Mirrorball - Fresh Tracks 2

Mirrorball - Fresh Tracks 2


Reviewed by: George Williamson

Mirrorball's Fresh Tracks 2 features music from Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, James Blunt and Kasabian, with pictures from Waverly Films, Evan Bernard, Dom & Nic and Reuben Sutherland - and Glasgow born director Lynne Ramsay.

Waverly Films start the proceedings with a piece of quirky cuteness, some so-bad-it's-good ironic comedy. It's a nice idea, having kittens be obviously prompted with spoons of catfood to role play a day in the life of Norman Cook under the guise of it being a fan made video - and thus excusing the faux poor quality. It is quite funny, but animal lovers will doubtlessly decide it's a bit of unpleasant catsploitation.

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In The Chemical Brothers' Believe (Dir. Nic & Dom) a factory line worker becomes obsessed with the articulated robotic arms in his workplace; he sees them chasing him around the city like huge, snapping mechanical mantises. Nothing too grisly ensues, but there's something about the giant loping hulks, with their hydraulic jaws, that is deeply unsettling. Machines are also the focus of the video for Mint Royale's Singin In The Rain - the remixed track from the recent VW advert featuring a bodypopping Gene Kelly. This time, the automata are made from floating pieces of rubbish in a tube station and have a penchant for breakdancing; it's much less sinister, but enjoys a similar level of technical brilliance.

Also on show is Lynne Ramsay's first foray into music video for The Doves song Black And White City. It's emblazoned with her indubitable style - a cold and bleak estate where grim faced, anaemic looking children fight, run and play between the gloomy buildings - if Ken Loach did music videos, based on Sweet Sixteen, it would look like this. But it is nice to see a video for a major band that is serious, not featuring any face-time from the artists, and it will be interesting to see if she pursues promos any further, as she certainly has a talent for it. A similar urban vibe is instilled in Adam Smith's wedding brawl promo for The Streets' Blinded By The Lights. Mike Skinner gets completely mashed, takes a few pills and starts a ruckus at his friend's reception, while searching for a girl he said he'd meet. It's polished and unpleasant to watch, but perfectly linked to the tune and is almost as memorable as Jonas Akerlund's classic work for Smack My Bitch U.

Other memorable videos include Evan Bernard's inspired A-Z of drugs stereotypes promo for Soulwax - it's an alphabetic cornucopia of narcotics and their effects. Reuben Sutherland's strong ecological message, masquerading as a video, for Phoenix Foundation is a fun little animation with dancing electric Ladas and evil American flag touting 4x4s. There's also a lovely video for Boom Click that sees the world from a completly different perspective - guaranteed to make you smile at the end - and a nice little comic offering for Brendan Benson where little animated people run around a recording studio being beastly to one another; it's very funny. The rest of the films included are good, but nothing as memorable as the ones already mentioned.

Mirrorball - Fresh Tracks 2 is better than Fresh Tracks 1, but neither is as good as the Mirrorball Animation or Made In Japan reels, both of which grasp a higher level of originality than this, but it is still very enjoyable if you want a taste of the state of music video right now.

Reviewed on: 26 Aug 2005
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