Photograph by Abe Mora Lightswitch, the six-track EP from New Zealand-based Persian rapper, CHAII, draws upon her visual art background and comes paired with six highly-stylized music videos that span continents. Including a three-part series shot in Oman -- which involves a rich roster of local residents and aims to portray...

Self-referential yet self-governing in the best of ways, the music video for Pantha Du Prince's "The Winter Hymn", directed by the musician Hendrik Weber himself, culls together years of video footage to offer a look into his recent collaboration Scott Mou, aka Queens, and Bendik Kjeldsberg of the Bell Laboratory....

Hypnotic new tracks from Stellar OM Source's latest RVNG Intl release, Nite-Glo, plus a track premiere for "Big Metal" by Portland's HITS (featuring members of the now-defunct Explode Into Colors and !!!, who crafted their record at Andrea Zittel's A-Z West compound in Joshua Tree....

Metronomy - I'm Aquarius Music Video
We've coincidentally been featuring a string of sci-fi and space-related music videos as of late, but Metronomy's music video for "I'm Aquarius", directed by French director Edoud Salier, is definitely the most polished of the bunch. Rolling with the punches of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joseph Mount's use of astrological references galore, this music video is like a sci-fi book cover turned motion picture style. Retro spaceships float over spacescapes painted in bold strokes, until they finally touch down in a new land, not unlike a modern ancient Egypt, and timed perfectly for the song's ending half, which worms out into ethereal spaces.
Metronomy - I'm Aquarius Music VideoMetronomy - I'm Aquarius Music Video
Last month, I came across a music video that Total Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs called, "one of the best music videos I've seen in a long time": a live performance by iFani EWE in the Johannesburg neighborhood of Soweto. Having just seen a South African dance documentary called The African Cypher, this assertion of "best" did not hold true for me; awesome dance is threaded throughout the country's musical and social culture of SA. This reminder did, however, lead me to dig deep into South African music videos to hunt for visual and sonic gems -- the best of which I have shared in this post. (No Die Antwoord on the basis on their being well-known by all.)

Mafikizolo ft. Uhuru - "Khona"

I recently stumbled across this website called OkayAfrica, and it is definitely one of my favorite new internet finds. Of their recurring posts are summaries of notable African fashion designers to watch out for, and the fashion in this music video for "Khona" reminds me of these top designers in some ways. Geometric shapes and bright colors abound, abound, abound, in eye-catching ways galore. Glittered male dancers dive and swoop around a strong female lioness and a hypnotic rhythm, pushing "Khona" hard as a visual highlight and a repeat listen. DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Uhuru-ft-Mafikizolo_Khona.mp3|titles=Uhuru ft. Mafikizolo - Khona]

 

Layla Sailor's gorgeous photo series, Kokoshnik, examines the traditional Russian headdress in a gloriously colorful and modern fashion. Historically worn by married women from the 16th to 19th centuries, the customary kokoshnik is generally characterized by a nimbus crest-like shape and decorative design. By contrast, Sailor's photos, a collaboration with designer Lisa Stannard, are an apt abstraction of the traditional headdress, incorporating lively geometric forms as well floral and animalistic elements, while honoring the intense, ornate design of the traditional pieces. The impetus for the series was to challenge how pattern is photographed, but nearing its completion, Kokoshnik took on additional meaning, as a way to show support for the members of the feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot, a feminist punk rock group who were protested the Orthodox Church's support of Vladimir Putin on the soleas of Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior and were subsequently arrested. In Sailor's photo, the phase “Let Our Sisters Go” is placed prominently and resonates as solidarity for the cause of freeing Pussy Riot. The Kokoshnik project is exemplary of Sailor's affinity for color and her talent for displaying imaginative and cinematic images.In the interview below, Sailor dishes on her dreamy style, her lifelong passion for folk art, and the distinctions between commercial and personal work.