The Acid: Basic Instinct

The Shadowy Trio Enlists Filmmaker Dugan O’ Neal and Art Troupe WIFE For a Spellbinding Music Video

The otherworldly movements of Los Angeles dance outfit WIFE cast a meditative spell over The Acid’s synaesthetic music video from filmmaker Dugan O’ Neal and the band’s Ry X. The Acid have so far built up a following as an anonymous totem of haunting vocals and dismembered electronics, but are today revealed as the LA-based singer-songwriter Ry X, Team Supreme collaborator and veteran electronic artist Steve Nalepa and Grammy-nominated British dance producer and DJ Adam Freeland. “I have always felt very connected to aesthetics in line with music—they are part of each other and the whole,” says Ry X of the singular audio-visual vision for this new musical collaboration. “When we came up with the idea for the video, we brought WIFE into the fold before all else.” Captured against the dramatic backdrop of the Santa Monica Mountains at the end of last year, WIFE’s Kristen Leahy, Jasmine Albuquerque and Gabriella Vincenza Cataldo star as the choreographers, performers and costume designers of “Basic Instinct”. “I love creating visually dramatic narratives, but the one through line is a subtle sense of surrealism or magic,” says O’Neal, whose varied work joins the dots between web comedy series L.A Rangers and music promos for TV On The Radio, The Glitch Mob and Ellie Goulding. “Ry really pushed to make it as simple as possible and let the song be the narrative. It definitely reignited my relationship with music videos.”

Can you tell us about the serendipitous genesis of the band?
The Acid:
Ry X and Adam had known each other for years before we made an unlikely reconnection in Los Angeles. Steve and Adam already had a studio session booked just hours after. We all followed the flow of the synchronistic timing and jumped in.

What is your musical approach?
It can be a hard thing to strip something to its core. Musically, some people tend to be afraid of space, they want to put a lot of things in to hear it bigger and better. Most of the time, allowing space for the critical elements makes them much more potent.

How about the visuals for “Basic Instinct”?
We birthed the concept in the first days of being in the studio together, inspired by the photos that our friend Toby Burrows made for his Fallen series. From there it was a collaboration and the process took care of itself.

The Acid EP is released April 14 on Infectious Music and The Acid's live debut is London's Chat's Palace March 31 

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Conversations (6)

  • Mozartmike
    Perhaps we should listen to the tape or the video so that we can remember the lyrics, or maybe it's the overall originality of each new round of music so we can build the entire production into a crescendo of newness and originality. I am so tired of lazy untalented sloths pretending that they are talented musician and lyricists
  • Jazy Chavez
    Love the music!
  • AtelierKenelm
    Beautiful, great track great visuals
  • pete cuming
    Congratulations to all involved ... a transformative blending becomes a textural experience
  • ref11
    • Posted By ref11
    • February 05, 2014 at 3:15AM
    • Share Comment:
  • mikeswitz
    soooo boring. had more fun in an elevator.

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    Seduced and Abandoned

    Ryan Gosling Gives An Entertaining Insight Into the Perils of the Hollywood Audition

    “The movie business is like the worst girlfriend you’ve ever had,” declares Alec Baldwin, the veteran actor and star of James Toback’s documentary Seduced and Abandoned. “You are seduced and abandoned over and over again.” The hard-hitting Hollywood director returns to Cannes, where he triumphed in 2008 with his documentary on Mike Tyson, and puts the mechanics of the film festival itself under his microscope. In the wry meta-film, The Glengarry Glen Ross star and Toback work La Croisette Boulevard like the undoubted pros they are in a determined attempt to secure funding for "Last Tango in Tikrit," a sexually explicit allegory about post-Iraq disillusion in which Baldwin would take the lead. “Alec and I acted in a scene together in Woody Allen's Alice,” says Toback. “Our scene was cut from the final version but the irrational sense of connection I felt with him, both as a screen presence and as a person, lingered after our brief Woody experience.” The duo quickly discovers why Somerset Maugham described the Riviera as “a sunny place for shady people” but the impressive list of auteurs and actors they interview––including Martin Scorsese, Ryan Gosling and Francis Ford Coppola––are disarmingly candid. “It’s a celebration of film, not so much of the industry,” says Toback. “I have learned that the more movies I make, the more impossible it is to get excited by any film which is not filled with surprises, uncertainty and the daily need for invention.”

    Seduced and Abandoned is released February 17 on Soda Pictures
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    Sigur Rós: Valtari

    Christian Larson's Industrial Seduction for the Icelandic Outfit’s New Album

    Two isolated individuals carnally collide in Swedish director Christian Larson’s collaboration with Antwerp-born choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui for the orchestral rockers Sigur Rós. "The dancers copy each other’s movements and flow into one another," Cherkaoui explains of the sensual ritual. The video is the 14th in the Valtari Mystery Film Experiment, a series commissioned by the Icelandic band to herald the release of their new album Valtari, giving filmmakers such as Ryan McGinley total creative freedom yet the same budget to interpret the record. Larson, also a trained dancer, has directed commercials for brands like Absolut and Roche Bobois as well as music videos for Tinie Tempah and Swedish House Mafia; for this film he chose four different tracks from Sigur Rós' recent release: "Ekki Múkk", "Valtari", "Rembihnútur" and "Varúð". Cherkaoui, who worked on projects with the Royal Danish Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Anthony Gormley before starting his own company, Eastman, in 2010, enlisted Australian dancers James O’Hara and Nicola Leahey for this stirring piece. “There was an interesting contrast with this very harsh environment,” explains Larson of the fluid choreography for the film, shot in a disused MOD base. “I wanted to try and make a dialogue through movement, without anyone saying anything."
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