My Search for an Interactive Music Video with Windows in it

Last night I was trying to find a particular interactive music video. I tried mailing a couple of people: “You know, the one where there’s a window in the middle, and objects come out of it in other windows, and I think you could buy them or something”.

When you get to the end of the post, you’ll hopefully see that I’m not as stupid as you perhaps think I am right now.

I had a good old dig around to find it, and on my way unearthed a few gems I’d not seen before. Hopefully you haven’t seen all of them…

Rugby by Brightly

Really interesting video that pulls in live image searches from Giphy so you’ll never see the same video twice. It works incredibly well.

Do Not Touch by Kilo

Crowd-sourced-cursors work brilliantly well in this super interesting video for Kilo. Might be by favourite of the lot.

Carry Me by Bombay Bicycle Club

Really lovely interaction in this one. Very simple. But super satisfying. Give it a go.

Then Finally. I found the video I was looking for…

Golden Chains by ALB

Although unfortunately I can’t find an actual live version of the experience anywhere. There’s also a case study that says you were able to buy all the items on eBay. See. It’s pretty much like I described at the top of the post…

FULL TRANCE REVIVAL in progress…

When Katy Perry gets Paul Van Dyk in to produce her next album we can celebrate Peak Trance. But in the meantime if 90s trance is a pleasure (guilty or otherwise), you need this in your ears…

Trance Wax appears to be a side project of Ejeca. Dishing out remixes of classic trance / prog house gems: Future Sound of London, Orbital, BT, etc.

And in case you missed it, this mini-doc on the origins of Darude’s Sandstorm is worth a watch too:

I did a bit of post-watch digging and ended up on Darude’s Twitch Channel – which is yet another work of genius.

Bucolic post-rave melancholia

Honestly, BPRM (as I’ve just labelled it) is my new favourite audio-visual subculture. It combines rural/suburban landscapes with sounds that feel like your brain on a come-down (with a few fading bubbles of euphoria fizzing round the edges). The first two also whack in a healthy dose of text-based rave nostalgia. What’s not to love.

Earlier in the week I stumbled across this amazing video for the incredible Bicep track Glue:

Love. Love. Love. So many of my favourite things in one place. Congrats to Joe Wilson, and the team at Topsafe.

It made my mind wander back to this belter of a video from Erol Alkan from a few years ago. A Hold on Love. Massively smiled at this story all over again. Nice work Daniel Brereton (check his site, there’s lots more music vid goodness).

Then, tonight I came across this from Bibio – Phantom Brickworks III (Edit), from the new album Phantom Brickworks.

Any other examples of the genre spring to mind? Please add in the comments below.

Four Tet and Strings of Life

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So this is happening:

Four Tet and Steve Reid dropping a live cover of pretty much my favorite track of all time. And it has a cool hand-printed sleeve. Looks like there’s only 525 copies though.

Being as the Twitter butler has opened the Strings of Life door for me…

I recently came across this ace version with the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra. Mostly these kinds of renditions are pretty tosh, but this is proper decent:

And there’s this amazing video of a super-early live performance of the track from the Town & Country back in 1989:

And I’ve always enjoyed this video of Derrick May talking about the making of the track (along with some dudes from Manchester talking about how influential the track is/was):

If you’ve got any other favorite Strings of Life videos / stories / whatever feel free to share…

808 The Movie

This looks totally epic! (In a muso-nerd fashion). The joy of seeing a ‘mature’ Soulsonic Force knocking out Planet Rock brought a massive smile to my face. Not sure when we’ll get to see it. 808 played at Sheffield Doc Fest earlier this month, so it can’t be long to wait…

More info on their Facebook page.

Advertising Has Grown a Penis on its Face

I did a talk the other day at Here London. I had a truly lovely time. The other speakers were all – without exception – amazing, talented, interesting and passionate. I felt spectacularly un-worthy.

I whanged-on about what I reckon might be wrong with the world of ‘advertising’. (The same thing may also apply to other types of commercial creativity. It’s just that advertising feels like the canary in the coal mine of fucked-up-ness).

In one bit I drew an odd parallel between nightclubs and communication. And how, in the good old days, you’d have moments when a big tune dropped. And you’d get a reaction like this:

But now there’s so much music out there, no-one ever plays the same tune twice, for fear of appearing out of date. Everyone wants to be cutting-edge.

And it doesn’t come much more contemporary than DJ Anklepants. Seen below performing a set for Boiler Room in Berlin. You might notice that the crowd do not seem to be experiencing outpourings of ecstasy, there’s just a strange sense of bewilderment.

I’m not saying there’s not a place in the world for DJ Anklepants and his animatronic cock-nose (I’m actually a closet fan).

But there’s too many people in our industry spending too much time worrying about appearing unique, innovative, and disruptive to their peers. Instead of focussing on making things that are actually great, and might one day be seen by a actual real people.

I suspect that the current spate of ‘innovative’ advertising exists because it’s harder than ever to make a dent in mainstream culture. And perhaps it’s also why so many of these projects end up immortalised as: ‘look how what we did really moved people’ videos.

You know the videos I’m talking about. The ones where a brand does something surprising (typically on a sunny day, and often in a town square, or equally universal venue). We see people looking thrilled, entertained, helped, inspired, weeping, or whatever.

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And we can’t help but think to ourselves: “Look! Real people, being emotionally touched by an advert”.

We’re all suckers for these images of collective joy. Because we spend our time glued to screens, physically separated from each other, these ‘experiences’ appear tantalisingly ‘real’ and joyful.

Especially when most of us struggle to imagine the feelings that people experience individually at computers or on phones around the world when we do something that appears on a screen.

So instead we make ‘happy people’ videos. To remind us that people really really love advertising, in all it’s glorious forms. And, because the video makers are experts in making stuff look great, we can’t fail to be impressed by how innovative, clever, and genuinely touching the work looks. But it’s also impossible to see what’s actually going on.

If the cameras were fixed, and the footage was honest and unedited, I suspect that much of today’s celebrated advertising work would capture audiences as bewildered as a bunch of clubbers faced with DJ Anklepants.

We’re at a unique moment when it’s possible to engage vast quantities of people on massively exciting platforms. And it’s up to us to use those platforms to reach people in meaningful and lasting ways. So let’s not be suckered by the shiny happy people enjoying mini-spectacles in the sun. Let’s stop faking togetherness and get some more Hardcore Uproar on the go instead.

Tom Goodwin’s excellent piece in the Guardian says something similar in a much clearer way. As does John Owen’s great follow-up on Medium.

Waiting in Line 2 Hack You

I was chatting to Jordy van den Nieuwendijk at Here on Friday. And he mentioned that he’d worked with a guy at W+K NYC who was responsible for Waiting in Line 3D.

WIL3D is one of my favorite things of all time, and having the warped mind behind it working for the same company is beyond thrilling!

So like a proper fanboy I sent Rajeev a message of love and admiration. Rajeev send a nice message back, and pointed me at a recent project called Nice2HackYou which is also for a band, and also mind-bendingly awesome.

I installed the Chrome Extension and held my breath. Thankfully I installed it on a ‘clean’ machine. So I’ve got very little Fox News or other disgusting items in my browser history…

Nice2HackYou

Smashing!