The concept of merging killer visuals with a musical performance is nothing particularly new – Kraftwerk were one of the AV pioneers, whilst the Gorillaz broke ground with their line drawn band and acts like Hexatic and New Opera Hero are constantly impressing with beats overlaid with digital graphics.
That said, as technology advances with augmented reality techniques, projection mapping and sophisticated bespoke softwares the results are becoming increasingly spectacular, more immersive, something close to AV theatre.
Brazilian artist Amon Tobin’s on-going tour of his latest album ISAM has pulled in audiences of art and music lovers alike with a jaw-dropping 25’ x 14’ x 8’ multi-dimensional/ shape shifting 3-dimensional art installation that surrounds him and the audience in a veneer of kinetic light, flashing projections and glowing cubes. The audience is temporarily transported to a fantastical environment that skips between a computer game vortex, a spacescape and everything in between.
On February 3rd, the Chemical Brothers release their film Don’t Think created with their long time collaborator Adam Smith. 20 cameras have attempted to capture the electricity and psychedelic trip of a Chemical Brothers live gig from a fans perspective capturing the ambitious graphics and of course, the music in ultra clear Dolby Digital Surround Sound 7:1. The promise is trippy, “above you, lights swoop and strafe across armies of marching toy robots and galloping deconstructed horses; paint balls explode in front of borderline psychotic clowns”.
Even musical genres that traditionally shun frippery are exploring AV to enhance euphoric big beats and basslines. Drum’n’Bass Godfather Andy C recently unleashed Alive taking the gritty grimey d’n’b experience to a new, cultured level. A new A&H DB4 mixer allows Andy to control the visuals as he mixes where different tracks and genres are synced to different visual clips.