June 2010: Deach, Deceptikonz, Dukes, Ekko Park, Glass Owls, Hollie Smith, J Williams

A solo vibe, down on the corner, he’s the lion man, furious CGI cityscape, monochrome splat, the nuns and the rabbit, and fashion is always danger.

Deach featuring Young Sid and Tyree “Deachy Is Back”

I don’t know why this is Deach featuring Young Sid and Tyree and not Smashproof, but I assume there’s a solo Deach vibe more than a Smashproof vibe. Deach performs his comeback song on a downtown Auckland rooftop at sunset, and the city looks amazing. Other times we see Deach in and old-style lift or in a graffiti-strewn basement with his pals. The song itself feels a bit dated, and might only appeal to Deach fans. But even still, the video itself works well.

Director: Anthony Plant
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Deceptikonz featuring David Dallas “We Here”

The “We Here” video mostly takes place on the corner of Shifnal Drive and Hyperion Drive in Manurewa. The video makes it look rough, shot in black and white with a lingering menace, but Google Street View reveals a low-income but nicely kept suburb, with a community centre just a few doors down. The Deceptikonz and D.dot gather at the corner to deliver their rhymes. Special mention must go to Mareko who presents the immortal line, “Two girls, one cup, make you bitches eat shit”. Ohhh… The video looks low-budget (and I’m not 100% if it ended up having NZ On Air funding), but it’s the Deceptikonz doing their thing and it’s just good to see Manurewa represented in a music video.

Director: Askew One
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Dukes “Time is a Train”

“Time is a Train” was shot at Zion Wildlife Gardens – you know, the home of the Lion Man until this happened. The video puts Dukes right in an enclosure with some cheetahs, though the YouTube description is at pains to point out that this was done via camera angles and CGI. The lead singer plays a guy who has taken a small ginger child to the zoo. He’s distracted by an attractive zookeeper, leaving the child to wander off into the lion’s carelessly unlocked enclosure. But before another Harambe-style tragedy takes place, the guy rushes in and rescues the child from the chilled-out CGI lion. It feels like the location has come first (a lion park!) and everything else – the plot, the song – has been shoehorned in.

Director: James Solomon

Ekko Park “You Said”

The hard thing about reviewing videos from less than 10 years ago is they’re at the point of looking really dated without having gained any retro charm (yet). So here’s Ekko Park, who seem to have taken inspiration from Linkin Park by taking a geographic feature and changing the spelling with a K. The video is a dramatic black and white CGI creation, featuring tall buildings make up of cloned floors. The Manhattan skyline also features, including, er, the World Trade Center. The CGI effects never stop, with relentless spirally and swooping, but in an attention hogging way that dominates the song.

Director: Ed Davis

Glass Owls “No Avail”

The “No Avail” video feels like an arty tribute to the goofy videos Joe Loni made with Goodshirt and other bands in the early 2000s. The band are dressed in white, performing in a white studio. As they play, some paintballers dressed in black appear on either side and shoot paintballs all over the place. The monochrome palette gives the classic “torture the band” trope an arty update.

Director: Alexander Hoyles

Hollie Smith “Hiding”

“Hiding” feels like a reworking of Hollie Smith’s “Mamma” video.  It’s another MoFresh production with a ’90s heist movie throwback feeling, and it features many of the same Auckland cool kids. But “Hiding” plays it cool. It’s based around a card game and uses many bullet-time shots. We’re introduced to a number of quirky characters – nuns, a man in a rabbit costume – who all go about their stylish business in slow motion. The video ends up being more memorable than the song, that’s not always a bad thing.

Director: Preston McNeil
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

J Williams featuring Dane Rumble “Takes Me Higher”

There’s a lot going on in this video. It takes place at a fashion parade, but it’s held at a vintage car showroom and all the models are wearing underwear. Not super sexy underwear – just the sort of ordinary stuff you’d get off the rack at Farmers. J Williams also has some one-on-one time with a young model, but there’s zero chemistry between them and it comes across as super creepy. The song itself is a decent piece of early 2010s electronic-influenced pop and it reached No.2 in the charts. But it’s like the video doesn’t have faith in the power of the song itself and wants to throw in cars ‘n’ girls as a distraction.

Director: Ivan Slavov

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