Social distancing getting you down? Feel like you’re beginning to fray at the edges? ‘Locked In (Isolutions)’ is a week of iso-themed content, geared towards making yet another 7 days of stay-at-home mundanity that bit more bearable…

To mark Day 6, the If-Only writers picked out video content they’ve been enjoying of late. Music documentaries, anime parodies, archive footage, video art… You get the drift.


The Rise and Fall of Sensational

According to legend: in 1974 Sensational’s UFO crash-lands on Earth, in the remote jungles of Guyana, and assumes the human alias Colin Julius Bobb. One year later in 1975, he infiltrates North America, undetectable in his humanoid form, to prepare a sonic takeover of the Earth…

Described by many as a maverick, a genius, and as destitute, you might possibly be wondering why you haven’t heard of hip-hop’s most bizarre and paradoxical character? The Rise and Fall of Sensational depicts the extraordinary story of experimental musician from Brooklyn’s underground, from his early days in the 90s with Jungle Brothers and a promising solo career that followed, to a hard battle with drug addiction, homelessness, to then selling tapes and CDs on New York street corners.

Through a careful balance of current footage, stock footage, vintage music videos, and with colleagues, collaborators, and fans such as Madteo and Mike G from the Jungle Brothers, E.A. Moore does a brilliant job of depicting the transition from the apex of Sensational’s own career, to being the casualty of his own self-destructive tendencies, all the way back to a functioning artist.

 

Bow Gamelan Ensemble, Concrete Barges 

Using what remain from old WWII concrete barges littered around the shoreline, close to Dartford’s Greenthithe, the Bow Gamelan Ensemble utilise the lineage of time, and over the course of 10 hours, mix in the incomings of water to put together this improvised soundtrack. Pretty, for lack of a better word: experimental.

Dating back to the 1980s, the East-London trio are renown for sound sculpting with instruments made from rubbing found in skips, making primal symphonies and performing them in various environments, like in Dartford…

Much to be found in this video if you’re suffering from bedroom studio fatigue. Primetime to start hitting white PVC around your double glazing with chopsticks, or play your neighbours’s neglected wooden decadent fence, as if it were a bongo drum.

 

Florent Hadjinazarian’s ‘Vortex’

Into the vortex; items come together to resonate in unusual ways – we’re guided around the accumulated and curated paraphernalia and memorabilia of visual artist Melchoir Tersen through the distinctive gaze of Florent Hadjinazarian, AKA BFDM’s Hajj. Patches, labels and tags, logos of bands and football teams, film posters and figurines, t-shirts, photos and magazines, all jostle like a visual catalogue of pop-culture nick-nacks and curios threaded throughout the post-modern collective consciousness. Stoned at the museum, a languid, bemused eye rolling over whatever off-kilter object is brought out from the hoard – each thing seemingly loaded with a story, the collected miscellany vibrates loudly.

As we grow bored of looking through the familiar fragments of our own homes it comes as welcome respite to trawl, stoned, through the life and detail of another’s.

 

Gemusetto Machu Picchu

Gemusetto Machu Picchu is Adult Swim’s anime parody which follows Makasu – international sports fan and religious relic thief. We are shown the true meaning and relevance of the ancient game of tennis and follow Makasu as he overcomes his emotional foibles and masters the game, defeating a cast of Incan gods along the way. Soundtrack is great, particularly the song which accompanies the early game against Ekeko (written by Awful Records’ Father). Four hours long so this will get you through most of your four-twenties.

 

Orakel Cast

As denizens of the digital world, we’ve all fallen down a YouTube rabbit hole or two, but have you ever wondered what Call Super’s viewing history looks like? Trevor Jackson, Helena Hauff, JASSS or Jane Fitz, Orakel Cast playlists shed light on the day-to-day viewing habits of your favourite artists.

NBA highlights and profiles on iconic photographers and Balenciaga campaign videos and archive footage of no wave parties in New York, this is the sort of visual miscellany that helps days in iso fly by.

 

The 4:3 Online Film Festival

Boiler Room’s 4:3 platform is an unsung resource for video content. Fancy kicking back to the intimate portrait of a seminal artist? Maybe you’d prefer to learn more about a hyper-localised genre? A saving grace of lockdown has been the extra time afforded to working through the offerings, and rising to the challenge, their ‘online film festival’ has been a welcome distraction.

 

Bossman’s bonus pick: The Midnight Gospel

Intercosmic animation from Pendleton Ward and Duncan Trussell. Whole series on popular video streaming site ‘notflix’. Exploration of kind psychology and Buddhistic mentality with the existential weave as a current. As main lad Clancy/Duncan gets shot to different realities he meets and interviews distant beings to sift through kernels of high truth. Animation is loud and hot, extra large and fully loaded. Again nice surprise in the songs.

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