Sunday, September 17, 2006

HALFBY - Rodeo Machine/Screw the Plan

Possibly on my top ten vids of all time, today's video is Halfby's Rodeo Machine/Screw the Plan.

Halfby, whose real name is Takahiro Takahashi, is on his way to becoming Japan's biggest breakbeat giant. He recently left Second Royal records for the much bigger and presumably plushier arms of Toy's Factory. Initially, there seemed to be some concern by fans that moving from a minor to a major label might compromise the unique sound of his 'Green Hours' album, but this video puts those critics in their places!

'Rodeo Machine' is from the 'Green Hours' album, while 'Screw the Plan' is off Halfby's major label effort of the same name. Both songs have a unique sound, and true 'Rodeo Machine' is probably the wonkier, strangely cajun-infused track, but 'Screw the Plan' is a full-on party track that features UK's Olympic Lifts. What I like about Halfby is he sounds so western-influenced while not seeming deliberately intent on catering to western tastes. Especially on the latter track Fatboy Slim comparisons could be made but we all know Fatboy no longer makes REAL club tracks...

The computer animated video couldn't be more suited to the music and may go down as my most memorable video of all time. I saw it one time at Tower Records and two years later I still pined to see it again some day. The video was produced by the Tokyo-based pop design collective groovisions. (I still display my Brockman figures with pride!) It's amazing just how much expression can be conveyed in the uniform human templates marching on the screen and in my opinion these videos represent groovisions strongest work to date!

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