this one it was fantastic to open up the suggestion bin and find messages from Sam Lillard, Garrett and Mickey Gral ensuring I wouldn’t miss it. Thanks so much guys! Cheers!
A line in Resident Advisor‘s recent review of Mux Mool’s Planet High School (on Ghostly) instantly resonated me. Andrew Ryce described the album as, “an anomaly in an overcrowded field of beat music, preferring actual songs over sketches and loops, progression over attention deficit” and, in that one sentence, helped shed some light into my (sometimes) ridiculous tendency to instinctually categorize electronic music as either genius or shit. This type of knee-jerk hyperbole is, on the whole, unhelpful and (embarrassingly) dramatic but it also belies my childlike, underlying passion for the art form and its potential power. Beat-making is getting easier and easier these days but the core challenge remains the same: can you tease warmth and depth from a handful of overlapping loops? More often than not – with legions of producers tripping over each other to mimic Skrillex’s latest ‘drop’ – the answer is a terse and adamant ‘no’. But when it’s ‘yes’? Absolute fucking magic.
One of my favorite producers ever is Bonobo, a one man operation who has an uncanny ability to craft transportive electronic music. I could make my case with some flowery prose but it’d be far more economical to just have you listen to Recurring for the necessary evidence. This, a music video for a remix by Machinedrum of his tune Eyesdown, channels the fluid complexity of the original while ratcheting the mechanical syncopation to eleven.
Enter director/animator extraordinaire Anthony Francisco Schepperd (of The Music Scene, Wail to God and Two Against One fame) who leverages the organic-and-wispy-yet-bass-heavy-robotic intrigue in the tune as an agar plate on which to grow his infectious, signature visual approach. Oh and he crafted it all for Ninja Tune in just under a month. Pro.
The bass on this one is especially nice so get your headphones out. A big thanks is due to Sam Lillard who sent this one our way last night. Cheers!
We’ve posted loads of other fantastic Ninja Tune music videos, click here to see the complete list.