Space is only noise if you can see

Space is only noise if you can see
See I want to write a story about two long lines
Two pretty lines that fall in love
Two little spaces they’re filled with echoes
Did the lines ever intersect one another, at a moment in time?
"Moment time"..

Have you always cross like this?
Have you been this way all the time?
Have you been this way all the time or
Were you always trying to get you with me?

You used to check the weather
Now you stopped that
You used to look at time
Now you stopped that
You used to wear red
Now you wear white

What happens all the time it happens all the time
Replace the word space with a drink and forget it
Space is only noise if you can see.
Grab a calculator and fix yourself.

Read the news baby, read the news
Watch your clock baby, watch your clock
Watch the weather baby on TV
Its all to get if you can see

Grab a calculator and fix yourself
Space is only noise if you can see

See I want to write a story about two long lines
Two pretty lines that fall in love
Two little spaces they’re filled with echoes
Did the lines ever intersect one another, at a moment in time?
"Moment time"..



Maslow told us pretty much everything we need to now about needs. True human ones that don’t actually include wifi like the modern pyramid shows us today. You have to piss and eat, feel safe in the wilderness, warm yourself by belonging somewhere or to some one, feel good about it, and keep growing as a spirit - that last one it’s kind of uncanny, so it goes as “optional” for most fellows.

And yes, sometimes we just stick to the pissing part and that’s all - like if you have a rainy day like this: there’s no place you can find yourself to fit in, the grey pretty much clouds your esteem anyways… so a safe September piss should just get you through the day. But even dough we should remind those Maslow needs more often, the very simple ones, I come to think that our frivolous modern ways are pretty much turning them in to goals. We rush it, we throw it and get across these three spit fires:

Time vs easy (online) open windows vs goals to achieve.

We have little time or we run it less smoothly, less patiently to become available or (god forbid!) vulnerable. So we get jumpy - from need to need and up and down, grabbing from here and there, getting ready for the next round through whatever channel we can get comfort from. 

We eat for the sake of it, going for “fast”and not “taste” as taste takes time, experience, risking the bitter and sweet. That’s asking too much for one’s voracious mouth right now. For that matter, we don’t live things trough. Like if we where just passing by, window by window, collecting gold coins in each corner as Super Mario pursuing the next level - his actual goal was to save the Princess… after that, cannot imagine what came of them (specially if Mario would find out that the Princess does not always dress like one and doesn’t really enjoy pizza).

So we’ve been going through this everyday game for while now. Crossing each need like a task and reaching each one as goal. And we’re always in such a rush to get to that sweet goal of ours that once it’s achieved it just gets pointless. We do this to ourselves and to others.

So here today, the novelty is gold and we’re so afraid of missing it that I think much is being left behind, blindly. 

Because we are becoming goal diggers, like gold diggers, alright. 

NILE - when video makes it flow

This is pretty much the translation (in this shitty english of mine) of my latest article for Público/P3:

To Rob and Anne. 
Yours truly *


I feel that there is one thing that can become most overwhelming for the common man. And that thing is a good music video.


In the past two decades the music scene has been particularly blessed with prodigious syncing between great songs and great visual projections. Video, video mapping, design and concept generation over one song or lyric have been kicking one’s eyes and ears in the last years. Better yet, we’ve been observing the rising of songs through story arcs that amplify whatever feeling or guttering reaction you might get only through listening.

That is a step towards greatness, something which is hard to craft. A challenge indisputably well mastered by iconic figures such as Chris Cunningham, Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry, as they manage more than pure skill (and skill can take you as far as technique goes). There’s no recipe to follow or even a style to honour: just interpretation and conceptualisation. We might blame the “wow factor” on the semiotics relative to the infinite capacity of arts or the philosophical realm of men who interpret it - but what’s to blame if their marriage can be just like the perfect one? And as all great marriages, which tend to be few and rare nowadays, these became even more delightful to aspire.

The Buggles told us that Video Killed the Radio Star, back in ’79, but truly we’ve passed that fired “killing idea” of video surpassing a hearing, as viral/instantaneous videos keep coming out randomly and poorly each second not leaving much to it’s representation. We can also think about the decay of music channels that now came a bit lost on their mottos too. None the less, greater concepts and truly artistic manifestos keep coming strongly to life in online platforms where video doesn’t surpass anything… it actually complements and arises, helping the audience to build wider impressions - everlasting ones. Performances combined with technology, design and words connecting melody, beat and echo to frame, photography and movement.


That powerful combination is something the british filmmaker Rob Chiu strongly provided us during the last month becoming the better half of powerful singles like We Disappear by Jon Hopkins featuring Lulu James in a choreographic experiment recognisable in Rob’s graphic dimensions, or Nile the most recent release for an impressive 23 year old breakthrough artist Douglas Dare.

Setting both music videos to release in less than a month, Rob Chiu was happy to create such different results and approaches: “We Disappear is the total opposite of Nile, a different result from a distinct process, so I’m quite happy to have two films that I’m proud of, born at opposite angles relative to each other, both created around the same time exploring music that I’am a fan of”.

So we took an eye on this last release brought to light on Nowness, chatting with Chiu
- also known for years as “The Ronin”: nickname settled when his works as motion designer and director took of, both nationally and internationally, placing him as a central figure in creative festivals all over the world.

Nile has idyllic sets from North Wales around Snowdonia and Saddleworth Moor, between Huddersfield and Oldham. You actually want to go there… bounding with both song and frame. So if in one hand we have the depth of soul and mournful words from a ballad - brought up by a very young performer that is putting out his experiments on his debut album Whelm - in the other we have Chiu’s projections and art to go with it, building up that good marriage to aspire to. 

For those how have been following Rob’s work and his mind blowing photographs of his fiancé Anne this past months, they will recognise the film’s framing from his most recent photography collection. “I’ve been taking photographs of her during our trips and I was actually thinking about making an exhibition about them but while editing I had the idea of keeping that exact same framing all throughout the film so that you’d never see her face, thus you’d never know who she is, later the idea of having her breaking apart as if something was slowly destroying her from the insides. It is quite a deep concept with multiple layers but at the same time it can be very simple and beautiful to look at, leaving it to the viewer’s own interpretation”.


We can’t quite help but to feel amazed by the central character’s path and unhurried destruction (in a very lyrical way). “We shot high speed footage of a mannequin dressed in black t-shirts and set them on fire. It was quite a long process with a lot of R+D happening at the same time. We also used empty plates of the scenery so that he could paint out Anne’s arm in the film and replace it with what would be behind her thus making it seem as if she is disappearing”.


As a fan of the Erased Tapes roster, including artists like Nils Frahm, Anne Muller, AWVFTS, Peter Broderick or Olafur Arnalds, for Chiu it just felt right trying to collaborate with ET at some point. “I was introduced to Robert Raths who runs the label and asked him if I could pitch some ideas for it. He set up a meeting between me and Douglas, we met up and brainstormed in a cafe in Shoreditch”.

And they took it from there making it flow. Just like it should.

You look in their eyes, even in a picture, doesn’t matter if they’re dead or alive, you can still read ‘em. You know what you see? They welcomed it… not at first, but… right there in the last instant. It’s an unmistakable relief. See, cause they were afraid, and now they saw for the very first time how easy it was to just… let go. Yeah. They saw, in that last nanosecond, they saw… what they were.

You, yourself, this whole big drama, it was never more than a jerry rig of presumption and dumb will, and you could just let go. To finally know that you didn’t have to hold on so tight. To realize that all your life, all your love, all your hate, all your memories, all your pain, it was all the same thing. It was all the same dream, a dream that you had inside a locked room, a dream about being a person. And like a lot of dreams, there’s a monster at the end of it.


É sempre feliz o regresso de Nicolas Jaar a Lisboa. 

Uma vez por ano que seja, ele vem, toca, pouco se mexe senão pelo que produz ao vivo, arma com que nos assalta fazendo esquecer os 24 anos que tem - ou antes lembrar uma imensidão por crescer, conseguindo vir a ser (ainda) melhor.


Na electrónica melodiosa, na voz e nos casamentos que faz, como o pacto em Darkside, Jaar fechou o NOS Alive da melhor forma possível. Fechou-nos os olhos, agitou-nos o interior. 


E quando voltar, sabemos - sim -, será melhor. Outra vez. 

Fotos: Ivo Purvis

IMMUNITY, onde mora a vulnerabilidade.


Ter um compasso próprio. Uma pulsação que ora acelera, ora acalma a memória de impulsos que os sentidos dizem só teus. Sabes desses simples movimentos e dos puxões de nervo que te desassossegam o interior quando te lá mexem - ali. Essas camadas que como a pele te fazem um ser vulnerável a tudo o resto, são as mesmas onde Jon Hopkins tocou e sob as quais procurou trabalhar, acuradamente, até fazer crescer o gigante Immunity.


A dose de intimidade aqui colocada não se compara à de Diamond Mine, álbum bem aninhado à colaboração com King Creosote e que lhe valeu uma Mercury-nomination em 2011, ou mesmo aos seus passados trabalhos a solo, de Opalescent a Insides, nunca tão audíveis ou comparáveis ao sucesso dos projectos que ia desenvolvendo em paralelo - falando na dimensão de múltiplas bandas sonoras, arranjos e dedicação a nomes como os Coldplay, para quem produziu Viva la Vida e com quem tem vindo a trabalhar até ao mais recente Ghost Stories. Mas também por isso se coloca, agora, num desafio de peito aberto, para um rapaz de 34 anos: “Aprendes com os erros, também há componentes que a nível técnico tens de aprofundar, nem que seja com outras coisas, e os primeiros álbuns são sintoma disso. Aprendi e muito graças a outras coisas que fui fazendo, por gosto ou necessidade.”

Então, o álbum que apresenta com data de 2013 diz-se techno, tem tempo ou BPMs para o ser, sem reproduzir o expectável, não fosse o contorno melódico uma assinatura inconfundível do produtor e músico. “As pessoas precisam de catalogar o género, saber onde pôr as coisas, mesmo que não enquadre a experiência que vão ter”, disse, porque na verdade… Eu não o consigo catalogar. Nem quero.

Antes de poder adivinhar o que se seguia, o ouvido nos avanços de We Disappear é nada mais nada menos do que o virar da chave, o subir das escadas e o bater da porta do seu estúdio. E a viagem inicia-se aí, pelos passos que ecoam na cabeça de Jon e fazem caminho para uma banda sonora colada àquela mesma pele que tem respostas viscerais, da casa, para rua, para a pista e para dentro - lá dentro - outra vez.


Com a mesma postura com que arrebatou, timidamente, a audiência do Theatro Circo, num já saudoso Semibreve, Jon sentou-se à mesa numa Lisboa mais soalheira do que a sua Londres baldada a Este, com a expectativa duma sala que desejava - honestamente - não fosse grande, fosse para si. “Não acho que o meu som seja bem conseguido para uma massa enorme de gente, tem um registo de dança, mas é intimista ao mesmo tempo. Envolve a absorção dos visuais… é uma experiência. Por isso, se o som for bom, entre um espaço grande e um pequeno, antes o pequeno”. Ainda que vindo de um muito recheado Sonár em Barcelona - mesmo que na sua versão diurna -, o Musicbox Lisboa preparava já, para sua justiça, 300 pessoas presentes numa lotação esgotada que se fez ansiar ainda mais sob a ameaça de falhas de corrente. 

Logo aí, o que Jon dizia faria sentido: “Se calhar hoje em dia a minha música envolve em boa parte a minha perspectiva de meditação, de conseguir evadir-me para outro lado, por isso desde  o som à componente visual, tudo isso influi no estado e no momento que se quer envolvente por isso.” E foi. Na verdade, e talvez influenciado pela prática de Yôga nos últimos 3 anos - “a life changing event” - conseguiu afundar a audiência nesse estado hipnótico, entre combinações de batidas, cordas, captações ambientes reproduzidas em layers cujo mergulho levou a margens deep, que a electrónicanão ouvia há muito. E como poderia, se entre linhas de piano e suspiros, saem sacudidelas sintetizadas que desconstroem 300 almas em pé? Ali.


Elevou assim as máximas de Brian Eno, referência que lhe serve ainda para inspiração, mais do que o trabalho actual ou do processo perfeccionista que agora constrói por si próprio. 

Ciente dos moods que o definem, mas sobretudo das cores e tons com que categoriza cada música, Jon passou mais recentemente a realização do seu novo videoclip a Rob Chiu. O resultado é reconhecível na dimensão gráfica do realizador e na fotografia de Patrick Meller, ambos destacados para aprofundar a participação de Lulu James em We Disappear. Chiu, já bastante conhecido por cá, é presente várias vezes no país e amigo da capital, foi originalmente pensado para realizar Collider, mas veio antes a suceder à realização de Open Eye Signal, onde agradece contar com Meller para sua dupla.


“O Jon deu um brief forte, descreveu exactamente o mood e as cores que poderia ter, entre algumas ideias que pudemos fazer crescer à vontade, com liberdade para interpretar a coisa. Por isso, senti muito mais o desafio como um projecto pessoal do que como uma encomenda, o que foi perfeito.” Acabado de sair, o vídeo coreografado por Holly Blakey tem movimentos recortados, fortes, e a fluidez que lhe representa uma delicadeza qualquer. Uma diferente.

Jon Hopkins - We Disappear (feat. Lulu James) from Rob Chiu on Vimeo.

“Sou fã do trabalho do Jon e isso ajuda muito quando tens de ouvir, sentir e reviver uma faixa como se fosse tua. Muitas vezes. Depois pegar em tudo aquilo que foi produzido em cerca de 4 semanas e montar, fazer mover ao ponto certo, pôs-me alguma pressão… Quando gostas do artista, para mais, tens ainda um maior anseio para que o resultado viva no imaginário dos outros como no teu.” 

Se sábado abriu portas e se esta semana We Disappear as recupera, só podemos deixar ficar por mais um pouco o reconforto de o ter tido aqui. E relembrar o “até já”, marcado para breve.


Esta versão do artigo tem mais de 3000 caracteres, sendo escrito no antigo acordo ortográfico.