March 2010: Kids of 88, Kidz In Space, King Kapisi, Kirsten Morrell, Maitreya, Nameless Sons, Nathan Haines, Nesian Mystik

Stretching and flexing, ghostly goings on, a Bangkok kickboxing gym, a hundreds and thousands man, the story and the ink, the hunter possibly becomes the hunted, an edgy London sound, and demons on wheels.

Kids of 88 “Downtown”

The Kids of 88 – they’re such shy boys. Their music is so bold, so in-your-face, and yet they shy away from the camera in their music videos. “Downtown” — a song that’s secretly about oral sex, yay — never shows the duo in close-up. They’re hunched figures, being cool dudes silhouetted against Special Problems’ fab graphics. We see more of women wearing white white leotards, stretching and flexing. The video also shows women from the waist down – normally this would come across as exploitive, but when the band members themselves are doing similar, it strengthens the feeling of disconnection.

Director: Special Problems

Kidz In Space “Ghost”

“Ghost” is a really decent track, featuring guest vocals from British wonky pop practitioner Dan Black. The video follows a boy, alone in and around an empty farmhouse. His explorations lead him to discover a ghost, a spooky looking girl. The video captures the feeling of the cold, damp farmhouse, the sort of place that of course a ghost is going to haunt. The boy and the supernatural girl become friends, which is a nice conclusion to this ghost story.

Director: Tim van Dammen
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

King Kapisi featuring The Mint Chicks “Superhuman”

This video was shot over yonder in Thailand, at the Sor Vorapin Kickboxing Gym in Bangkok. And as much as martial arts gyms have featured in music videos, this is one of the few that feels like something bigger than a music video set-up, and is a good mix with the “Superhuman” lyrics. So while kickboxers kick and box, King Kapisi sits ringside and raps. And there’s something very cool about hearing Island Bay and Newtown mentioned in a sweaty Bangkok gym.

Director: Bill Urale
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Kirsten Morrell “Ghosts”

“Ghosts” puts Kirsten in a forest, where she has a flirtatious encounter with… a man who looks like he’s been rolled in giant hundreds and thousands. There’s a bit of business with a cardboard box that serves as an interdimensional portal, but that’s soon forgotten and it’s just Kirsten and Hundyman in the woods. There’s even a blanket of invisibility, but despite the potential, nothing much happens with it. The video is a bit weird, the song is a bit weird, and it works out nicely.

Director: Helena Brooks

Maitreya featuring Awa “Sin City”

There’s a great story in this video. It follows Maitreya getting a ta moko. He meets with master ta moko artist Turumaniko Duley who creates a design for him based on his lifes story. The video documents this, as well as the process of Maitreya getting the tattooing done. Awa also appears to sing his part, along with more artistic footage that elaborates on the lyrics. There’s also a video with Maitreya’s rapped parts in te reo Maori.

Director: Marcus Ringrose

Nameless Sons “Forgive/Forget”

Nameless Sons is the jangly rock side project of Paul “Gramsci” McLaney. The video is set at night on a dirt road, where a car finds a man bound and gagged in the middle of the road. I’ve watched the video several times and I can’t quite follow what’s happening. There’s a sense that the guy works his way out of his restraints and starts pursuing the car, and the car can’t get away. It’s all very the hunter becomes the hunt-ed.

Director: Marc Swadel

Nathan Haines featuring Kevin Mark Trail “Pathway”

“Pathway” features guest vocals from British singer Kevin Mark Trail, best known for his earlier work with The Streets. He adds an edgy London sound to the song. The video is simple, shot in black and white, showing Nathan, Kevin and the rest of the band performing the song while film footage is projected on them. The video looks great, and it seems like a really good example of making a decent looking video on a low budget.

Director: Zia Mandviwalla
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Nesian Mystik “No.1”

“No.1” is somewhat ironically titled as it was the final of Nesian Mystik’s 15 songs to be funded. It also stayed well away from the top 40, not having a chance to reach the titular position. The song has that electronic pop sound that was all over 2010 and the video goes for a futuristic automobile racing theme, which seems inspired by the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer film from 2008.

“No.1” has an elaborate two-minute set-up, where the Nesian racers are introduced, along with the mysterious “racer with no name”. Once the song starts, it’s all CGI car races – it all looks good, but there’s no sense of jeopardy. And it probably goes without saying that the Racer X equivalent turns out to be the cute mechanic girl the band perved at earlier. It’s a very slick looking video, but it feels like it’s missing the spirit that made Nesian Mystik so likeable, so successful.

The group later released “Fresh Boyz” featuring Scribe, doing the bad-boy thing. But as much as “Fresh Boyz” promised an older, more dgaf Nesian Mystik, the band called it a day, splitting at the end of the promo cycle for their final album 99 A.D.

Director: Luke Sharpe

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