Magicicada is no stranger to synthesizing found or stray sounds into something entirely new. On any given day, Christopher White's long-running experimental project produces jagged symphonies of piercing noise, free noise jams, or seamless audio collages built from apparent shrapnel of White's studio. Following an entire batch of remixes re-imagining a 30-second snippet taken from Faun and a Pan Flute's upcoming album, Magicicada just dropped the haunted, disorienting psycho-collage "Confused Heap" via Soundcloud, a tune that dives even deeper into the manic editing spree otherwise known as White's recording process. To celebrate, White rounded up five of videos - both pre- and post-YouTube - that left a considerable mark on his psyche. These ephemeral bits of footage and sound perfectly evoke the seemingly planned randomness of Magicicada.
Einstürzende Neubauten - "Halber Mensch"
One late (pre-internet) night in Bixby, Ok., around 1987, I came across USA network's Night Flight (cable TV was a different beast back in '87) which was a variety show of music videos, comedy, B-movies, and documentaries hosted by the perplexingly popular Gilbert Gottfried.
This particular evening was The Some Bizarre Show featuring Einstürzende Neubauten and their short film "Halber Mensch." My 13 year old brain was horrified and excited by what I was witnessing: "Who are these men pounding on trash in an abandoned warehouse? Why is that guy staring at a pile of wriggling worms? Why do they look so scary and why do I love it so very much?!"
It took three more years for me to find a release by them on tape, mainly because I had no idea how to spell or pronounce their name. Watch all four parts. True punk. Sex Pistols had nothing on them. Essential and inspiring.
Asa-Chang & Junray - "Hana"
Holy Geez. Asa Chang & Junray is so amazingly incredible, and this video perfectly illustrates the flow of the song so well. This track comes from the album Jun Ray Song Chang and I love it without reservation. Melody and rhythm are the same thing in this world. Toss away your need to categorize and just listen to this strange, yet familiar language. Pure awesome joy. Wish I could find an HD version of this video. also check the less compressed version here.
Omar Souleyman - "Leh Jani"
Filmed at various locations in Syria and edited together from over 10 years of archived video. Endless blown out Arabic keyboard solos, Omar's emotional voice and that awesome dancing. I have no idea what he is singing but it is absolutely enthralling. My kind of party music. If you dig such things check out Sublime Frequencies.
The Knife - "Silent Shout"
Goddamn, the Knife. "Silent Shout" is one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums and this video just brings it all together in such a truly warped but aesthetically beautiful package.
"Joe Pesci with his Head on Fire"
I have watched this video countless times and still find it to be intriguing and hilarious. My wife, on the other hand absolutely hates it. Over time I have turned it into a game trying to find countless ways into tricking her into watching it. Finally quit doing that when I felt like I might be putting our marriage in danger. It's our personal 'Rick Roll' except I actually do enjoy this. The only person who may like it as much as I do is my little sister, which probably tells you a lot about our upbringing. For some reason the creator of this video used the theme song from the British gangster film "The Long Good Friday" as the soundtrack. I don't disagree with that choice. My favorite part is when the music stops and the video continues on for 15 more seconds. I like to think Joe Pesci starts each day by cueing this up.
This would have been in my 5 if it wasn't removed from YouTube and seemingly the Internet all together
Charles Gocher tells it like it is with his low-budget, multi-screen video techniques. An updated version of this song from the album Horse Cock Phepner.
Also, "Pickle Surprise."
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P.E.T. Sounds - phonically emitted topography