FRINGE MUSIC FIX's Weekly Top 5 (6/29)

Posted by Adam Alexander on June 29, 2014

Contributor Post

Each week, FRINGE MUSIC FIX culls the latest music video releases, carefully selecting the most bizarre, provocative, and remarkable videos from across the world.

Sit back, relax, and open your mind’s eye; things are about to get interesting. The following are our selections for the week ending June 29th, 2014.

Director Czlowiek Kamera once again teams up with talented Montréal based indie rock act, Half Moon Run. While their last collaboration with Czlowiek for “Call Me In the Afternoon” was a surreal visual effects laden romp in the forest, “Losing The War” is a much more narrative centered video. It tells a sad tale of potential tragedy which takes an uplifting turn in its concluding moments. The video employs a split screen presentation to introduce its modest cast which includes a couple and a sad elderly farmer nearing the end of his pre-meditated rope. After the couple accidentally crashes their car, the old man sets aside his grim plans, to come to the couple's assistance. With this selfless act, their fates become intertwined in a beautifully poetic turn of events.

Enigmatic Canadian electronic/R&B producer Illangelo, whose exceptional portfolio includes production for The Weeknd and Drake, joins forces with director Lance Drake to serve up this unique sci-fi inspired dystopian future with a visionary visual for “Clockwork."  Drawing inspiration from everything from the anime classic “Ghost In The Shell” to the work of George Lucas, the monochromatic visual employs narratively disjointed yet thematically and stylistically consistent imagery. Each frame of the video was planned in such a way that every still could be enjoyed on its own as a still or within the context of the video.

Diegetic sound is a film term that refers to music used as a prop or element that characters are aware of and may interact with. The music is sometimes played by a character on some device such as a stereo or computer. Many videos have employed this technique. Perhaps one of the most memorable examples is the Spike Jonze directed music video for “Da Funk," in which a man in a dog costume plays the video’s track on a ghetto blaster while interacting with people on the street. For their video for “Sleepless," Swedish EDM duo Cazzette and director Peter Huang employ diegetic sound to highlight the track’s lyrics about betrayal & loneliness. The cast includes Hannibal’s Aaron Abrams, Anna Hopkins (Barney’s Version) and Jenny Raven (Long Branch). The plot takes place in an expensive apartment, and sees Abrams and Hopkin’s characters arrive home at a luxurious apartment after a night out on the town. Raven starts playing “Sleepless," and the couple share a clever exchange that refers to their obvious age difference. Abrams, the older of the two, clueless to the hippest new dance music on the scene asks Raven who the artist is, to which she replies “Cazzette."  Abrams asks if their name refers to a “Cassette Tape," to which she inquires “What’s a cassette tape?” Just as things are about to get hot and heavy between the two, Raven departs the scene, at which point Abrams discovers an obviously distraught ex-lover has entered the scene. The cinematic video is an engaging and suspenseful viewing that’s unique incorporation of music sets it apart from the mediocre.

As anyone who follows music video trends is aware, sexually explicit music videos are all the rage. From Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” to Dj Snake's “Turn Down For What,” one of the easiest ways to guarantee music video success is to include a bit of titillation and controversy that seems all too fitting in the uncensored age of the internet. The perfectly timed Ryan Staake directed visual for “Freak," toys with our expectations and assumptions through it’s hilarious revelations of people in seemingly sexually compromising situations. To further mislead us, fans of Diplo will note that he frequently uses sexually explicit visuals such as the Eric Wareheim directed video for Major Lazer’s “Bubble Butt” and “Set It Off” (which was also directed by Staake).

There are few artists gaining popularity right now faster than London based alternative R&B artists FKA Twigs (Formerly Known As Twigs). That being said, the unforgettable Nabil directed visual for “Two Weeks” couldn’t have come at a better time. The carefully calculated and wonderfully detailed visual sees the idiosyncratic songstress seated in a regal manner and framed in a slow motion long panned out shot that reveals her to be surrounded by smaller versions of herself dancing in the court she reigns over. I like to think this might suggest a metaphor that at her core, FKA Twigs performs for no one else but herself. Her unique creative output that defies comparison to other artist's definitely supports this theory.


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