Che Fu “Misty Frequencies”

2001-che-fu-misty-frequenciesIn the beginning there was Che Fu’s head. It pops up in a black void, before it’s suddenly revealed that Che and the nine members of his band are standing atop a strange brown platform. They discover that, oddly enough, they all have cables trailing from their backs and they can make musical sounds from their mouths. No one seems alarmed by this situation, and they excitedly plug their biocables into jacks.

Plugged in, the song starts with the sound graphing itself on the wall below the platform. Such is the power of the song that even unplugging it keeps the visual tricks going, with frequency graphics bouncing around the posse’s shirts.

The location is slowly revealing itself to be like a real-life video game, though with no apparent challenges, enemy to fight or princess to save. The gang throw Tetris blocks off the wall, then the wall turns into a Mario-inspired universe, with mushrooms and coins flying around. A flower pot appears and – obviously – Che plugs a cable into it. This transports the group to a real-life outdoor scene, some proper New Zealand bush.

The guys groove on, and are visited by one of the giant mushrooms from the earlier location. There’s no sign of Princess Peach. The video ends with the bush scene falling away in Tetris-like pieces, suggesting it’s no more real than the video game location.

The video feels like Che Fu, at the top of his game, making the music video he wants to make – and it was nominated for Best Video at the 2003 New Zealand Music Awards. It’s him and his mates reliving an ultimate childhood fantasy of exploring a video game for real. And maybe that’s the videos weakness – it feels a bit too much of “Hey, check out this cool shizz!” with little more to it. Unless I’ve overlooked a metaphorical commentary on the nature of the music industry.

Best bit: the pounamu piece smashing the Tetris blocks.

Director: Che Fu
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… it’s great when you’re straight.

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