We’re at the nexus of audio and visual in the Digital Age — the two are more fundamentally linked than at any point in history save for the moment MTV dropped on the ‘80s like chemical warfare. Music had hit a low point during the early stages of the 21st century: diminished were the vessels for piping music videos to the masses and no one of means seemed to be doing anything about that. For a moment, it almost seemed like music videos might go away entirely.
And that’s what makes this current period in music dynamic — it’s the rebirth of the video. With YouTube and the like, we’ve entered into a time when music videos have real impact and meaning again. We look forward to their release as they’ve become almost essential again.
Just as MC’s have surged into prominence, the person behind the turntable as the front and center star, so too have the visual artists, the directors, sprung forward as innovators of style. And Mike Harris, part of the Lord Danger house of creative output, is one of those directors who is shaping the future of this nexus.
Experience the imagery on Steve Aoki’s “Neon Future” video, the title track from the album of the same name. A kaleidoscope of muted tones and future imagery we are plunged into the vocals of Luke Steele of Empire of the Sun coupled with the beats of Aoki and the visuals of Harris, and all too easily, it stirs up the vibe of music as a visual medium.
There’s a term, “synesthesia,” that explains feeling one of the body’s senses as another — that’s the beauty of Mike Harris’ work. It gives you the essence of actually seeing the music Aoki spins out. I see Christ, Heaven and Hell all over this video — and, appropriately, a rebirth tale. It all scares me in a way that I want to keep watching; it’s a fear I want.
I suggest digging around and checking out some of Harris’ other work — you can start here, on Lord Danger’s site, and follow the rabbit hole on down. The real beauty of Harris is that like the era of the MC as celebrity, Harris is still emerging. I’m excited to see the future of this rebirth and Harris’ fingerprints upon it.