A while ago I became obsessed with two music videos. Both are designed by the same guy and both are really freaking great. My Christmas present, direct from me to you, are these two videos. The designer is Benjamin Steiger Levine, who's work you can see HERE, and the videos are for two artists, Beast and So Called. Beast are a duo from Quebec with a great hillbilly/ Gospel/ funk sound. So Called is one Jewish guy who grew up in New York surrounded by traditional Jewish music and hip hop, so naturally combined the two along with the voices of many others.
Levine's palate is clear in both these videos; the kind of umber tones and faded, muted browns and yellows. He obviously has an interest in mechanisms and storytelling, two things which I think he imaginatively combines in both these music promos, creating an original aesthetic and concept without it becoming overbearing on the music of the artist. Instead, I think it brings out layers, not necessarily concrete or obvious ones, but ideas or feelings lurking in the dark wings, just out of shot. In You Are Never Alone, he even employs stop motion for when we follow the battling sheriffs' and horses in the hills inside the mind of the mechanically reimagined So Called. And the dancing Mr. Hurricane, entirely constructed from bees, is fairly amazing. I hope you get as obsessed as I was, with your Christmas ringing with the merry sounds of Jewish hillbilly hip hop.
For a better quality version of You Are Never Alone, pop over to HERE.
I originally watched Benjamin Steiger Levine's work over on the amazing COLONEL BLIMP website, which is a treasure trove of inovative music and fashion promo videos, as well as short films and features. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!