A three-part music-video-slash-short-film with the wonderful Shura.
Watch it on youtube.
Lovely to work again with Ida Engberg!
Until I sort a new website out, head over to my behance page for the rest of the pictures.
Shot at my home in Brooklyn in the mild summer of 2014.
Leo Belchez & team are doing a wicked job at keep feeding this great video series to run along their mixes. They’re one of my favourite clubs for constantly pumping out great creative work and making imagery that’s always so iconic. This video by Silviu Visan is one of my favourites lately. Too good.
I found James Michaels through a friend, I saw him in some snaps and decided I had to try to convince him to be in this video despite him have little to no experience on camera and being extremely shy. He had a mysterious aura in the photos, and when I eventually met him and saw him in the flesh his presence was mesmerizing. Pure darkness and an effortless stark attitude as I had imagined, but so reserved and polite. Working together was an experience: it took us hours to get in the flow, we shot from 8pm until 4am in my house, and it felt like we ran out of time before things got where I had planned, I came away feeling exhausted but so lucky to have had this guy involved.
My very good friend Miyako Nakamura helped with the styling, Tadayoshi Honda made miracles with fabrics, chains and makeup, and Makoto Chiba (new collab with this guy is happening soon!) was kind enough to lend us some of his own handmade jewelry.
I’ve been really lucky to have had Rylan Morris Scherer involved again, to light and film with an enviable attention to detail.
The final crew member was a little guy called Fuss. Great last minute addition. I’ve always wanted to do something with a Sphynx cat, so thanks to facebook I ended up in Matthew Reinhold’s marble bathroom filming his boy Fuss the Sphynx with Rylan the Deepee and a bowl of dry cat food.
Always humbling to make something for Ghostly International who have been going from strength to strength for 15 years now, publishing art from masters like Sougwen Chung, Andy Gilmore, Michael Cina, Will Calcutt and music from the likes of Matthew Dear, Lusine, Shigeto, Com Truise, Heathered Pearls, Kiln.
For their 15 year anniversary they have been throwing a series of worldwide events, kicking off at DEMF in Detroit back in April. Sam Valenti asked me if I could make a short loop as a backdrop to these nights, somehow incorporating the iconic logo, so this is what I came up with.
For the purposes of vimeo and youtube I used one of my favourite Ghostly songs as the soundtrack: Lusine – Operation Costs (Disassembled Mix).
Check out my other work with Ghostly here.
After a tumultuous and dramatic ending to 2013, my 2014 got off to a great start with a one-month trip to Mexico, joining the Crosstown Rebels on their latest Lazarus-infused party venture in the Mayan jungle. The first 10 days of the trip was dedicated to this REBELRAVE episode in the Tulum area dedicated to Day Zero, while the second half was spent in Mexico City for something exciting which you’ll hear about in the next few months.
Like in every REBELRAVE episode, I have taken things up a notch this time, learning some new things (and making loads of mistakes), implementing new ideas that have inspired me from films, documentaries, art and music that I have absorbed over the past few months. An overwhelming amount of inspiration just keeps coming from all directions and REBELRAVE is becoming a platform for me to channel it through under my own interpretation, with my own limitations.
I always spend a lot of time working on the sound, but this episode in particular has received a lot more love than the others. Finding the right music for me is always so crucial to moving forward on an edit. Often entire days go by where I literally spend all day just browsing for music in my library or online without even touching the video edit. This process can go on for days until I find the right piece of music, everything grinding to a halt, frustration kicks in, then desperation, then depression and then I just wish I had never started REBELRAVE in the first place. Should’ve got myself a regular job. But then I go to get a haircut and the perfect tune just pops up on someone’s ipod.
Once I have the audio, I just flick between Ableton and Final Cut, placing the song inside a score, often making edits of the track or mixing it with other songs or audio from the camera.
For the intro scene though, before reaching the desperation phase I mentioned above, I decided to just make it myself. I sung some harmonies and the rest of the melody just flowed in naturally to become a 90 sec tune that I could strip down into different variants, using it as a recurring theme that would change depending on the mood of the scene. I’d love to score a whole soundtrack with my own music one day, but handling both video and music at the same time is a bloody nightmare when you have a bearded deadline looming in the form of a Lazarus coming for you in the middle of the night through a pixellated skype call.
So many great memories I took from this experience, here’s a few in no particular order:
–One night I was walking back from the beach in Tulum through dense vegetation, when I started hearing this really cool catchy guitar riff somewhere in the distance through all the trees. Sounded like a recording, but for some reason I just kept going towards it. As I got closer I emerged in this little opening in the vegetation that housed a tiny hut buried under the trees, warm light pouring out the open door.. I peaked in and found this guy!
–Midnight swimming after a 2 hour Temazcal session (my first). Well I technically didn’t swim, as I was filming the others splashing around under the moonlit sky, but I did get my feet wet which is better than nothing. By this point it isn’t even a frustrating topic for me anymore as I’ve grown used to documenting the pleasures of others while being stuck in the corner with a bunch of equipment strapped to me.
–TEED playing my song KRIX to open his set accompanied by a ceremony of firedancers. One of those moments when all you want are your buddies from back home to share the moment with, instead you just have to contain the excitement and get on with it and keep filming by yourself in the middle of random people around you. Still, it was pretty magical to see how crowd reacted to it. The moment didn’t really fit into the episode, so I uploaded video of it here: WATCH IT
–Hearing German/Peruvian NU close the festival with his own “Tributo a los Apus” (which is not this version), a timeless piece of Andean music dedicated to the godly spirits of the mountains (Apus), a chant sung by the miners. I reached out to him a few weeks later asking if I could use it in the film and he sent it over. It was the perfect soundtrack to the final dream sequence.
“Gracias Apu majestuoso por protegernos de los peligros… Gracias Apu por dejarnos trabajar en nuestras minas, que nosotros los mineros, trabajamos por la familia, compartiendo nuestro esfuerzo con amor y alegría” / ”Thank you majestic Apu for protecting us from danger. Thank you Apu for letting us work in our mines, us miners work for the family, sharing our efforts with love and happiness”
Couldn’t have done this without Dean McColl, a multitalented chap from Sydney who I met at Burning Man a few years back. He moved to NYC last summer and we’ve been working together since (pics: MTV, Ida Engberg, Dekmantel, it’s always studio-disco time). If he hadn’t been so keen to help me think through the storyline of the film I’d probably still be editing right now.
Thanks also to Bryan Cosgrove and Lexi Lambros for helping with the initial organizing of the footage.
Great filming help from Gaby Izarra and Marco Meza on the day of the festival too.
Back in the day when I was freelancing as a flash developer in London, one of my favourite clients was Julie Allen from MTV. I built several websites and games for her various projects, which unfortunately by now have all vanished from the face of the internet: it was a pretty long time ago, back when flash sites were the next big thing and Actionscript was my passion.
So it was nice to hear Julie approach me again almost 8 years later to ask if I could make the intro visuals for her latest MTV project called MTV:Redefine, an exhibition hosted by the Dallas Contemporary.
Couldn’t have done this without Dean McColl who managed to assemble a huge amount of layers of textures and patterns. His eye even makes an appearance in the video.
Music was crucial to get the right retro/futuristic vibe. So I called up Michael McCay from Silk Rodeo who I’m a big fan of since hearing this. From his gear-packed studio in Austin he whipped up a series of amazing textures that he sent over, and from there on we spent a few nights exchanging chords beats and basslines, and by bounce #20 we had the final 90sec soundtrack, fully tailored to the edit.
One of those ideas you have in the back of your head for years, waiting for the right project to come along to bring it to life: a tangled web of white wires immersed in thick black liquid, filmed from above while the liquid submerges the wire. Thomas Martojo from Dekmantel approached me wanting a promo video for their 2014 festival in Amsterdam, so that’s what we went with!
An incredibly tense project which I couldn’t have done with my friend Edu Monteagudo, a leopard-pant-wearing interior designer from Barcelona who recently made the move to NYC. He’s also a bit of a pop star! He managed to translate my pretty vague idea into an actual physical sculpture by creating a tangled yet precise web of wires within a cubic frame which was custom built so it could fit into a 120 gallon fish tank. Our friend Cristina Noguer, a fellow Catalan product designer who was completing her last year at Parson’s, provided the knowledge to get the right materials and helped build the whole structure. They both took the whole production into their own hands, researching and testing so many materials, liquids and wires.
The idea was to place the sculpture inside the empty fish tank, and film it from above as the black liquid slowly poured in, slowly immersing the wire essentially making it vanish at a very slow rate, and vice versa. A process that would take around 15 minutes from start to finish.
The project was full of challenges. One of them was that we needed to find a thick black liquid which wouldn’t stain the wire… 120 gallons of it. After experimenting with engine oils, petroleum, paint, coca cola (+mixed with yeast), milk, Edu managed to find an extremely cheap vegetable oil that had the perfect density which could be mixed with black food colouring. The only problem was that we needed to mix the 120 gallons of it. So the night before the shoot we loaded up a truck with dozens of barrels of this stuff and headed out towards the studio in Bushwick. All of this happened smack bang in the middle of a snow storm that had hit New York, so loading and unloading our van in the depths of industrial Brooklyn amongst 8ft hills of snow in the middle of the night and -10º C (14ºF) temperatures was no small ordeal. felt like a shady scene from Fargo. Plenty more challenges in that vein but it’d take up the whole page of this blog.
We documented the making of this video from start to finish with a bunch of pictures on my facebook… check them out here.
I’m extremely proud to have built a great solid team to make this happen. I loved working with DP Rylan Morris Scherer for the first time who took things to another level shooting on his RED. My friends Anastasia Bezhanova & Vadim Krijanowsky provided the perfect shooting space with their Vandervoort Studio in Bushwick.
For the audio, the lovely chaps from Plaid sent us some of their tunes (some unreleased) which I wanted to somehow mix into a single story, inside an encompassing sonic atmosphere to be designed by Thomas Vaquié, an incredible sound designer who usually works with the AntiVJ visual makers, a great connection I made when working with them on the Barneys / Jay Z project a few months before.
I’m ashamed to see that it’s been months since I last updated this blog. I have a chunky backlog of really cool projects that I need to publish on here but I’ve never found the time to sit and write them out.. The downside of committing to a blog. So while I try to get my act together for this site I’d say that the best way to follow my latest shenanigans is through my facebook and behance pages. Or even instagram.
In the meantime, I felt I should write about the Simon/Neuman² gallery, which is a new exhibition project run by Aviva Neuman who believes Williamsburg deserves an alternative to the galleries of Chelsea and the Lower East Side, mostly showing works from emerging international photographers, exposing them to a younger generation of collectors. A few months back my friend Itamar Segev told Aviva about my photos, which I’ve never published outside the realms of facebook, so she popped over to my place one day back in March to have a look and asked if I’d be into printing six of them for one of her upcoming exhibitions.
This is the gallery’s third exhibition in its 6-month life span, and at the moment six of my prints are hanging amongst the fantastic photography of Jan Tichy and Thora Dolven Balke, both incredibly inspiring. They will be up until the 29th of June, when the fourth installment will take over featuring the next set of artists.
I take various kinds of photos, from documentary to fashion and anything in between, but Aviva took an interest with the landscapes that I shoot during my travels when I’m away from the computer and the stress of deadlines. So they’re currently up, printed and framed at 30″ x 20″ (76cm x 50cm), and on view for another couple of weeks.
This is what weheart.co.uk had to say about the exhibition: “Terranova’s pictures feature huge, endless landscapes and cityscapes which overwhelm the human presence”
I received a message from Joanie Lemercier one day, the visual artist behind a lot of projection mapping installations you’ve probably seen (Eyjafjallajökull, Aether, Origami, Infinity) and one of the masterminds behind the Anti VJ label. He was in the middle of a pretty big project for Barneys developing an immersive popup store for Jay Z’s [controversial] collection, as well as building their Christmas window displays. He asked if I wanted to get involved in helping put together the visuals for the popup store, a room wrapped in 360º projections themed around the magic of New York at night, to which I said yes!
I collaborated with Romain Tardy, another fantastic visual artist member of Anti VJ, who had originally developed the idea with Joanie. They had already shot a whole bunch of beautiful RED footage around the city by the time I joined, so it was down to me to put it together into crazy 16,000 x 1080 canvas in the longest 7 minute After Effects project which took up a solid couple of months to put together. Luckily I got some help from François Malary, yet another skilled Frenchman who’s pretty hot with After Effects, 3D and projection mapping.
The story starts in the quiet dark streets of Bushwick and slowly develops by taking us into the subway, moving faster and faster through dark tunnels. Things get a pretty blurry as we move forward and emerge overground, becoming a set of heavily textured visuals as we cross the bridge and enter a city of lights which eventually take over and becomes a beautiful 3D landscape of falling particles.
Working with no sound was a bit of a challenge. DJ Mustard had been commissioned to make the soundtrack, so by the time I had a rough edit ready he came to check it out in a prototype projection room in Queens… He played us the beats he’d put together while we watched the visuals, it was a great moment of relief as audio and visuals matched perfectly.
Thomas Vaquié then took DJ Mustard’s beats and mixed everything up into an amazing immersive soundscape with city sounds and effects that synced up with the visuals.
The final stages of the project saw Romain and I colour grading inside the actual popup store while it was still being built, sitting amongst paint buckets and tools for a good few days with our computers connected to the projectors. There’s some photos here.
Oh, did you see Beyonce’s selfie in the store?
Update: Barneys made a little video feature on the project, watch it here
The last time I wrote about Kinq was almost 2 years ago. Since then I’ve been doing some bits and pieces with Nicolas Jaar; he heard some of my tunes and really liked Kinq in particular. To my surprise he asked me if I would be willing to release it on his new label Other People, on a compilation called Trust which would contain tracks by Acid Pauli, Valentin Stip, Benjha and Nico himself amongst others. I’ve never had any of my music released officially, let alone be listed next to these kinds of names, so I was really over the moon and said Yes Please.
To celebrate the occasion, I decided to make a video. Composed of various stock films from the Prelinger Archives, it focuses on a boy who bears a striking resemblance to 9-year-old me which evolved into a nostalgic trip into forgotten dreams and whatnot.
This is the second time I’ve made a video to my own music. The first one was KRIX
The REBELRAVE series continues its journey into the unknown with its 13th episode!
REBELRAVE is a playground for me where I don’t have any limits as to what I can and can’t do, and I’m extremely lucky to have been able to work with unique characters such as Damian Lazarus, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Wolf + Lamb and Lee Curtiss. Every episode feels very different from the last as it really takes its shape from the personality of whoever is being featured, so it’s been amazing to add Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs to the roster!
A couple of years ago I made a doco about TEED for Channel 4. It was for TV so I had to keep things safe and classy, but getting to mix Orlando with REBELRAVE was a much welcomed challenge. We had worked together a few times and I knew his sense of humour, so before shooting I had a certain idea in mind of what the editing style of the episode might be like.
My only regret was the Chinese massage. After a whole day of shooting in the rain, I wasn’t feeling too great about having enough content to make an episode, so I got together with Orlando the next morning and took him to an authentic massage place in Chinatown. What I saw in my mind was him lying down on his front whilst having a small woman painfully jumping up and down on his back, at the same time trying to explain his opinions on EDM to the camera. It wasn’t quite as exciting as that, in fact it was really boring. He just got a regular old fashioned massage which he enjoyed way too much.
The main purpose of the episode was to promote TEED’s Get Lost VI mix (buy here: itunes, CD, vinyl), so I got given the full tracklist to play around with. The track-id crew will be happy to see the song titles included!
Thank you dearly to Gaby Izarra, founder of MyBeatFix.com, who came along to help me film at both gigs!
Take a look at my other work with Orlando.
P.S. You’ll also notice the Crosstown Rebels animated logo at the beginning of the episode, which I made for all of their future videos.
I’m still working on the full episode, but this trailer will give you an idea of what it’s about. Enjoy!
Update: The full episode is out now! Watch it here
At some point last summer I saw something on Tumblr that made me want to experiment with merging two portraits into one. So I took Zahara into the bathroom (our only white wall at the time), we took a couple of portraits of each other (happened often in that bathroom), and then I put this together. It ended up on my facebook profile pic for a bit.
A few months go by and I get an email from one half of Clockwork, Federico Maccherone. I had met him when he used to live in New York and had stayed in touch since. He told me how he liked my latest facebook profile image and that he wanted me to make something similar for his debut album “B.O.A.T.S (Based On A True Story)” with buddy Francesco Leali. I had just finished working on No Regular Play’s album cover and loved the process of working on a cool print job so I said yes!
Them being in Berlin and me in New York, I thought it’d be best to pull in my friend and brilliant photographer Julia Soler to take care of the photography; being in Spain she was just a 2 hour EasyJet away. She spent an afternoon with them taking a variety of portraits at their home in Berlin, and sent me the files the next day. For the following couple of weeks I worked on various designs, all revolving around the initial grid idea, and we finally picked two variations of the artwork: one for the front, and one for the inside.
This grid system of overlaying two faces is pretty interesting. Depending on where the grid is positioned, the new merged face can look more like one person and less than the other. There’s a fine line where you can get the merged face actually look halfway between the two. Move the grid over by a couple of pixels and the whole thing changes completely.
The album itself is really great, recommended listening for the after hours or evening chilling at home times. It’s out on Life & Death, grabbable on beatport, although I’d be a lot happier if you bought the actual CD.
IN OTHER NEWS
I was interviewed by Public Description
I worked with Timothy Saccenti making the visuals for Depeche Mode (here’s a preview one of them)
I spent a couple of weeks at Vice working on stuff
I’m currently working at Redbull Music Academy on other stuff
I’m also working on some photos for Bob Moses
Damian Lazarus mentions my name in here in relation to my music for the first time
I have some new sounds on my soundcloud
10 years of the mighty Crosstown! To celebrate, Damian is taking the roster on a world tour this year. Owning a collection of era defining music, as well as a whole bunch of REBELRAVE episodes that have documented the label’s antics for part of its lifespan, the idea for this promo was to grab all of the best elements and squeeze them into a few minutes of video. It was a bit of a challenge, specially with the variety of video qualities and looks.
I wish I had more time to play around with the audio, it’s not quite as tripped out as I wanted it to be. During the Get Lost V scene you can hear some of Acid Pauli’s remix of Oregano (watch Gonzales playing the original), which is one of my favourite tunes of the mix. The “leaf leaf leaf leaf, and leeeeaves” part is taken from the 3rd bonus mix, an amazing 2 hour mix which comes as a download only for those who buy the actual CD! Crosstown connoisseurs will hear a few other short references to some of the most iconic tracks.
I also wanted to have a bit more time to work on the overall look, so unfortunately it feels a little unfinished to me. But the important thing is it makes you want to party, right?
I also made the tour flyer.
Update: for the “track ID” crew, here’s the track list.
0:00 Minilogue – Hitchhiker’s choice
0:10 Andre Kraml – Safari
0:20 Hiem – She’s the one
0:34 Pier Bucci – Hay Consuelo
0:46 Und – Cocopuffs
0:49 Metrika – Mayas (taken from the Day Zero album)
0:54 Minilogue – Hitchhiker’s choice
0:58 Infinity Ink – Infinity
1:05 Jamie Jones – 911 / Und – Cocopuffs
1:11 Andre Kraml – Safari
1:27 Andre Kraml – Safari (James Holden Remix)
1:35 [terranova meltdown]
1:41 Minilogue – Hitchhiker’s choice
1:45 Fur Coat – You and I
1:49 [terranova meltdown]
1:55 Acid Pauli – Get Lost V (Bonus Mix) + Acid Pauli – Oregano
2:03 Francesca Lombardo – Sofiel
2:11 Deniz Kurtel – The L Word
2:15 Art Department – Without you
2:26 Tiga – The Picture
2:29 Jamie Jones – Summertime
2:41 Maceo Plex – Can’t leave you
2:59 Amirali – Beautiful World
Since shooting the Influences episode I’ve been in touch with Nicolas Jaar about working together a bit more. I was supposed to make some visuals for his September tour, but it just didn’t work out in the end because our schedules couldn’t match up. So finally a few days ago we finally managed to book in my time for his show at Art Basel in Miami.
We spent a couple of hours together on Monday, he played me his new set and we agreed on a certain direction that the visuals should take. So I went home and spent the following 5 days working around the clock (with a 5-hour sleep break on the Wednesday), rendering a whole bunch of abstract visuals. There wasn’t much time at all to prepare, and the direction I had chosen was probably the most processor-heavy to render: layers of liquid, overlaying stock footage, and a whole bunch of effects; rendering 10 seconds would take 10 minutes. My friend Max Stockman came along to help me out by bringing a couple of extra laptops, and in between his classes at NYU he just sat by my side throughout the whole process, making all sorts of wonderful imagery. We were rendering right up until 9AM on Friday, at which point I jumped in a cab to the airport, boarded the plane, slept a little, landed in Miami, went to the apartment, and within an hour I was at the venue for soundcheck, somehow still standing.
The show went perfectly and I was really pleased the way everything turned out after such an intense week, and hanging with all my friends that night was the best reward. I finally got to sleep the following day when I got back home and passed out in my bed for about 15 hours straight.
The actual visuals are pretty abstract, the idea I like is that most of the time you’re just looking at some sort of oil paintings that are moving in extreme slow motion. Every so often a recognizable figure begins to form and kind of takes you by surprise, and before you know it it’s gone again.
Various parameters of the visuals were reacting to the sound, which gave this motionless imagery a bit of a kick, pulsating to the bass. By the way I use VDMX to control all of this.
“the depictions left you in a haze, unable to let your stare linger too long before you felt like someone put acid in your drink” – Music Obsessed
Hopefully I’ll be writing more on this topic very soon!
A new tune I’ve been working on sporadically for the past few months. Tina Turner did the vocals for me, I cut out most of her screeching, hopefully she won’t notice.
I’ve never done an album cover before and I’m really happy that my first time happened to be for No Regular Play, as I’ve always really loved their music. Nick and Greg had done a great job at putting together these headpieces, and so there wasn’t much other work to do apart from setting up a light and clicking the button and doing some knob-twiddling in photoshop.
The album comes on November 23rd, so grab it cause it’s hot!
What a lineup! Quite appropriate for the end of the world.
I popped this little one out amongst the various happenings that are going on right now.
Ana Rifa designed the amazing artwork for the event, and she handed some elements over to me to put this teaser promo together in After Effects.
Check out this interview with Damian which will give a little insight as to what this is all about.
The track used is taken from an upcoming album which is a compilation of different artists who each made a track in occasion of Day Zero. Hot stuff. This one is by Metrika.