Joint Force “Burntime”

1995-joint-force-burntimeMC OJ, Rhythm Slave and DLT return with the dub-influenced “Burntime”. Rather than the ambitiously cinematic “Static” video, “Burntime” keeps it much simpler with basic hip hop culture.

The video Ross Cunningham-directed video focuses on graffiti and breaking, letting Joint Force’s MCing and DJing take a back seat. And there’s graffiti art galore, with Otis and Mark rapping in front of giant murals, no green screen required.

Vinyl offcuts are laid down on the studio floor for some B-boy moves from the Megazoid crew. You know, there’s something very pleasing about seeing some classic breakdance moves.

There’s also good timelapse photography of a giant piece being painted by OJ, DLT and DT (aka Dan Tippett). A mural of scenic New Zealand is covered up with a new work proclaiming “BURN TIME”. It’s all very symbolic, with the great outdoors covered up with some fresh urban style.

The whole video serves as a valentine to New Zealand hip hop culture without forcing it like Scribe’s “Stand Up”. Here were a bunch of guys doing what they did and doing it well. And it worked – they’re still all part of New Zealand hip hop culture today.

Best bit: the headspin.

Director: Ross Cunningham
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Joint Force “Static (Part 1)”

1995-joint-force-staticAfter bursting onto the scene as hip hop duo MC OJ and Rhythm Slave, Otis and Mark later teamed up with DLT, previously of Upper Hutt Posse. Together the three were Joint Force – a nice short two-syllable name.

The “Static” video is incredibly ambitious. Rather than just showcasing the first single of this new trio, a rage against the media, the song becomes a soundtrack to a stylish action film, very strongly inspired by the hip new films of Quentin Tarantino.

There are plenty of music videos from the mid ’90s that were gripped with Tarantino fever, but the “Static” video actually manages to pull it off this particular style. I reckon it works because Joint Force were as cool as characters in a Tarantino film.

We meet Otis and Darryl in the particularly photogenic men’s toilets at Hotel DeBrett. These toilets also feature in Cicada’s 1996 “Future Folds” video and Tadpole’s “For Me”.

A mysterious Russian woman takes a phone call and some evil scientists attempt to decipher the secret codes in the group’s performance. Meanwhile, Mark emerges from the sea and then joins his bros in the loos.

As this may all suggest, there’s a lot of plot and acting in the video and sometimes the song takes second place. But that’s ok. It’s such a strong song that the snippets that bubble up from under the acting make me want to hear more. (And the full version can be heard below.)

All the mystery and intrigue in the video leads to a thrilling cliffhanger with a bomb about to explode. What happens next? Forget the video – next I’m going to try and track down the group’s “One Inch Punch” EP.

And here’s “Static (Part 2)”. It’s the full song – no high jinks – just the raw performance footage of the group that’s occasionally featured in Part 1. DIY Steadicam provided by a bungy cord.

Otis explains (via Facebook) how the second version came to be released:

We actually just shot this version so we had something to put on the monitors in the ‘CIA’ office when they were trying to decipher our codes in the other video. But it’s kinda nice and slick ‘n’ simple so we thought, Fuck it… Put ’em both out.

Director: Josh Frizzell
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision