Video of the moment
Every week we select a music video by a Canadian group or artist who have recently been reviewed by our editorial team. If you'd like to suggest a video for consideration, you can send us a message using this form.
*** Watch the Generative Version Here ***
One of the most inventive videos this scribe has come across all year is the new clip for "Strange Attractor", from New Hands. A press release from the band claims it is " the first GIF-based generative music video of its kind. Each time a viewer watches the video, a different randomized sequence is loaded from a database of over 900 GIFs, each of which was created by the band from archived home videos found on YouTube."
New Hands drummer Gord Bond is also a visual artist and he explains the concept this way: “It was the GIF [Graphics Interchange Format] that intrigued me. Technically it is a picture file, but it allows for animation. To me this was an interesting dualism. On the one hand it’s a video and on the other a still image. By using the GIF files we compiled as the frames for the video we are bringing attention to the structural element of video - the individual frame, which when stitched together create movement. This idea of stillness vs movement is also repeated in the thematic element of the video. The GIFs all contain some form of movement. Movement is critical to the song itself, it is constantly in motion.”
Director John Smith (Young Rival) built the generative video and he notes that "GIFs hold an interesting space in current Internet culture: they are notoriously slow to load due to their relatively large file size, but despite this they have become one of the most popular types of media to share online. They are the perfect middle ground between sharing a still image, and a YouTube video. They are the perfect way to capture an exact moment.”
The visual results are certainly appealing. The video comprises a fast-moving montage of images taken from home movies and news footage. Based on the fashion, cars and planes featured, the images mostly come from the '60s era. The fact that each time you reload the clip you get to see a different sequence of images means you're likely to give it multiple viewings.
New Hands are a quintet jointly based in two cities, Hamilton, Ontario and Leeds, England. They're both known as gritty industrial cities, and elements of that are audible in their sound. "Strange Attractor" (mixed by Graham Walsh of Holy Fuck) reminds us of '80s British synth-rock bands like Cabaret Voltaire and Human League, while a label press release describes it as "A hybrid of ‘80s new-wave and more modern dance/electronic with a pulsing beat and dark, seedy romance".
We're certainly looking forward to checking out the New Hands full-length album planned for 2015.
The band play the Casbah in Hamilton, Dec. 23 and The Drake Hotel in Toronto, Dec. 26.