South African House Music Videos: Mafikizolo ft. Uhuru, Umlilo ft. Kyla Phil, Bucie, and More

Last month, I came across a music video that Total Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs called, “one of the best music videos I’ve seen in a long time”: a live performance by iFani EWE in the Johannesburg neighborhood of Soweto. Having just seen a South African dance documentary called The African Cypher, this assertion of “best” did not hold true for me; awesome dance is threaded throughout the country’s musical and social culture of SA. This reminder did, however, lead me to dig deep into South African music videos to hunt for visual and sonic gems — the best of which I have shared in this post. (No Die Antwoord on the basis on their being well-known by all.) Mafikizolo ft. Uhuru

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The Child in The Mirror: A Nietzschean Reading of the Myth of Michael Jackson

The character of my fondness for Michael Jackson and Friedrich Nietzsche is very similar. Despite both of these men being extremely influential and leaving behind highly celebrated bodies of work, they are also both often considered tragic cases on the historical stage. They were driven to obsessive heights, if not madness, by their devotion to their craft and their vision for the world. Yet I have never looked upon either of them with anything short of deep respect. Even in their tragedy, these men are beautiful to me. I hope to… reveal two visionaries reaching out to one another from across historical eras and spheres of influence. In the act of aligning these two boldly trailblazing artists, I hope to lend an admirable and rich philosophy to a pop star, and to lend the romance and marvel of pop to the life’s work of a philosopher.

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Weaves – Motorycle Music Video (MV of the Week + Band/Director Interview)

One pervy frog man gets down in the music video for Weaves‘ “Motorcycle”, where vaguely sexual lyrics turn into an animated tale of a naughty amphibian’s newfound, crotch-heavy love for his newfound motorcycle. This animated short is the product of a collaboration between the band and director Jason Harvey, who, for a change of pace, put away his video camera and took out his Wacom tablet. In the featured Q&A, Harvey, along with Jasmyn Burke and Morgan Waters of Weaves, share their perspectives on meeting, the creative process, and the final horny result.

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Flicknife Records Label Feature: Retrospective on a Legendary UK Label

The 1980s: that decade of shoulder pads and deindustrialization, was to be a decade of neon-coloured clothing, big hair and financial big bangs; a decade when Frankie Goes to Hollywood said “Relax”, and David Bohm proffered that space and time were no longer the dominant factors in the relationships of dependence. Behind it, left in the wreckage of history, memory and recollection, lay the 1970s, ten years of turmoil that spawned much to celebrate and much to abjure. In purely musical terms, the years 1970 to 1979 had seen the flowering and then the decay of rock music’s greats, with the seemingly unassailable hegemony of the major labels challenged by a host of new start-ups, supported by an underground press

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Portugal. The Man – Modern Jesus Music Video (MV of the Week + Interview w/ Zach Carothers)

Stemming from a road trip director AJ Rojas took that spanned over a dozen states, the music video for Portugal. The Man‘s “Modern Jesus” is purposely treated to alternate between hi-def and lo-fi, as is paralleling the fascination which can be found in middle America’s often gritty underbelly. A cast of memorable characters appear to leave indelible marks upon one’s brain in “Modern Jesus”: a grandpa dancing in a farm-like setting; bloody youth wrestling one another atop barbed wire; overweight and wheelchair-bound individuals repping the same taser-owning crew; the list goes on. This fascinating sociological portrait seems to serve as a reminder real life is often more interesting than fiction — and that embarking on a creative journey without a

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Philosophical Influence Timeline: Alejandro Jodorowsky – The Holy Mountain

Call it a spiritual treatise, a visual masterpiece, or whatever you like — but Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film, The Holy Mountain, has inspired musicians dating as far back as members of the Beatles, who played an instrumental role in funding and distributing the work. In this timeline of artistic individuals inspired by The Holy Mountain, we work backwards from the present day to the year in which the film was born, passing many music videos, songs, and philosophical shout-outs along the way. The creation of this timeline began with the intention of finding commonalities between the individuals who value Jodorowsky’s works, but the trend that emerged was much more varied than expected. More than anything, this timeline highlights the fact that though Jodorowsky influences many artistically-experimental thinkers, how they are influenced can sometimes be surprising, and is often completely unrelated to the author’s original intention and beliefs.

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Moderat – Bad Kingdom Music Video (MV of the Week + Pfadfinderei Design Collective Interview)

Moderat, the collaboration between German musicians Modeselektor and Apparat, have returned with this music video by their long-time collaborators, the design collective Pfadfinderei [ fɑ:d'fɪndɜ:raɪ ]. Constantly marching ahead in warp-speed fashion, the “Bad Kingdom” music video mixes and matches a series of blue-lined illustrations that unfold to tell the tale of mankind’s cruelty and helplessness — all the while intending to challenge existing social and political structures. In the Q&A below, the design collective details their experience working on this music video, and we review some of their other works.  

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Superman is a Rocker: Robert Pollard and the Third Mind

According to modern day magickians like Alan Moore, “Art is magick, because art transforms consciousness”. By that definition, some of the world’s greatest mystics don’t ever actually identify themselves as such. In my world, Robert Pollard is probably the most potent of these closet sorcerers, unassumingly churning out tune after tune ad infinitum from his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. It’s an unending supernova. No single rock musician has pushed the boundaries of the human imagination in quite the same way as the guy, who will most likely go down as the single greatest songwriter in human history (or by definition of taste, the most prolific at the very least; he’s already kind of got that cornered). The story of how

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The Octopus Project – Whitby Music Video (MV of the Week + Band Interview)

The Octopus Project have always been lofty with their artistic vision, as we learned when they first told us about their 8-projector, surround-sound performances. It’s no wonder, then, that the often overly hoaky art of stop-motion animation finds good articulation in their hands. Indeed, they actually created the music video themselves — “a product of the The Octopus Project’s collective consciousness”, according to Peekaboo Records. Thanks to clever editing tricks galore, adorable geometric shapes float across indoor and outdoor environments, tickling the eyeballs with their ever-throbbing movements. According to the record label: “Created, shot and directed by the band, the stop-motion extravaganza was crafted entirely using die-cut colored card stock. Band members meticulously designed each shape in Photoshop then used

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Efterklang Band Interview: The Ghost of Piramida

“You can for sure say that the context directs the music in a certain direction. Songs written on guitars come out different than songs written on pianos. A ghost town is quiet and a perfect place to make recordings. It is a brilliant setting for recording sound.” - Rasmus Stolbreg of Efterklang

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Strangefruit – Sea of Fog Music Video (MV of the Week) + Director / Musician Interviews

“The original concept was that the music video would become almost like an art film. Something powerful, dramatic and theatrical, drawing on my research into psychoanalytical theories revolving around the origins of desire, sexuality and power. Exploring gender roles, the uncanny, the macabre, and Freudian theories of death and sex.” Laura Clarke, Director

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Royal Canoe Band Interview: Today We’re Believers in Pop Music (w/ Lyrical Analysis & Infographics)

Today We’re Believers is our way of trying to capture the moment on the first day of spring when the snow has freshly melted and everything comes alive. No matter where you are and no matter what you had to endure to get to this point, everything is forgiven and makes perfect sense, and your capacity for joy feels endless.” – Matt Peters

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