After bursting onto the scene as hip hop duo MC OJ and Rhythm Slave, Otis and Mark later teamed up with DLT, previously of Upper Hutt Posse. Together the three were Joint Force – a nice short two-syllable name.
The “Static” video is incredibly ambitious. Rather than just showcasing the first single of this new trio, a rage against the media, the song becomes a soundtrack to a stylish action film, very strongly inspired by the hip new films of Quentin Tarantino.
There are plenty of music videos from the mid ’90s that were gripped with Tarantino fever, but the “Static” video actually manages to pull it off this particular style. I reckon it works because Joint Force were as cool as characters in a Tarantino film.
A mysterious Russian woman takes a phone call and some evil scientists attempt to decipher the secret codes in the group’s performance. Meanwhile, Mark emerges from the sea and then joins his bros in the loos.
As this may all suggest, there’s a lot of plot and acting in the video and sometimes the song takes second place. But that’s ok. It’s such a strong song that the snippets that bubble up from under the acting make me want to hear more. (And the full version can be heard below.)
All the mystery and intrigue in the video leads to a thrilling cliffhanger with a bomb about to explode. What happens next? Forget the video – next I’m going to try and track down the group’s “One Inch Punch” EP.
And here’s “Static (Part 2)”. It’s the full song – no high jinks – just the raw performance footage of the group that’s occasionally featured in Part 1. DIY Steadicam provided by a bungy cord.
Otis explains (via Facebook) how the second version came to be released:
We actually just shot this version so we had something to put on the monitors in the ‘CIA’ office when they were trying to decipher our codes in the other video. But it’s kinda nice and slick ‘n’ simple so we thought, Fuck it… Put ’em both out.
Director: Josh Frizzell
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision