Animation: Spliced-Up Visuals

Japanese Visual Artist Directed Surreal Music Video for Young Juvenile Youth

We love the latest collaboration between Japanese visual artist Kosai Sekine and electronic duo Young Juvenile Youth, a stunning minimalist digital production Animation. “The music is a script for a music video,” Kosai tells us, reflecting on his process working with YJY’s two remembers – vocalist Yuki and producer Jemapur.

With a held close-up of Yuki’s face as she mimes the words to the duo’s new song, her face is digitally rendered to vibrate, split into slices and to fracture at the rate of glitches in the music. We are confronted with a Bjork-esque visual complement to lyrics that depict the themes of confusion and torment. Kosai directs the video with all these components in mind, never overwhelming the viewer with too many inferences but rather allowing the simplest gestures to provide shock and affect.

We caught up with Kosai to discuss his work:

TP: How did you come to work with Young Juvenile Youth?
Kosai Sekine:
Jemapur and I have been collaborating for long while. We first became team when I made a music video for him in 2006, called Maledict Car. Since then we worked together often and I had heard of YJY project from him. So it was quite natural that I got involved with them.

TP: Who came up with the ideas and concept for the video?
YJY and me talked a lot about the concept of YJY itself before we started to create images for them. As it will be their debut to a larger public it has to make an impact but still be artistic enough.
We didn’t talked about the music video too much, as I wanted to digest who they are first and then come up with what explains them best. So I came up with the idea after we stayed together talking about lots of things, music culture, art, science, the universe, politics, and more meaningless stuff, and I watched them playing. We even travelled together, so maybe it’s not like normal relationship between musicians and a music video director.

TP: What was the best thing about collaborating with the electronic unit?
Electronica fits with music videos very well, as it has distinctive beats and it makes great energy with the tempo of editing. That’s why people like Aphex Twin and Chris Cunningham create amazing videos. Electronica has a “sync” with the music video in its nature. So for music video directors it’s great to create film from there. If the music has good vibes there won’t be any doubt.

TP: What other musicians would you love to work with?
I don’t care whether people I work with are famous or not because when I make music videos the track has to be something I could really love. The reason is, when we do music videos it tends to be very low budget; directors and producers and all other crews can’t make their living by doing that if they don’t go for “commercial” music and music videos. So it has to be creative and artistic enough if you do it for free. In that sense I could do anyone’s music video if could believe in their music.

TP: What’s next for you?
A feature film. I am preparing for that now. I am also developing other music videos and short films and documentaries as well. I hope we can present the next music video with YJY soon.