New York City-based video artist Yoshihide Sodeoka is known for his disquieting psychedelic videos, which are characterized by saturated colors, mythological references and a tense expression of time. Working often on an intuitive level, Sodeoka often allows his audio-visual creations to assume their shapes through a combination of spontaneous assemblage and aesthetic choreography. His video art is unique for its translation of noise music into a visual language, and for the close relationship of his moving imagery to principles of stillness. Polarizing aesthetics and themes in particular lend a spiritual tendency to the artist's work -- though not overtly, and perhaps not even consciously -- yet the fine line between good and evil is channeled into intense representations of such duality through the artist's imagery. This symbolically rich language is revealed through Sodeoka's manipulation of the characteristics of distortion and his play with fragmented forms; a fantastical exploration of imperfection in his imagery works in contrast to the sterility of technology.
the13th-yoshi-sodeoka
Influenced by glitch, though not fixated on allowing the process to define his aesthetic, Sodeoka primarily uses the more ambient elements of computer-generated imagery. These aspects are most often expressed as spatial perspective, orientation, duration, and color. By combining glitch with the intentionality of his mythological composition, Sodeoka amplifies the ambiance, presence of error, and minimal gesturing which challenge linear narrative structures.
Dub Thompson - No Time Music Video Dub Thompson - No Time Music Video
Drawing obvious inspiration from timelessness and less obvious inspiration from Aleister Crowley's Thoth tarot deck, director Vinyl Williams takes Dub Thompson's "No Time" and turns it into a multi-level philosophical exercise. Williams explores the slippery nature of existence by using both HD and analog techniques, which ebb, flow, and spin within a mad cycle, in such a way where beginnings and ends are indiscernable from one another. Timelessness, indeed. Read on as he speaks to his process and collaborating with the band.
Dub Thompson - No Time Music Video Dub Thompson - No Time Music Video
A lot of the problem with viewing the universe as being comprised of matter comes with the idea that it's devoid of conscious experience somehow. More and more, little by little, we're starting to wake up to the insane limitations of this philosophy. Renders people humorless if you ask me. Nothing adds up, which creates profound existential desperation resonating throughout the collective psi-grid of humanity. There is no explanation for why anything happens, so we instead focus on how things go down in obsessive detail. Not to knock this approach, as it creates order by combining with the mystical chaos of internal infinity. Too much mystic psychic sizzle and you'll get torn to shreds, but when you look at only shared perceptual experience, you're editing out the vast majority of reality. It's all dark matter through those eyes. Endless blacked out pages on a declassified UFO report. What I've found is that by shifting models of reality interpretation just slightly from conceiving the world as being made of matter to one comprised from conscious experience, coherent macro concepts of conjoined narratives learning lessons throughout cycles of shifting lifetimes starts to take shape (which I talk about all the time on Facebook; friend me). When you start looking at things through the neo-Occult lens regarding the meaning of our existence as participants in a small cog of a much larger 5th dimensional art creation device, things begin to click into place on an even deeper level. Try it; it's fun. What works about this model is the fact that art is getting more plentiful and expansive by the day. Whether or not that was the purpose, that's what's happening. The average person now spends their time lost in a greater collective imagination in a way that wasn't even possible a decade ago. We've entered the era of the information addict. We're turning ourselves increasingly inward and tying together disparate narratives without asking why we're so unconsciously compelled to veer in that direction. I'm more helplessly entrenched than anyone, spending my time existent in my own celestial enclave of sonic enchantment. Fact of the matter is, more people are taking psychedelic drugs at this point in history than ever before. The loosening of the pot laws is just going to ensure that trend continues to spike upward. Unsurprisingly, this has created a congruent upsurge in fantastically brain-altering tunage. I can't even begin to keep up with it all, and I'm an obsessive music weirdo. For all intents and purposes, there are an infinite number of great albums being made every single year, but I'd say Joe Sixpack isn't truly aware of that fact. I can't imagine any of the records on this list sold a ton, which is sort of the problem and why you need geeks like me. Next time you want to trip out on the weekend rather than getting blitzed drunk, go pick up any of thesem and they'll serve to lift you on high rather than binding you to the lower dimensions. Now, I almost apologize, because there really should be more trip-hop and electronic freak outs on here in general -- that's where drug music is heading and has been since I was a kid. But I've listened to a lot of the higher profile releases this year and most of it was decent, and little of it struck me as sufficiently psyche-warping. I've got to dig deeper next year. I will say that Seattle's Debacle Records consistently brings the strange vibes (Editor's Note: See the mixtape they made for us earlier this year) -- and as if intentionally living up to our newly minted west coast weed city status, more great psychedelic albums came out of Seattle this year than ever, so this list is also a bit heavy on that because no one else is really talking about it. You've been warned.

Call it a spiritual treatise, a visual masterpiece, or whatever you like -- but Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973 film, The Holy Mountain, has inspired musicians dating as far back as members of the Beatles, who played an instrumental role in funding and distributing the work. In this timeline of artistic individuals...

According to modern day magickians like Alan Moore, "Art is magick, because art transforms consciousness". By that definition, some of the world's greatest mystics don't ever actually identify themselves as such. In my world, Robert Pollard is probably the most potent of these closet sorcerers, unassumingly churning out tune after tune ad infinitum from his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. It's an unending supernova. No single rock musician has pushed the boundaries of the human imagination in quite the same way as the guy, who will most likely go down as the single greatest songwriter in human history (or by definition of taste, the most prolific at the very least; he's already kind of got that cornered).
The story of how I got into Pollard's (now reunited) Guided By Voices is a strange one, and as with everything regarding my youth, drenched in debauched sonic witchery. When GBV's absolute classic Bee Thousand finally brought national attention to the then almost entirely unknown band in the mid '90s (mainly due to the efforts of Matador Records), I bought a copy. Truthfully, I didn't like it that much after a few listens. I even most bizarrely remember driving around with my dad at one point and him mentioning that he heard a segment about them and their supposed "indie rock" on NPR and was curious. I put it on. Neither one of us got it. And that's sort of the thing you have to point out to GBV detractors. Even though I have nearly 40 Pollard-related releases at this point, I still don't like any of them until run through number four at least. None of it makes sense at all when it first hits me. I have absolutely no idea how he does this, but it's the sort of thing that's going to confuse the shit out of critics, myself included, especially in the information age.
 
Looking Through The Glass
When I first wrote about the work of Sydney, Australia's Mark Whalen years ago, I was fascinated by his use of bright pinks and blues in angular ways that can't possibly exist in "real life". Now, in 2012, Whalen has taken those same tendencies and brought them into a Homer Simpson-meets-3D-world level of trippiness, as parabolic three-dimensional grids cross with graph paper lines and shapes in various stages of dimension transformation. Lankier versions of the same characters Whalen used before traverse his far out illustrated environments in varying chaotic states. Some are being swallowed up by giant golden chess pieces; some engaging in ritualistic sacrifices; others falling down stairs and holding up basketballs on royal pedastals. More on Whalen soon. For now, enjoy these works, for a modern M.C. Escher-esque take on pattern and space, as swabbed in bright colors, humor, perversions, and rituals.
(8 IMAGES TOTAL)

 

The Miracles Club latest music video for "The Wheel" works the most surprising of effects upon theatrical costumes and full body paint, as if to drive home the fact that one needs not take contemporary dance or house music too seriously. Directed by long-time band collaborator Judah Switzer and set in a digital environment crafted by glitch wizard Brenna Murphy, "The Wheel" intersects a powerful core of Portland dancers, musicians, and visual artists into one eyebrow-raising, off-kilter music video that is centered around mythological symbolism and the tarot. The Miracles Club vocalist Honey Owens speaks about the video in the Q&A to follow, and we discuss the symbolism of its tarot references.
"'The Wheel' was written about The Wheel of Fortune Tarot card, so when we were thinking of a concept for the video, [band member] Rafael [Fauria] suggested that we literally reproduce the tarot card in video form." -- Honey Owens, of The Miracles Club

 

By focusing in on a simple guitar riff from The Megaphonic Thrift's David Lynch-inspired track, "Fire Walk With Everyone," director Mona Fastvold has turned an indie rock track into a setting for occultism, witchcraft, and magick practices. In the interview below, Fastvold expands upon the ideas that a walk over the Williamsburg Bridge crafted together in her mind.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMq4fu_j5dw

 

Occult symbols aren't taken too seriously in this video for Nite Jewel's "One Second Of Love", which combines dance (complete with floor moves) with a pop-and-locking, gyrating calavera-headed creature. At the breakdown, all glamour turns nasty, as in: a scantily-clad character straight out of a bounce video and black squid...

Los Angeles' Congregation Gallery has coordinated a host of artists to create works around the topic of dark religion. Many Seattle artists showed their works, including Don Farrell, Jethaniel Peterka, and Yvette Endrijautski. You can see some of the pieces, along with notes on why they were created, below. Don Farrell In...

Krautrock blends with pop on "Rituals," the single from Death and Vanilla's upcoming self-titled album. The Swedish duo's video begins with a masquerade party, lulling one into a Eyes Wide Shut-type scenario of magick and mystery. As the track then progresses and speeds up, viewers are invited to descend down...