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But, again, I come from the MTV generation — the good MTV from the early ’80s. I was a music-video freak. I taped everything. I watched everything. I was so obsessed that I became kind of like an expert on the matter, so I learned from the pioneers, like Michael Nesmith and Godley & Cream. They invented the art of the music video. Their stuff wasn’t just about the cool, or style, it was about the perfect combination of music and image.

Music videos aren’t movies or paintings — it’s a totally different form. Just take a look at the work of Jean-Baptiste Mondino or Mark Romanek. Their approach to music video is very instinctive. I identify with that. Sometimes a music note will ask for a specific image. There’s no way you should not follow your instinct.

CD: The occult aesthetic has been coming up a lot in the past few years (I’m thinking of the Tenant’s “Mystery Mountain,” El Guincho’s “Bombay,” Destroyer’s “Kaputt,” and your “Unámonos” video.) Where is all this coming from, and why is the imagery so captivating?

AS: I guess all those esoteric films from the ’70s needed to come back. Filmmakers like Jean Rollin and Jess [Jesús] Franco were really underrated. Ken Russell, man — the satanic films. I think it was a return to nature. In the late ’90s, music videos were so over-produced. Every video wanted to be epic, smart, and intense. The Radiohead syndrome. But today it’s about going back to basics.

Hueso

It’s cool that you mentioned Polanski [Soto thought I was referencing Polanski’s filmThe Tenant, rather than the band of that name], because his films represent the intensity of nature. There’s no pretension, just an exploration of the power of the mind. Witchcraft and rituals are based on that side of nature — a force that will work if you really believe, and I think we’re living in a time of believing. That’s why there are so many videos with that feel. I treat my videos as rituals because I want to share a therapeutic effect with the audience, if they believe.

The Shantelle video “Unámonos” was made under that concept. Many compare the video to the El Guincho video made by Canada Films. I love their work. It is full of cult-film references. But my main inspiration was Jean-Paul Goude’s “Slave to the Rhythm,” by Grace Jones — a video based on experimental artists like Stan Brakhage, Bruce Corner, and Kenneth Anger. They might be the real pioneers of music video. They explored visual texture. They explored the image of sound. I really relate to that. “Unámonos” was the perfect song to do it. A few seconds after I heard that track, all these images came to my mind. I went home, did a storyboard, and never thought twice about it.

Much of the video discussed in this article can be found on the Escandalos channel on Youtube.

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Comments

Javajoe25 Nov. 14, 2012 @ 6:35 p.m.

"Tijuana should stay raw and eccentric." I could not agree more...which is why that black & white striped donkey should never go away.

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thethinker Nov. 15, 2012 @ 2:44 a.m.

I agree with you Javajoe25 but don't confuse "raw and eccentric" with uncivilized, animal abuse it's so 20th century.

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Chad Deal Nov. 15, 2012 @ 4:16 p.m.

typo patrol! "Aglesia" should read "Algesia" - you can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOkSRR...

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Javajoe25 Nov. 16, 2012 @ 7:26 p.m.

Thinker, It is exactly that kind of politically correct thinking that will alter the landscape in TJ and spoil the whole scene. I think the Mexican people can determine for themselves how they want to relate to animals and other living beings.

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thethinker Nov. 17, 2012 @ 2:57 a.m.

Javajoe25 I think you got it wrong, the black & white striped donkeys aren't part of mexicans relationship with living beings, this are mimics to attract international tourists, a way to make easy money.

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Javajoe25 Nov. 17, 2012 @ 10:13 a.m.

Exactly. Just as every culture expresses its genius through its language and art, Mexico has its unique, and yes, occasionally comical way of dealing with tourists. If it works in making them money, then I say go for it. What would you have them do--open a tattoo parlor?

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thethinker Nov. 18, 2012 @ 1:33 a.m.

Well Javajoe25 you have change your statement two times now, from "mexicans relationship with living beings" to "what works for mexican to make money"...this two reasons are pretty far excuse for the city to keep the raw and eccentric elements painting donkeys as zebras, but anyway to suggest that there's no other way to make honest money in Mexico is absurd, I'm pretty sure your smarter then that.

By the way why is comical to put paint on a donkey skin? don't confuse Tijuana's brilliant art and culture with cheap gags.

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