NEW YORK CITY – Design studio karlssonwilker recently created a spellbinding animated music video for “Mexico,” the title track from GusGus’s ninth studio album via Kompakt Records.
Teaming up with longtime friend and collaborator Alex Czetwertynski, karlssonwilker experimented with various 3D technologies, including video game engines, to transform live-action footage of the Icelandic collective. The resulting digital abstractions hypnotically visualize GusGus’s anthemic dance track. The video can be viewed on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/--wYCa-QO60
“We've been huge fans of GusGus since Polydistortion came out in ‘97, so we were thrilled to do a music video with them,” remarks karlssonwilker Partner Hjalti Karlsson. “Our goal from day one was to create something multi-dimensional with a bombardment of shapes, colors and movements that keeps the viewer guessing what comes next.”
Exploring which song would best suit their visual concept, GusGus and karlssonwilker ultimately decided that “Mexico,” the album’s only instrumental track, was the unequivocal match for the video.
After developing the renders and assembling a rough cut in Adobe Premiere, karlssonwilker tapped Shane DeBlasio of creative postproduction boutique Hooligan to expand on “Mexico” with an editorial eye.
“When it came to editing the video, we trusted Hooligan fully,” says Karlsson. “The process was exciting and moved forward with ease.”
“It was exciting to edit such a kinetic, VFX-driven piece that allowed me to go beyond the norm, both creatively and technically," adds DeBlasio. "Creating the final cut, my goal was to simply find a through-line to make the eclectic sequence of shots as fluid as possible. The final renders are beautiful and look as though they weren’t even captured on camera.”
Because GusGus’s previous music videos and promo art had been primarily photographic, karlssonwilker was excited to bring a new aesthetic to the visual language of the band. Stills and clips from the music video are feeding into tour posters and live graphics for their world tour in support of “Mexico,” which kicks off in Copenhagen on August 30, as well as album and singles artwork.
“Like many other projects here at karlssonwilker, we thrive when the process takes us to places we didn’t know existed,” concludes Karlsson. “We cherish the path and use the result as the next beginning. With ‘Mexico,’ if we were to start all over again, the outcome could be completely different. That’s the exciting part of this project, you almost want to re-do it just to see where the process leads you and learn something new. If we wanted, we could work on this video forever.”