Out in an empty field, always down at the wharves, a purple suit, obvious karaoke, a visit to the war memorial, Dane in spaaaace, and cartoon drama.
All Left Out “We’re Alive”
“We’re Alive” was All Left Out’s fifth and final funded music video, and also marked the end of their collaboration with director Ivan Slavov. The continuing story of their earlier videos has long ended, and “We’re Alive” functions as a fairly standard performance-based video. It’s basically All Left Out performing the song in front of a tilled field. The video is shot in black and white with just the lightest hint of blue and gold tones. It looks good, they perform well, but like it field, it feels empty.
Director: Ivan Slavov, Daniel Strang
Antiform “Bury Me”
Antiform collaborated with Canadian “rocktronica” band Awaking State for “Bury Me”. The main role has been given to an impossibly good looking guy who’s walking around like he’s in an ad for men’s fragrance. He’s pursued by a guy looking like a Harvey Keitel character in a Tarantino film. So there’s lots of purposeful striding across dramatic landscapes and down at the wharves. Always down at the wharves. The video ends with a dramatic showdown between the two men at a wharf, but the drama is instantly killed when a giant graphic pops up on screen reminding viewers where they can purchase the CD. Really? If you’re going to go to all that effort to make the video, at least let the ending play out before slapping an ad up.
Director: Andrew Timms
Babylon Riddim “Reggae is My Heart”
Babylon Riddum were the 2009 winners of Smokefree Pacifica Beats and the music video for “Reggae is My Heart” was part of their prize. I would describe “Reggae is My Heart” as very family friendly, and the video looks like exactly the sort of thing you’d expect from a high school band. Babylon Riddum are dressed like a nerdy danceband, playing to a what looks like a school disco. The band also appear in their civilian gear, performing on a hillside at night, overlooking Auckland. It’s a perfectly ordinary first music video.
Clap Clap Riot “Yoko Ono”
“Yoko Ono” is an infectious piece of pop about love, but the video ignores that and takes the lazy route of presenting it like a karaoke video. As the band frolics around Western Springs, we see a young of young East Asian guys singing along in a karaoke booth. I assume the connection is that Yoko Ono was born in Japan, as was karaoke – as if the most interesting thing about Yoko Ono is that she’s Japanese. But then, if the video isn’t going to be about love, why would it also be about the acclaimed multimedia artist?
Director: Karlie Fisher
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Daecolm “Magic Carpet Ride”
Daecolm is from South London, but he evidently has enough of a Kiwi connection to have got one lot of NZ On Air funding (“he works at jb hifi”, says a YouTube comment). “Magic Carpet Ride” is cheesy, old-fashioned R&B ballad that goes on for about 90 seconds longer than it ideally should. The video is set in London, and involves Daecolm walking around the streets with his girlfriend. They even stop by the New Zealand War Memorial to pay their respects, which is a nice touch.
Note: The video was on YouTube but has since been removed. To watch it, head over to the Chinese video hosting site Youku which randomly has it.
Director: Ryan Samuda
Dane Rumble “Cruel”
The “Cruel” video puts Dane in spaaaace, done through what looks like various video library clips. While Dane is delivering his No.3-charting pop hit, a CGI android looks at a human lady on a screen. Dane spends most of the time hiding behind his sunglasses, but takes them off when he delivers his rap. There’s something unusual going on with this face – it’s either been splattered with something that glows under UV lights (!) or it’s one of those UV cameras that shows hidden sun damage. Either way, the space theme for the video is an unusual choice for the song.
Director: Ivan Slavov
Dei Hamo “4221”
I thought maybe “4221” was some cool postcode, but it actually looks like it’s short for “4ever 2gether 2 love 1 another”. The video is animated, with cartoon Dei Hamo having drama with his girlfriend her friends – all of whom have giant bosoms. The detail in the animation is good. It’s a hallmark of the late ’00s that the video features a not only a cellphone but also shows Dei Hamo bumping into a pole while looking at his Nokia not the footpath.
Director: Ali Cowley
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision