The tune in the attached is a cover (by Vessels) for a remix (by James Holden) of the rambling ambient techno classic, `The Sky Was Pink` by Nathan Fake. My first introduction to any of its many incarnations was via a Tiefschwarz DJ set at the 2007 WMC; I was there specifically to hear (and dance to) their remix of Phonique’s `The Red Dress` and the ‘Holden Tool’ followed it.
I was instantly smitten.
To some, dub techno‘s hallmark layering of super-straight-forward-and-stripped-down 1-to-2-bar loops can be relentlessly irritating and abrasive but, to me, that kind of ultra-repetition is just right. When I’m locked into the pocket of an agreeable groove the present moment enlogates, freeing me to appreciate it. I’m not a ‘live in the moment’ kind of person but I want to be and, as a result, tend to get attached to whatever helps me get over my instinctual aversion to now.
Hearing the same thing over-and-over again, especially if it’s imperceptibly evolving either by a shift in composition or the slight tweak of a filter knob, gives me the space to unpack and understand exactly what about it is motivating my body to move.
The visuals on display above, by Morgan Beringer, inspire that same inquisitive spirit. The colorful psychedelic sloshes keep hinting at images but we never get to know exactly what they are. Was that a bee? A white pine branch? A set of fluffly clouds? Right as your mind catches on some known object it’s already been washed away and replaced by another.
Over a year ago I posted a similar video Morgan made for Matthew Dear (go watch it!) and it’s great to see he’s still exploring this layered datamoshed style.
Y’all remember Animals, right? It was the first episode of Off the Air, a new series that first appeared inexplicably on Adult Swim during the wee morning hours of New Years Day 2011. This, the aptly titled Food, is the second in the series as conceived/edited by Dave Hughes and produced by Keith Crofford and Mike Lazzo. Our favorite portion kicks off at 7:15 where a datamoshed wave of meat lifts off towards some Cyriak (as seen previously here) past an unsettling breathing apple and drops you gently inside MORPHOLOGIC‘s Oyster Vision (they’re the dudes who kindly introduced us to The Lynx Nudibranch). Don’t click away when the credits roll as the ridiculousness of ‘Ketchup’ provides some bonus lulz. Enjoy the weirdness!
Y’all remember Steven Smith, right? (hint-hint) He was kind enough to write in and tell us about one of his other psychedelic-funky-fresh videos (this one’s set to some Flying Lotus) that’s conveniently embedded above. Why not check it out? If they haven’t already Tim & Eric should consider hiring Steve cause he’s got a firm grasp on bringing the bizarre. Oh and it looks like he’s into this datamoshing thing, too! Nice!
“Now that television transmissions have gone completely digital you have probably seen this effect before. You’re watching TV and then suddenly the image freezes. Then, instead of glitching back to the next shot, its as if the next shot appears to be wearing the information from the previous shot. It’s a surreal effect that can be hard to explain.”
Don Whitaker (of Squircle Zoom fame) wrote in to tell us about a video mashup technique called ‘datamoshing’ that, “uses video compression artifacts as a composition tool”. If you’re interested in trying it for yourself be sure to check out this three part tutorial that utilizes free, readily-available-on-the-internets software.
Thanks for the heads-up, Don!