Tuesday 30 October 2012

All Is Full Of Love

I'm feeling particularly arty tonight, so I slapped on my records as usual and got to work. But then while browsing my folders of inspiration for material, I found my Chris Cunningham files again. The man is responsible for some of my favourite music videos of all time, and looking over his concept sketches for this video I just had to watch it again. I've already covered the three big videos he's directed - Aphex Twin's Come To Daddy and Windowlicker as well as Squarepusher's Come On My Selector. And I thought it was high time I covered his other famous piece; Björk's All Is Full Of Love

It's a stunning display, especially considering it's from '99, the CGI is brilliantly well done and still holds up fairly well to modern standards, I expected nothing less from Cunningham after his work with AFX and Squarepusher. It helps that the accompanying song is fantastic too, it's a different mix to the one included on her album Homogenic and dare I say it a better one too. Enjoy.

The first remix on offer is from a bloke called Guy Sigsworth. It takes a more subdued route to the sounds while retaining a similar structure. I actually didn't realise how muted this mix is compared to the original until I played them one after another, but the chorus and ending sections feature a beautiful explosion of electronics onto the scene, reminding me just a little of Clark's The Autumnal Crush. I don't have a problem with that - a thing I really enjoy when making art is watching different peoples approaches to the same thing; an object, feeling etc. so these remixes go down a treat.

Björk's interest in the world of experimental electronic becomes more pronounced towards the end, starting with this mix from a duo called Funkstörung. It's fairly by the numbers for experimental stuff, to me it resembles Tri Repeatae era Autechre, especially when the melodic streak running throughout gets it's own break around 3:13 or so. I wasn't too fond of this one to begin with, but like so many other tracks before it, upon revisiting it I found something within it that I loved, in this case that break I just mentioned. It's fleeting, but after the break is gone the track stays special, everything after it and through to the end is just golden.

And finally, Plaid. After guesting on their LP Not For Threes, Plaid and Björk have had a pretty tight relationship. I've said before that Plaid are very hit and miss for me, but there's no sign of misses here. After giving the basic melody their unique sound treatment for that intro, you're thrust into a sparse soundscape with only a rolling beat and Björk's vocal stylings for company. And aside from some sparkling synth lines dotted throughout and some squelchy pads added during the chorus about halfway in it stays largely the same. I get the feeling this mix is meant to be more about her vocals anyway, they are slightly higher in the mix than anything else, and no other mix has had the same approach. Saying that, I love their interpretation of it, and I think it's a fitting end to the EP.

And of course, I can't just write all that and leave all of you to go find the video yourselves could I? Well here it is, it really is a phenomenal video and is definitely worth your time.

-Claude Van Foxbat

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