Club culture and music video don't always get on that well together. Sure, there are classics of the genre—"Music Sounds Better With You," for example, or the over-played but still fantastic Jonze-directed clip for Daft Punk's "Da Funk", spring to mind—but largely, the relatively faceless format that is the dancefloor-ready 12" doesn't align itself particularly well to big flashy fun visuals.
Two guys who want to change that are Addison Groove—the prolific producer behind anthems like "Footcrab" and "Dancer"—and Vector Meldrew, a director and designer who evidently relishes in leaving his audience's feeling ever-so-slightly unusual.
The pair's most recent collaboration is the gelatinous, warped, and sort of oddly, weirdly, horribly sexy clip to accompany Addison Groove's shimmering stomper "Changa." We're letting you watch the video in all its heaving glory right now, and we also had a quick catch up with the producer. Check both out below.
THUMP: How's life been treating you of late?
Addison Groove: Other than trying to find creative ways of being at an airport, not that bad. Just got back from a short American tour which was great. To be honest, I was happy to get the hell out of the UK after such a shitty winter so the Californian sun was a very warm (literally) welcome and anyone who's seen the colour of my skin knows I need a little bit of Vitamin D from time to time.
Other than DJing, I've got a few records lined up this year—an EP on Gutterfunk and another on Modeselektor's label, featuring Sam Binga. "Changa" is a bit of a change from my usual material, but it's no secret that I love afrobeat, and a cheeky afro edit was the vibe I was after. I spent a lot of time digging up old African records and this week I've been checking out the Kenya Special album on Soundway, as well as getting into some lesser known artists from Central America. Anyway, "Changa" started to get a bit rotation on BBC Radio 1 from the likes of Giles Peterson,Jamz Supernova, Toddla T, and a few others so I thought it should see a release of some sort.
Lex—AKA Vector Meldrew—has been a friend of mine for an awfully long time, and we've definitely had our fair share of pissing people off with our drunken behaviour so the video came around pretty organically and the outcome is like a slab of psychedelic bubblegum. I'm sure the words "ketamine," "belly" and "banana" came up a lot during the ideas process.
What attracted you to Vector Meldrew's work in the first place?
It started off in Bristol a while ago, we had the same group of mates so I'd often run into him at parties and then around 2007 an opportunity arose to do a live set in Belgium. At that time I went under the name Headhunter and I asked Lex if he'd accompany my set with some live visuals. I guess it all started from that. He left Bristol for bigger things and I became Addison Groove and now we've come full circle to collaborating again.
I find the video deeply, deeply disturbing, but simultaneously endlessly watchable. Are you happy with the finished result?
I'm over the bloody moon mate, it's like a delightful mindfuck however I'm sure Vector Meldrew's own words can explain things a little better:
"The objective of the project was to create something unique by flipping conventional storytelling techniques on their head and experimenting with the process from a new perspective. There were no storyboards, and the concept was constantly evolving and changing. The aim was to compliment the music with a series of unique visualisations placed into a structure that creates its own narrative.
From a technical perspective the dance movements were taken from Motion Capture data, the same technology used to create realistic animation in games and films. The keyframes of this animation were then manipulated to experiment with different gravitational and dynamic forces that caused particular body parts to react in a mesmerizingly weightless way."
Finally, because it feels like it's just round the corner now, what do you want to listen to when the apocalypse arrives and we're all melting into the earth's rotten core?
Duke Ellington, "Take the A Train."
Changa is out now.