When Thom Yorke starts a new superband – and adds the Chili Peppers’ Flea, Radiohead producer and multi-instrumentalist Nigel Godrich, and percussion from both Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.) and Brazillian virtuoso Mauro Refosco (Chili Peppers, David Byrne) – you can bet people will pay attention to the music. Spoiler alert: the first single has the musical fingerprints of Yorke and Godrich all over it, of course. The album debuts February 25.
But there’s also reason to pay attention to the visuals. Dutch-born, Berlin-based audiovisual programmer Tarik Barri got Thom’s call to add visuals to the catchy-but-chilly “Judge Jury and Executioner.”
Here’s the surprise: working entirely in his own software (C++, OpenGL), Tarik has woven an abstract visual tapestry in only two weeks. (Yes, I imagine the excitement of getting a call from Thom Yorke had to be tempered with the terror of the deadline!)
We can expect, therefore, that this is just the first teaser of a new body of visual work to come from Tarik. Tarik tells us that Yorke lobbied for “flatness” in the imagery. The result has lazily-floating particles in front of a shifting, anxious backdrop of sepia shapes, recalling the textures of early-century design aesthetics, even in this modern, 3D context. It’s like staring at a Duchamp up close as Marcel himself blows bubbles. It’s worth watching more than once to get a feel for the musical pacing of the movements, which twitch and rock in a syncopated shuffle, perhaps like Thom Yorke’s dancing.
It’s actually a bit horrible to watch in lower resolution; do yourself a favor and crank up the resolution to HD so you can enjoy it properly, as there’s a great deal of fine detail to the edges and surfaces.
Tarik Barri is known for his frequent collaborations with Monolake/Robert Henke, and for Versum, which I covered on Create Digital Music:
Tarik is involved in CDM’s program at the CTM Festival in Berlin on February 1, at Berghain Kantine, where we’ll get to chat with the artist and enjoy the latest iteration of Versum with performer Lea Fabrikant.
In other words, the hits keep coming. I look forward to watching this design language continue to evolve. Stay tuned.