Fingered Media, Harrison Owen, has been creating some exciting & tripped out videos in conjunction with artists across a variety of mediums for quite a bit now. Releasing the results via youtube & vimeo streams to his own dvd-zine. Owen recently let loose a new trio of videos for Blues Control + Laraaji & Psychic Ills respectively that seem to represent a new stripped back method that verges on tripped out minimalist introspection.
"City of Love" by Blues Control & Laraaji, a highlight on their recent collaborative album, essentially covers the entire gamut of the current state of contemporary underground (dare I say alternative / experimental) music in about 9 minutes. And very well at that. That may be an exaggeration but many of the hallmarks are here pulsing kraut beats, overtones droning, & surreal sense of underwater acoustics bending & blurring every which way in accordance with the water. Owen's Warholian tribute to Philadelphia (or at least I'm assuming) is a fantastic reference to what the trio have created musically in that their improvised & organically formed compositions are matched by the slowly evolving pace of emptiness full of movement found in the footage.
The second video for Blues Control & Laraaji & their track "Awakening Day" appears to center around more obvious themes of mankind's relationship with nature & organic processes disassembled through creation. Images of trees recently cut down or ones left hacked from their base & left to rot. It's an interesting counter point to how I perceive this collaboration & artistic process of improvisation leading the way to unplanned sonic landscapes. Perhaps the title leads the way on this one providing a not too cool day to wake to.
Blues Control & Laraaji's released their collaborative album back in November but it's good to get a visual accompaniment for some of the grooves these 3 create. The album has been released as part of label/promotional team RVNG's Freakways series which have thus far featured younger musicians & groups teaming up with their forefathers for remix 12" singles or direct collaboration, such as this.
"I'll Follow You Through The Floor", Psychic Ills burnt-out jam from their most recent album Hazed Dream , is perhaps the most cinematic of this batch of videos. The track title again pretty much epitomizes what is to follow sonically & visually in Owens hands. Taking cues from classic American road trip films & the US's West's association with lawlessness & open terrain. Yet it also conjures up the theme of personal introspection present in all three of these videos. Developed visual concepts that do not rely on narrative forms or immediately eye catching & exotic elements. Rather we are given the familiar, the natural, the seemingly mundane allowed to breath free of their normal restrictions & given a rebirth partly in thanks to their new soundtracks partly on their simple yet thoughtful pace & framing.