Warp Vision (The Videos 1989-2004)

Warp Vision (The Videos 1989-2004)
Watching music videos can be exhilarating or tiring, depending on how the look goes with the feel of the music. In Warp's first collection of videos — from Sweet Exorcist's 1990 video for "Testone" (Martin Wallace/Jarvis Cocker) until Jamie Lidell's 2004 video for "The City" (Frederic D) — it is obvious which directors "got" the song they were working with and which ones tried to force their artistic will onto the music. The collection can be divided into videos with narratives and videos without that depend on snazzy post-production and graphics, some of which succeed and some of which don't. While the videos with narratives, like Aphex Twin's 1997 video for "Come to Daddy" (Chris Cunningham), Squarepusher's 1997 "Come On My Selector" (Chris Cunningham) and LFO's 2003 video for "Freak" (Daniel Levi) are generally the most compelling, there are non-narrative videos that stand out. Beans's 2004 video "Mutescreamer" (Adam Levite) is just shots of him jumping around lip-synching in a forest in the winter but it is made interesting by the camera angles, lenses and other post-production tricks. Likewise, Jamie Lidell's 2004 video for "The City" (Frederic D) is nothing more than Lidell standing outside of a beer store with shaving cream on his face dramatically lip-synching while shaving with a pink Bic razor. Shot close-up with several long takes, it's hard to take your eyes off the screen, even during the long grey screen played as the song ends. In total more than half of the 32 videos are enjoyable to watch but only a handful of them are genius (hello, Chris Cunningham!). There are some real gems that haven't been released elsewhere, but as label-wide releases tend to be, it's both a thumbs up and thumbs down situation. (Warp/Outside)