Who is this guy? Again, surprised by my interest in this type of music. I listened to some of his other tracks but this one hits the spot for me. Rich Chigga. One guy said that he says ‘nigger’ without it sounding like it.
This video came across my screen while I was working and was immediately caught by the deep bass, the smooth laid back style and soothing voice of this young Korean lady. I am not normally attracted to this hip hop style of music, but this was something special.
MOXIE is extremely pleased to showcase An Tôn Thất’s latest MV L’appel du vide, a seductive and haunting video by the artist, director and composer.
L’appel du vide translates to ‘the call of the void’. His journey brings him to a place of solitude within the seeming emptiness of life. There is deep longing in this composition, one of looking back in one’s life with questions. Shot in empty parking lots, alleyways and night streets, the barren landscape and scenery lend itself to the mood and thrust of the music. Dancer WeiHan Li’s movements are lyrical, fluid and filled with lament –‘ empty page, gaping hole…’. The lyrics are by Bibbe Hansen and brought to life and movement through An’s music. For those unfamiliar with Bibbe, she collaborated on many films with pop artist Andy Warhol.*
Particularly matched is An’s melancholic voice, never too strong and somewhat reticent. Musically, this track is one his most accomplished efforts, combining a mix of selective instruments… the electric guitars, drums, synthesized punctuations that are cleverly combined to create a vacuous sense of space in the song. The cello at 2.57 is wonderful, introduced so eloquently, evoking a deeper side of ourselves. This has to be one of An’s more memorable pieces to date, as one can easily hear the music long after playing it. The pace is never rushed, allowing for the viewer to sink deeper into its world.
Many of An Tôn Thất’s compositions have sadness, confusion and feelings of tragedy infused into both the music and video, personal takes on what he is feeling and absorbing in his daily life. What is sure though, is that An’s artistic ability has gone beyond those of many, and his artistic direction in L’appel du vide demonstrates his vision to even greater detail and emotion. Is there a chance for healing from the pain? There is no resolve in the video, and to that, it succeeds wonderfully.
Aaken – An Tôn Thất’s website
*MOXIE has an exclusive interview with An Tôn Thất’s in the next magazine issue of MOXIE 03, where An talks about his serendipitous meeting with Bibbe Hansen.
Someone messaged in video comments if anyone was watching this in 2017. I responded, ‘I am in Hong Kong and have been lost to the music scene for decades. This is such a beautifully filmed video. It has structure and architectural elements apart from being styled impeccably, a superb match for the track.’
The thought and creativity that went into the video production of Hurt’s Wonderful Life left me applauding to the genius team. The dancers and synchronised swimmers were superbly choreographed, as well as the costumes and cinematography. The nonchalant attitude of the ladies hardly looking at the camera reminded me of Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love, which I’ve linked down below.
Hurt’s Wonderful Life also reminds me of the music I would probably hear in the mid-80’s, in particular the instrumentation and melody, a dreamlike chilled sound that is cool and haunting. The muted, dreary blue-grey tones are well-suited for storyline, which is about a man’s desire for death but was saved after discovering love (at first sight). A tad melodramatic as storylines go, but redeemed by the production itself.
Storyline aside, the women that adorn this video should be commended, in particular synchronised swimmers — voluptuous full-figured ladies. The scene when they plop feet first into the pool, one by one, is particularly memorable, as is the under and above water shots.
Oh, I promised the link to Addicted to Love…
I had the privilege of listening to Annie Lennox live in Toronto when she was still with Dave Stewart. I remembered sitting towards the far back of the arena, but was entranced by the powerful, distinct, majestic voice. She commanded the stage. In one of the sets, a strong crew member lifted a spot light to her, followed her on stage, while casting a gigantic shadow behind her. It was raw and memorable. When she broke off with Dave, I too, wondered what would happen. Could move on without Eurythmics overshadowing her? After all, Eurythmics was undoubtedly an enormous success. Why was the first single that was released. It came out at the same time as my breakup with my first boyfriend. The relationship nearly killed me (yes, it’s like this when it is your first) and the song resonated deeply in my heart. I recall lying in my bed curled up in pain while Annie belted out the lyrics to Why. It was not exactly the most powerful song, but the visuals from the video certainly helped, as Annie slowly puts on makeup in front of a mirror. By the end of the video, she is decked out in a Vegas styled showgirl outfit. On the outside we are alway putting up a show of who we want the outside world to see us, but ultimately, we are souls inside seeking some kind of understanding of who we are through the window of love.
There are not a many singers that capture the my attention, being highly selective on the voice and how it’s delivered and whether it has soul, depth, and emotion. So yes, I am rarely impressed. Then today, while listening to a rather bad cover of a song that I felt had something good in it, I was lead to the singer-songwriter LP (Laura Pergolizzi) whose shrill, twangy voice took my ears on edge. The track Lost on You, written by Mike Del Rio and Nate Campany, who I had never heard of before, is a rhythmic, slow groove — an ideal match for LP’s voice to take command of. The feelings that LP injects into the song is delightful, soulful and savoury. The first video I listened to was the original/official version, which starts off with a young pretty lady taking a shower. LP comes into the screen shortly and I think how odd…. I admit that I didn’t know if LP was a guy or a girl. You know what I mean? Then her voice came in, perfectly match to the deep thumping bass. Sublime…. I was entranced not only by LP’s voice, but the song too. I then found the LIVE version, which was equally powerful and with more presence than the official version. Close-ups of LP’s lips revealed the deep workings of a singer with music ingrained in her, feelings that infused into the words. Then… I felt a flash of Amy Winehouse. There was something similar. Real music. Real singers. Real Soul.