Data Waterfall

Kaleidoscopic Waves Crash to the Beat in Studio Remote's Hypnotizing Work

Capturing multicolored cascades of digital compression, Data Waterfall is a sublime, sound-reactive film created by Adam Rodgers, whose experimental work has led to commissions for Jake and Dinos Chapman, and longtime collaborator Warp Records. Since developing pioneering online experiences for the British label’s roster including Boards of Canada and Flying Lotus, Rodger’s Studio Remote (formerly known as Remote Location) produced a 12-hour, online installation for Brian Eno. Today’s psychedelic piece is inspired by Gerhard Richter's abstract paintings and the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Predator, and deploys a real-time dynamic that sees movement triggered by the musical soundtrack from precocious hip-hop producer, Hudson Mohawke. The thunderous beat is taken from Warp's online game Butterstar Galactica, a collaboration with artist Thomas Traum and creative coder Mike Tucker. “Data Waterfall represents an element of nature by using digital methods,” explains Rodgers, who is also co-founder of the record label, Numbers. “I love the idea of elements like clouds being commandeered for use in a digital context, and this film is intended as an extension of that expression.”

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    Ultraísta: Strange Formula

    David Lynch Remixes Radiohead Producer Nigel Godrich’s New Band

    Cinematic auteur and musician David Lynch adds an otherworldly lilt to electronic kraut-pop trio Ultraísta’s “Strange Formula,” taken from their forthcoming eponymous debut album and accompanied by their self-produced psychedelic video. Named after the Spanish ultraist literary movement, the band was formed by Radiohead’s producer and honorary “sixth member” Nigel Godrich with artist Laura Bettinson and multi-instrumentalist Joey Waronker, who has drummed and produced for the likes of Beck, R.E.M., Smashing Pumpkins, Eels, and Paul McCartney. Also members of Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace project, Godrich and Waronker bonded over a mutual love of Afrobeat, dance music, visual art and tequila, inviting Bettinson to contribute vocals to their avant-garde hooks. Lynch’s remix follows offerings by Matthew Dear and Four Tet, with the latter’s take on debut single “Smalltalk” earning fervent praise in the music press. “People hear things differently and so to have something spat back at you through someone else's eyes is usually quite interesting,” notes Godrich. Stripping away the group’s usual popiness for his contribution, Lynch distorted Bettinson’s vocals into a languid drawl and blended the guitars and synths into an ominous storm of noise. “We're honored. He is a very interesting cat indeed,” offers Godrich of the Blue Velvet director’s contribution. “I personally had no preconceptions, but it makes sense knowing his persona. It's very visual.” 

    Ultraísta will perform at Lynch’s Parisian Club Silencio on Wednesday October 3.

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    Soko: Monster Love

    The Multitalented Musician and Actress Duets with Ariel Pink Over a Bittersweet LA Tale

    A street-stranded mermaid fends off a kitsch beast in Monster Love, a new VHS-recorded promo directed by Soko, who also stars alongside Morgan Krantz and actor, model and marine activist Hannah Fraser. Filmed in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles, the short is soundtracked by a song that shares its title, the French polymath’s brand new duet with Los Angeles’ lo-fi underground star, Ariel Pink, that will feature on her forthcoming album. “The whole thing was super DIY and felt like making a school project video with all my friends,” she says. Born in Bordeaux, Soko has starred in a number of films in her homeland, and recently attracted much acclaim in Augustine, a sensuous, César-nominated tale about a 19th-century maid consigned to an asylum. But despite her passion for acting, music remains Soko’s most cherished source of creativity. She has just released her debut album I Thought I Was an Alien in the US, which opens with the stripped-down and haunting track that also features here: “I Just Want to Make It New With You,” written with her collaborator Pink in mind. “We were friends, falling in love, but he was just out of a relationship and I—as always—was broken hearted,” the singer says of a near miss that was the catalyst for today’s film, in which she falls for the luckless protagonist. “We hadn’t shed the heaviness of our past. I imagined that after relationships, we all turn into some sort of monster, and only if we stop being monstrous will we ever be able to be real lovers again.” We got the two together to talk about recording, acting, and the logistics behind becoming a mermaid. 

    Ariel Pink: The song “I Just Want to Make It New With You” has to do with me a little bit, right? 

    Soko: Yeah, I wrote it for you Ariel! And you’re singing on the first song in the film, “Monster Love.” 

    AP: I saw the video and, like all your work, it’s so good. It’s touching, I can’t help but feel for the character. Who the beautiful mermaid lady?

    S: She’s actually a real mermaid performer—it’s my friend Hannah who does performances in Las Vegas. She goes swimming with sharks, whales and dolphins all over the world, and hand makes her own costumes. She’s really incredible. She gave me some footage of her swimming under water so that the monster could dream of her. Morgan’s costume was actually a Halloween costume made by my friend Diva: it was perfect, a monster costume with a heart on it. 

    AP: It’s so great, all this attention you’re getting. And your new movie [Augustine] just came out. How do you feel about the movie and your performance? 

    S: It was crazy, insane and one of the best things I have done in my whole life. It was the best adventure and experience because it was so far from me. The only reason why I wanted to do movies was because I want to experience things I would never get to experience in my real life. And then I get to be in a film where I’m back in the 1880s in costume, wearing a corset, being a patient in a mental hospital and getting diagnosed. 

    AP: You’re not acting. You probably would be committed to a mental institution.

    S: Yeah right! Well I was paralyzed in the movie, I had my eyes shut for half of the movie and I had my hand paralyzed. I don’t have that in my real life.

    AP: Well let’s hope not. I think that’s amazing. I want to make a video with you sometime. I want you to be in my movie when I make it. 

    S: I wanted you to be in my video.

    AP: Me too, but you know how busy we are. 

    S: But I’m glad throughout the years we always get to collaborate and you are always a part of my creative work as a constant pole and an inspiring muse. It is really important for me, and I love making music with you too. 

    AP: Oh my God, we have to make so much more together. There is so much left to do, we have just scratched the surface. 

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