April 2008: Antiform, Audio Empire, Bulletproof, David Dallas, dDub

Secret underground pop, un-New Zealand, parkour leaps, a Friday night hoon, and Victorian paper craft.

Antiform featuring Tiki Taane “Got To Be You”

Drum ‘n’ bass group Antiform get Tiki Taane in on vocal duty, giving an edge to what is secretly a very poppy little number. The video continues the disguise, set in a dark venue which combines Chinoiserie, graffiti and chainlink fences. It’s a step above the average “gritty club” video. There’s a good sense of narrative, it’s well photographed and edited. Yay.

Director: Gary John
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Audio Empire “Lights”

Audio Empire’s first video featured the American escapologist Harry Houdini, their second featured the bustle of Las Vegas, while “Lights” is all about the Manhattan skyline. This is a New Zealand band that isn’t particularly fond of New Zealand. Their official bio confirms this, boasting that their sound “aligns much closer to American rockers such as the Foo Fighters than your typical ‘kiwi-rock’ bands.” The result – both sonically and visually – is a generic band that could be from anywhere in the anglophonic rock world. That’s not to say that a band from New Zealand should pack their video full of Kiwiana, but when a band tries to be as generic as possible and strip all their identity, they risk losing any traces of personality.

Director: Ivan Slavov
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Bulletproof featuring Tiki Taane “Dark Times”

Tiki Taane was busy in 2008. “Dark Times” features his guest vocals, but the stars of the video are a number of parkour guys, who proceed to run, jump, climb and leap all over central Auckland. They’re being chased by men in suits who are after a CD (so dystopian!). And despite all the parkourists’ skills, the less athletic men in suits easily manage to stay close on their trail, oddly diminishing the tension.

Directors: Rajneel Singh, Adrian McGaw
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

David Dallas “Get out the Way”

“Get out the Way” is a tale of some young dudes in Auckland spending a Friday night hooning around in their sweet ride. It’s shot in a faux home video style, with the camera riding along in the back seat. It’s goofy and fun and it feels like a proper slice of Friday night downtown Auckland culture. David Dallas doesn’t appear in the video, and sometimes his song feels secondary to the video footage. There’s also a great sense of tension and peril, because young men + car = smash, right?

Director: Rebecca Gin
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

dDub “Making My Way Home”

Suddenly dDub get a fancy music video. It’s a hallmark of the late 2000s, a time when sophisticated, artistic music videos gradually became a lot cheaper and easier to make, thanks to advances in digital technology. This video uses a mix of CGI and real-like cardboard puppets, a modern take on a Victorian theatre. It’s a stylish and fun adventure.

Director: James Solomon, Leah Morgan

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