Videodrome 122 – This week’s best videos

Each week, Moritz Gayard rounds up the best new music videos so you don’t have to.

 

New week, new Videodrome. Same, but different. This week’s episode has audio visual joy from the likes of SOHN, Julia Holter, Major Lazer, Claw Marks, and more to offer.

 
#1 Dream Koala – “Odyssey”, directed by Fabulous

Parisian producer Dream Koala just dropped this cool, new video for “Odyssey”, a track taken from his new EP of the same name. Directed by Fabulous (Adrien Peze and Albin Merle) & Les Gentils Garçons. Je la kiffe grave sa mere.

 
#2 SOHN – “Lessons”, directed by Oliver Groulx

On Friday Dazed Digital premiered the new SOHN video for “Lessons”. The Austrian beatmaker’s debut album will be out next year through 4AD .
 

#3 SETH – “Fish Oil”, directed by Steve Hanft

New York duo SETH have unveiled three new videos for songs on their Chick on the Moon EP, and the one above is for “Fish Oil”. The EP is available now from UNO NYC.
 

#4 Mike Quinn – “I Hope It Goes Away”, directed by Ben Berman

New video for Mike Quinn’s song “I Hope It Goes Away”, made by director Ben Berman for the YouTube comedy network JASH. It’s called “The Best Video on the Internet,”—which unfortunately is not true. Check #1 here.
 

#5 Devendra Banhart – “Für Hildegard von Bingen”, directed by Isaiah Seret

Taken from Devendra Banhart’s eighth studio album Mala, the video for”Für Hildegard von Bingen” stars Jodie Smith as Hildegard and Joel Virgil as the head priest…
 

#6 Claw Marks – “Soul Food”

Achtung, guitars! That’s the video for “Soul Food” which is set to the live scenes from some live gigs and shows the band in their purest incarnation.
 #7 Phoebe Kiddo – “This Is How I Would Die”, directed by JuJu Wee Ha

The debut EP from Berlin via Melbourne artist Phoebe Kiddo is a free/pay what you want download from Non Projects. New video, shot in Berlin above.
 

#8 Julia Holter – “Horns Surrounding Me”, directed by Angus Borsos

LA-based experimental singer/songwriter Julia Holter has unveiled her new video for “Horns Surrounding Me”, taken from her recent album Loud City Song. Based on a concept by Nite Jewel‘s Ramona Gonzalez.
 

#9 Justin Timberlake – “TKO”, directed by Ryan Reichenfeld

Riley Keough & Justin Timberlake in “TKO”…
 

#10 Major Lazer feat. Leftside, Razz & Biggy – “Jet Blue Jet”, directed by Grizz Lee

New visuals for Major Lazer’s “Jet Blue Jet”. The video is a kaleidoscopic journey of, yes, twerking and tattooed girls who inhale and exhale smoke in slow motion. Is b for boring? ~

 

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Editors’ Choice: October 11th, 2013

Rather than operate as a music news source, Electronic Beats operates as a music information source. We want to share with you; we want you to know what we’re hearing, what’s reverberating our cochleas and sending broader vibrations throughout our bodies, and by extension our audio-addled souls. Down with that? Welcome to Editors’ Choice.

 

Lisa Blanning (Online Editor)

Fatima Al Qadiri – “Knight Fare (post-war dub)”

You might recall I mentioned the recent grime war, where dozens of producers threw down for a seriously fun battle royale for Lord of the Beats. This late ‘entry’ from New York-based Fatima Al Qadiri—who’s always been vocal about her love for the genre which has proved an obvious inspiration for her own sci-fi soundworld—might just have cleaned up.

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Louise Brailey (Deputy Online Editor)

Iceage – “Jackie”

Copenhagen punks Iceage cover a 1987 requiem to lost love by self-appointed pop martriarch Sinead O’Connor. Wait, come back! By transposing the haunting original to their anguished, spittle-flecked register (they leave the pronouns alone, too) they cement their rep as thugs of a very different stripe.

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Moritz Gayard (Online Duty Editor)

Girl Unit – Stay the Night #4

The key figures in the progressive bass movement, Girl Unit just unleashed a beast of a mix bringing you Xscape, Opus III, Morri$, Ciara and many more. Free download included.

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Daniel Jones (Contributing Editor)

subʞutan – # Speak Silence #

This amorphous mix from the Leipzig-based DJ is an hour and forty minutes worth of haunting, blended ambience, beautifully suited to both the gray autumn of Berlin and the studies I’ve been doing around language. Academics Do It Solemnly.

Samo Sound Boy – “Your Love” (Shlohmo Mix)

I don’t suppose I’ve played Samo Sound Boy’s stuff in over two years, but once Shlohmo puts his touch on just about any track, my brain sort of requires my hands to click on it. This is some druggy, draggy nightbass with the pitched-vocal ubiquities that I never seem to get sick of.

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A.J. Samuels (Senior Print Editor)

Charles Cohen – “Shopping Cart Lady”

redose-2 Charles Cohen – “Dance Of The Spiritcatchers” [Morphosis rework Version1] Excerpt

Philadelphia native Charles Cohen has been attracting attention recently with the release of a trilogy of early works on Rabih Beaini’s (aka Morphosis) Berlin-based Morphine label. Assembled from archives dating back to the mid-seventies, Cohen’s explorative electronics recalls the likes of Roedelius and Conrad Schnitzler, with whom he was supposed to collaborate on an LP that never materialized (see recent Wire feature). As the title of the trilogy’s final installation suggests, the pieces on Music for Dance and Theater (out November 29) were composed specifically for the stage. Morphosis’s own Cohen reworks, released this past August, are more club than stage and also definitely worth a listen.

 

Read previous editions of Editors’ Choice here.

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Videodrome 117 – This week’s best videos

Each week, Moritz Gayard rounds up the best new music videos so you don’t have to. 

 

On and on: music video making is in full effect. No matter if you’re signed to a major or an indie label—all bands we adore are (still) using promotional videos. This week, I have pearls to offer from the likes of The Weeknd, Wolfgang Voigt, Bestial Mouths, Solange Knowles, and may more. Have fun.

 

#1 Solange – “Lovers In The Parking Lot”, self-directed

I cannot get this damn song out of my head. It’s also worth checking out this video: watching Solange’s infectious performance in this run-down Houston(?) flea market.

 

#2 Cyan Kid – “Only Love”

Berlin’s Cyan Kid has teamed up with the always inspiring Cream Cake girls for this hazy video, introducing the acting debut of Lotic. Toll!

 

#3 Laura Welsh – “Undiscovered”

Really dig this song by Rising UK songstress Laura Welsh, which will be out on October 28th through Outsiders/Polydor. If you fancy watching a bit of dancing skin you should press play above.

 

#4 Holy Ghost! – “Okay”, directed by Ben Fries

New York duo Holy Ghost!’s new, blue video – chasing last week’s Dynamics, album release.

 

#5 DENA – “Guest List”

Some years sago the young and ambitious Bulgaria-born Denitza Todorova moved to Berlin to study. She added vocals to some Whitest Boy Alive tracks and is now finally about to release her debut album, which will be played live for the very first time on November 8th, when she performs in Zagreb on our Electronic Beats Festival at Boogaloo Club.

 

#6 The Weeknd – “Pretty”, directed by Sam Pilling

NSFW. Pretty rough video for a beautiful song which has some Michael Jackson-moments to offer. Anyway, in this video his girl is cheating on him with another gentleman in bed (nudity warning). And The Weeknd takes revenge.

 

#7 SETH – “Vacation, act 1”, directed by Jamie Krasner

In last week’s Editors’ Choice I inaugurated my latest Gobby love. His team up with vocalist James K is called SETH, and if I am not wrong, above is their first, trippy video.

 

#8 Wolfgang Voigt – “Zukunft Ohne Menschen”

Kompakt-head Wolfgang Voigt recently created his Zukunft Ohne Menschen concept in the main entryway to Art Cologne, which is a ten-part installation of music, video and paintings. Above, you can get an idea in this slightly boring video.

 

#9 Bestial Mouths – “EARTH”, directed by Niko Sonnberger

L.A.-based surreal synth horror act Bestial Mouths—some time ago, we hosted an excellent mix—are back with a video where vocalist Lynette Cerezo exploits nature.

 

#10 White Denim – “Pretty Green Video”, directed by Max Boss

White Denim is bringin’ the heat with their psychedelic video for “Pretty Green”, which is off of Corsicana Lemonade out in November. Make sure you check out the bass. ~

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Raw Solutions: an interview with Slava

The Moscow-born, New York-based, footwork-influenced producer signed to Oneohtrix Point Never’s Software label isn’t afraid to point out the thread of pop misogyny linking East and West.

Steph Kretowicz hears Slava’s raw solutions. 

 

According to Slava Balasanov, there’s more than one Russian pop star who appears in their music video “totally naked.” Compared with the US, where pop icons are generally barely-clothed, there isn’t much of a distinction in intent. That’s something the Moscow-born, New York-based DJ, producer, graphic artist, and programmer—going by the mononym Slava—explores in his latest Software release Raw Solutions.

He may not be very ‘verbal’ by his own account, but it’s in dissecting and recombining the hidden perversities of Western popular culture that Slava’s scattered and syncopated beats, informed by Chicago footwork, are taken to harder, more debauched levels. From the Britney Spears monologue of “Slave 4 U” to the distorted, jackhammer repetition that sees the phrase “all day” morph into “all gay”, Slava identifies and enhances the unsettling undertones of these chart-topping tropes and shows us what they’re really saying.

Most explicitly, there’s “Girls on Dick”, featuring an aggressive loop iterating its title over a palpitating bass, the track echoes the downtempo mincing of Tyga’s “Snapback Back” by Tri Angle affiliate Evian Christ. That comparison is probably one of the reasons Slava has been associated with the label’s unwelcome ‘witch house’ tag in the past, while also appearing on a #seapunk compilation with equally dissimilar artists, Le1f and Unicorn Kid. Most recently grouped (perhaps misguidedly) with Kingdom’s Fade to Mind label in a 2012 Unsound Festival appearance, alongside Fatima Al Qadiri and Nguzunguzu, it’s a comparison that Balasanov understands through their shared interest in DJ deconstructionism but rejects with a much harder, darker production sound, illustrated by the zipper/skin fetish motif of his album art and intensified by his rejection of computer software during recording.

Stripping his sound from the more refined decadence of his previous Soft Control EP to a core of primal insinct, Slava’s Raw Solutions is probably best suited to a release on Oneohtrix Point Never‘s Software label for the mere fact it doesn’t fit anywhere else. A giddy but always frustrated drive to death, the record reflects a polarized East-meets-West upbringing that harnesses those cultures’ shared depravities in order to corrupt and ultimately liberate its listener.

 

 

The way I interpreted Raw Solutions is this fascination with American popular culture, that obsession with its hidden darkness.

Yeah, here it’s mixed in with this fun, glossy bubble gum wrapper, where in Russia it’s like all the nastiness is just out in the open. Even in the way that the government operates, it’s just very open cynicism. No one tries to pretend that things are good, or comfortable, or easy. That’s what I found so fascinating about America when I moved here, because there is this image of all these bright colors and this really sexy effect of marketing, but then there’s still all this darkness underneath. The juxtaposition of those two things is really fascinating and a big contrast to Russian culture, where there is nothing glossy about it.

Do you think part of your role as an artist is investigating and magnifying these hidden currents?

I don’t feel like it’s my role to do it as much as it’s something that I’m fascinated by, uncovering these layers. I think, in general, what I’m interested in is this cynical decadence and the different shapes and forms that it could possibly take. Especially in music, it’s such a rich subject. Both culturally and emotionally, music is the ultimate medium for expressing all these very rich, complex emotions. So exploring these subjects through it is what is important to me and what drives me to make it.

On that Coral Records #Seapunk Vol. 1 compilation, you sample Britney Spears, then again on your Soft Control EP and then in “Doit” and “I Know” on Raw Solutions. What’s your connection to her?

There’s a lot. Just the sample in itself is really amazing because it’s a little monologue at the beginning of “I’m a Slave 4 U”, and if you take every phrase it’s so strong on its own. If you cut it out, it’s like a self-contained object. It’s always been a problem with my mix samples, where the trickiest part is finding one that says more than just the literal words.

I’m interested in the way you use language in your music. Where you pick a tiny phrase, word, or sound and manipulate its intention.

Yeah, sometimes, once a phrase is looped and it’s an English phrase, I’ll start hearing Russian in it or I’ll start hearing something else. I’m fascinated how, through this repetition, a phrase can become transformed and become something else and begin to embody all these different associations. It starts to break down into distinct sounds and your brain begins to recombine these sounds into new meaning. That’s always been really exciting for me.

Since you moved here from Russia at 12 and have an outsider’s perspective, do you think that, considering her history to this point, that Britney Spears represents the cracked American dream, in a way?

Oh yeah, totally, this glamorous decadence that spirals out of control and ends up in these episodes of insanity and chaos. It’s kind of a beautiful, exciting thing to be able to see that.

In seeing you perform live, I’ve felt parallels with the virility of drum n bass culture. It’s a certain abandon in this really macho, heavy dance music. Do you feel that energy in your own production and do you see that as filtering through from your Russian history?

Oh yeah, definitely. I feel like, even house music, as positive as it can be, has these really dark undertones. It’s true of a lot of music in general, like hearing a song that makes you want to cry. It’s probably the most beautiful, intense experience and the fact of music having the power to convey these things is amazing; all this emotional information coded in these little segments of time that are so transparent, so communicative. There’s definitely that emotion, the feeling of darkness, but then that’s also transformed into energy. It’s something that doesn’t bring you down but makes you want to move, and makes you want to release these emotions.

That’s definitely what drum n bass does and, in a way, that’s also in Russian culture. This dark, negative cynicism can be life-affirming through humor, through irony… It’s kind of a way to deal with negativity in life, in general. Not denying but accepting it, and digesting it and transforming it into energy that you can use to do constructive things.

I wasn’t going to mention this because I initially figured there wasn’t much of a concept behind Raw Solutions because, as you say, your music is informed by your DJ sets but I’ve noticed a lot of misogynistic elements in the phrases you’ve chosen for the tracks. Is that conscious?

Yeah, it is conscious and, in a way, it’s almost such a huge element of pop culture that I feel like it can’t be ignored. I’m not trying to criticize or promote it, but it’s a part of the language of music, especially hip-hop music and a lot of pop music. In that sense, in my live performance and in the music I play, it’s an interpretation and rearrangement of existing pop music and culture.

That’s why all those things are there and, surprisingly, they’re the most effective elements. People go crazy. I think it’s because they’re, in some ways, I don’t want to say subversive, but they’re ‘edgy’. I feel like lots of people identify with those kinds of things, in different kinds of ways. Well, not ‘identify’ but respond to and think about. So, I feel like it brings out a lot of energy and a lot of emotion in people and being able to channel that is important.

Have you identified a similar thread running through Russian popular culture?

Oh yeah, of course. The exciting thing is; there’s this pop star called Katya Sambuca. She’s like a porn-slash-pop star. She’s very pop and mainstream, so it’s really interesting because, there, it’s taken to a whole other level, where it’s more blatant and more crazy and insane.

Then, I guess, the most disconcerting aspect of this conversation is that we’ve established Russians and Americans might have a completely different cultural disposition but the attitude towards misogyny is the same.

[Laughs] Right.~

 

Slava’s Raw Solutions is out now via Software. 

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Videodrome 96 – This week’s best videos

Welcome to our latest episode of music video goods, this week with Only Real, Mohammad, Stefan Goldmann, and more. Check it:

#1 Dj Clap – “Unbelievable”, directed by Dj Clap and Matt Gerber

When it comes to editing skills, you better ask Matt Gerber! Check his unbelievable editing techniques in this mind-blowing video for DJ Clap’s “Unbelievable” track—taken from his last month’s Best Night Ever album, released via Magical Properties.

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#2 Mohammad – “Sakrifis”, direcetd by Beben Films

If you’re a sucker for animal movies, this might be just up your alley. Though PAN definitely sets the bar high, as the video effect strays almost into x-ray.

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#3 Gobby – “Slick Boi Gel”

You might have realized that I am the biggest Gobby fan on earth. And yes, now with his brand new Fashion Lady full-length, all the other suspects start coverage. Question: what would be Gobby without UNO?

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#4 Tricky feat. Francesca Belmonte – “Does It”

Tricky’s new album will be out May 28th via his own False Idols imprint, and here’s the second peek at it called “Does it”, which sounds—thank God—very much like the good, old Tricky.

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#5 SFV Acid – “misto_prono”

UNO has the next great artist with a brand new album. If you have been following VIDEODROME for a bit, you might have already stumbled over this rising artist. If not, do yourself a favor, check this video and go and buy The Dwell, which drops on May 28.

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#6 Co La – “Deaf Christian”, directed by Andrew Strasser

Man, I am with Co La. Although spring is not coming to Berlin this year, in my mind I am already chilling naked, outside while listening to Co La’s Moody Coup LP, which will be out 6th May, 2013 via Software Recording Co.

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#7 Stefan Goldmann – “The Outness Queens”, directed by Peter Vulchev

German DJ/Producer Stefan Goldmann has a new cool video inna David-Lynch style, which teases his 17:50 album, which is out now through Berlin based imprint Macro.

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#8 Findlay – “Off & On”

Manchester’s Findlay are giving me a sort of a Sons & Daughters feel. You can grab the four track free EP at www.findlaymusic.com

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#9 Liars – “The Exact Color Of Doubt”, directed by Markus Wambsganss

German film director and producer Markus Wambsganss just unveiled a pretty spectacular official video for Liars’ WIXIW release from  last year.

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#10 Only Real – “Blood Carpet”, directed by Fred Ellis & Only Real

London-based Nial Galvin aka Only Realmade this VHS-like video with friend and filmmaker Fred Ellis for the track “Blood Carpet”, one half of a double A-side with “Backseat Kissers”, out now via ASL Records.

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