Dead Oceans' Sun Airway, comprised of Philadelphia's Jon Barthmus and Patrick Marsceill, is are not only indie pop extraordinaires, but are musicians with an understanding of aural-visual relationships. The choices they make in selecting collaborators result in visuals richly sympathetic to their musical output and evoke the same sense of wonder and romance that their music does. The album cover for Sun Airway's 2012 release, Soft Fall, is adorned with a beautiful woman caught beneath a stringed web of falling flowers, porcelain china, and fine silver. It was painstakingly crafted by Japanese art collective NAM. In the bi-lingual Japanese and English interview and feature below, Barthmus and NAM's art director and designer Takayuki Nakazawa offer their perspectives on the creative process, as we further explore the work of both parties.
JAPANESE TO ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS BY MORGAN HARKNESS Takayuki Nakazawa (NAM): Our aim was to perfectly match the world of Sun Airway's music and take that world of sound and enlarge its image visually. I believe that the music and the cover visuals that go with the creation of an album have an extremely intimate relationship. Music and visuals have the power to overcome country and language to convey a message. Creating something so intimate between the US and Japan was an incredible experience, and most of all it was fun! We would like to take this opportunity to extend our appreciation to Jon Barthmus for inviting us to this wonderful project. 私達が今回目指したのはSun Airwayの音楽の世界と完全にマッチし、さらに音の世界をビジュアルによってイメージの視覚的拡大をする事でした。アルバム制作における音楽とカバービジュアルは本来とても密接な関係性をもっているものだと思います。音楽やビジュアルは言語や国境を超えて伝達していく力があり、今回、日本とアメリカの間で密な相互関係をもって制作が行われた事は、私達にとって大変良い経験で、なによりも楽しかった!このような素敵なプロジェクトに私達を誘ってくれたJon Barthmusさんに、この場をお借りして感謝をしたいと思います。


Everything the rainbow light touches in this music video for Onuinu's "Ice Palace" turns to psychedelic flourish and ethereal whimsy. A lack of contrast and many a post-production effect create a piece that is half sensual and half digitized, a well-paired visual aid for Onuinu's music, which possesses those same qualities. Director Andrew Sloan and choreographer Jin Camou discuss the visual decisions and the mentality that led to the final creation of "Ice Palace", in the following Q&A. Onuinu's "Ice Palace" will also be featured at REDEFINE magazine's Motion & Movement In Music Video panel at Bumbershoot and MusicfestNW 2012. SEE FULL DETAILS
"This is a very sexy song. The images are meant to combine to create a visual aphrodisiac for the viewer; alone, an orange might not be that sexy, but when you bounce it around next to a pomegranate, a flaming house, and some nice looking women, suddenly the meaning of the orange changes." -- Andrew Sloan, Director of Onuinu's "Ice Palace"


In REDEFINE's first bi-lingual interview, we speak with Gabriele Ottino, director behind the acid trip visuals for Italian electronic artist TOMAT's latest track, "1984". Taking inspiration from George Orwell and a wide cross-section of human affairs, the video mixes archival footage of events between June 1st and June 6th, 1984, glitch and pixel elements, and modern day footage of the musician into a brightly-colored visual slideshow.
"The denser the number of events a second, the more we lose the facts itself, gaining objectivity but losing humanity." -- Gabriele Ottino


MUSIC VIDEO AND INTERVIEW CONTINUED BELOW Directed by Gabriele Ottino and produced by Superbudda Studio


"... All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome." -- George Orwell, London Letter to Partisan Review


Andrew Dinwiddie has meticulously recreated a live sermon by the evangelist preacher Jimmy Swaggart, recorded in Van Buren, Arkansas, circa 1971. In a remarkably fluent echo of the original (peppered with emphatic interjections, "Huh!") Dinwiddie inhabits the persona of the Pentecostal firebrand as he spits...

During my first listen to this record, I hated it. It seemed whiney, and the tape hiss and overall crunchiness overshadowed the melodies. The songs were like musical vitamins, so concentrated my body couldn't absorb them. But after a few more listens, the...

Born With Stripes is a chameleon of an album. It starts off with a catchy, pop -- "accessible indie," as I like to call it -- number, entitled "We Don't Know Who We Are." This album has so many varied styles (from blues to psychedelic to Indian-influenced) that I don't think this album quite knows who it is; but that's okay.

This first track and its two subsequent tracks have been on consistent rotation in my brain since I first listened to this disc. Track two, "I Like The Way You Walk," is a very inviting tune, and it does associate well with "We Don't Know Who We Are"; these two songs are from the same family, as it were. However, track three, "Bloodhound," enters the scene and all bets are off. This is the stone cold blues track of Born With Stripes. It is easily my vote for best track on the entire album. With lines like, "I'll need a bloodhound just to track her down, but she'll be mine again," and carefully-placed background "oooo-oooo"'s, it is difficult not to love this song. But that's the genius of blues; it is a stereotypically cool genre of music (and what a nice stereotype to have!).

The "West Coast Raga" and later "East Coast Raga" would fit in well as B-Sides to The Beatles' 1966 classic Revolver, with their sitar sounds, spiraling guitar lines, and hypnotic basslines and drum beats. These tracks stick out and clash with the other tracks until about halfway through these songs, when the listener gets enveloped by them; and, at that point, it is all aural gravy. A friend overheard me listening to "Bullfrog Blues" and said it could very easily be a lost Lovin' Spoonful track. On that note, I feel that "New Blue Stockings" has a Doors-y or Jefferson Airplane-y motif to it. So, the '60s are represented very well in this disc.

Long-running outfit, Mock Orange, began as an auspicious post-hardcore band, but over time, they have shifted towards much more musically greener pastures, culminating in 2008's "Captain Love," a massively underrated testament to the group's desire to push boundaries. Listen to "Grow Your Soul" - DOWNLOAD...

Dan Sartain creates lo-fi rockabilly and sings about things like voodoo. He's from Birmingham, Alabama, and he absolutely hates the place (in part due to the religious right coordinating an event during which The Beatles records were burned and run over by steamrollers). Channel all...