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September 1, 2014

Dreamshow: Chasing Control

Matthew Williams Directs an Indie-Pop Vision in Sparkling Monochrome

“The act of de-skilling was more important for me than getting better,” says musician and visual artist Constantine V, who swapped drumsticks for the mic to start his New York rock outfit, Dreamshow. “I wanted to see what I could do emotionally with a song as opposed to how well I was playing.” “Chasing Control” is the band’s debut single, and for the accompanying music video, they recruited SHOWstudio art director Matthew Williams—co-founder of Been Trill and previously of Haus of Gaga and Kanye West’s Donda—to visualize Dreamshow’s raspy indie love letter. “The song is directly influenced by my addiction to a girl who I could never really control,” says Constantine, joined in Dreamshow by bandmates Jahphet Landis of TV On The Radio, Cerebral Ballzy’s Mason Orfalea and long-time friend, Michael Amacio. “Musically, the band was really about going back to a time before I had gone to college and before I had got into art, when I was a pretty out of control kid skateboarding and drumming.” Below, Matthew Williams talks to NOWNESS about the freedom of creative collaboration, pop culture icons and going off the social grid.

What drew you to work with Constantine V and Dreamshow?
Matthew Williams:
I worked with Constantine because I’m his friend and we have a really great, honest discourse and trust. One of the successes of Gaga and Kanye was that we had a personal and direct relationship. Kanye hired me to develop his first clothing brand with him when I was 21 and then for three years I created Gaga’s image with her. We were able to communicate freely and that informs my decision making.

What was your approach for the “Chasing Control” video?
MW:
I’ve always been a rock fan yet I’ve never done a video for an artist like that. It’s an introduction of Constantine to the world, but something minimal. There was a TV show filming next door and we basically drummed all over their scenes, even though we got foamcore and taped up the doors. It looked like we were having a slumber party or getting ready for a peyote trip.

You have previously said that Been Trill wasn’t supposed to last past 2013. It’s almost 2015...
MW:
It was a mistake, an accident. Been Trill is moving to something that’s more of a brand or a platform for other people and we just want to have it be something for people that we like or are inspired by. I’m definitely willing to have something happen, but there’s no plan of attack.

You’ve been a part of such digital pop culture projects, how do you switch off?
MW:
I’d spent three years of my life lurching over my phone. I’d have a tick, thinking it was buzzing in my pocket—however now, I’m not as easy to get a hold of and I didn’t use my phone for three months this summer. I was in Ibiza and Europe and I had to disconnect.

Dreamshow
’s Chasing Control EP is out September 23 on The Swerve Records.

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Kylie Minogue: Sexercize

The Pop Siren's Hyper-Kitsch Collaboration with Roman Coppola Launches Her New Audio-Visual Experience

“When I was a kid there were a lot of custom cars made for bands or television shows: The Pink Panther and The Monkees had incredible vehicles,” says Roman Coppola, whose Special Projects division of the Director’s Bureau created this thrillingly lurid video for “Sexercize,” co-starring a bespoke Maserati. “I thought to myself: ‘I’ll make a custom car for Kylie.’” The homage to Kenneth Anger’s 1965 short Kustom Kar Kommandos makes up just one facet of an ambitious multimedia hub built by Chandelier Creative, who continue the pop queen’s long-held campaign of constant reinvention with an array of different digital responses to the latest single from her 12th studio album, Kiss Me Once. “We were speaking to Kylie while she was recording the album, and we knew she was inspired by a particular time and aesthetic: late 1970s/early 1980s French Vogue with a bit of an Olivia Newton-John or Jane Fonda aerobics fashion filter,” says Chandelier Creative Director Richard Christiansen. “She explained that what she wanted was ‘naughty, but with a wink,’ and I started thinking about vintage Pirelli Calendars.’” Chandelier commissioned Jean-Paul Gaultier to make an animation with Mat Maitland, asked the artist Reilly to design animated GIFs of Dolce & Gabbana looks, and put together a film with National Geographic spotlighting animal mating rituals. The question they asked each collaborator, who also include illustrator Hattie Stewart and platform VFiles, was this: “How do you sexercize?” The answers are revealed here, but before you go, let Kylie give her two cents: “It is racy but above all fun, and can 'be' whatever you want it to be,” she says. “If you're old enough to be a VHS generation kid, you will probably manifest your own workout video in your head after one listen—lycra is optional!”

Kiss Me Once is available now.

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Spotlight

Sabina: Viva L’Amour

The Brazilian Girls Singer Unveils a Pencil-on-Paper Collaboration with Artist Oliver Clegg

“We filmed Sabina in her flat in Paris and then used to footage to create the backbone of the video,” says British artist Oliver Clegg of his collaboration with Sabina Sciubba on “Viva L’Amour.” Marking the release of the lead singer of avant-garde electro-punk outfit Brazilian Girls’ debut solo album, Toujours, this is his first foray into moving-image, made with the New York design studio, Eyeball. “I met Sabina ten years ago at Nublu in the East Village, NYC when the Brazilian Girls were playing regularly on Sunday nights at the venue,” says Clegg, whose work has showcased at Art Basel Miami, Saatchi Gallery and Venice Biennale. The animation uses rotoscoping, invented in 1915 by Max Fleicher, in which stills of a film are traced in a broken sequence to give an animated, hand-drawn quality. “I wanted the piece to be full of contrasts—humorous yet sincere, childlike yet sophisticated, direct yet enigmatic, says Clegg. “The choice of drawing was part of this consistency of opposites: the desire to create dimension and conceptual spaces out of the simplest descriptive tool available, the line.”

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