While previous Baitercell & Schumacher songs have used guest vocals, the videos never seem to feature the singers, instead relying on sci-fi worlds created by computer graphics. Things are very different in the “Gimme” video.
The video is set in reality and stars guest vocalists Niki Ahu and Flow on Show. And who needs a grainy CGI landscape when you have the old abandoned, graffiti-covered stands of Carlaw Park?
The performers are joined by two groups of dudes – one in white, the other in black. Things seem tense, but before it erupts into a Stanley Street version of West Side Story, everyone comes together to unite in dance. Wearing both black and white together (monochrome – so 2013) everyone enjoys some fresh B-boy moves.
The CGI worlds of Baitercell & Schumacher’s earlier videos are fine, but there’s just something that much more captivating about real people, singing and dancing in a music video. Let that be a cautionary tale for any bands thinking of making an animated video.
Best bit: the concrete block that seems to have magical powers.
Other thing: the lyrics name-check Kanye West’s debut single, “Through the Wire”, only a couple of years old.
The “Lock & Load” video takes inspiration from the song title and sets it in a world of guns, though of the video game variety. It’s set in an uncanny city intersection, with crude computer animation – just the sort of thing that would feature in a video game of the era.
Vocalist Bex plays the protagonist of the game and it’s a pretty simple game. Just her shooting people. There are lots of sound effects, mostly gunfire, and they threaten to dominate the video at the expense of the song. But then, as the song is a chaotic drum ‘n’ bass extravaganza, the gunfire does at least fit the mood.
Like the recent video for Tourist’s song “Do You Feel the Cold?”, this video was also the recipient of a $1500 grant from Positively Wellington Business to make the video in Wellington. So what do you do when the video is set in a fictitious, computer-generated world?
Well, all the building look Wellington-ish, the sort of Victorian style you see down the Courtenay Place end of town. And the buildings are decked out with the brands of local businesses – as well as obvious brands like Hell pizza, Red Bull and urban clothing retailer Spacesuit, there’s also the vegetarian cafe Pranah. Well, video game assassins can’t survive just on pizza and energy drinks.
The video feels a little bit messy, like they’ve created this video game world, but all there is to do with it is shoot the bad guys. Whereas real video games, well, they tend to be bit more sophisticated.
Best bit: the assassin shoots up a video shop. Not seen – the owner takes the insurance payout and retires before the home video market crashes.
According to the duo’s bio on Amplifier, “What’s Down Low” was “the #2 most played track on NZ Alt Radio for 2004”. Well, that’s something.
This “cult breaks track” (says the YouTube description) features guest vocals from Miss Bex Bexasty, but the video features neither Bailtercell, Schumacher or Bexasty.
Instead it features footage of urban scenes, both indoors and outdoors, with the images sliced into smaller boxes on screen. It’s like that trend for 1960s-style overlapping boxes, but stripped of its humanness and given a cold, hard computer personality.
“Show me hell,” the lyrics implore. And we’re shown a deserted road straddled by big power pylons, shot in black and white footage that’s more a depressing grey than sharp black and white.
Then things get micro with a close up of some fat raindrops, and we see them falling down onto the city streets, filmed like falling bomb rather than delicate droplets. It’s obvious that a lot of stuff in the video is computer generated. But is all of it? It’s hard to tell, with the low-ish res version on YouTube and the greyness of the footage. But I like that – an uncanny valley city.
Best bit: the star-shape formed by the upwards camera angle through the city buildings.