Earlier this month, CGI artist Clifford Sage turned "SSIM," an electronic track from London-based producer My Panda Shall Fly, into a psychedelic visual journey inside a modified, mechanical guinea pig. Today, Yoshi Sodeoka of experimental video art label, Undervolt & Co., is giving MPSF the trippy treatment for the title song off the producer's upcoming album Rainfall, out August 4th on Soundway Records.
The eye-widening video includes swarms of tropical and exotic images—colorful butterflies, dancing frogs, even a couple cheetahs—surging in a tornado-esque form. The onslaught of vibrant imagery suits the electro-experimental soundscape, which has a tropicalia vibe itself. But look deeper, and within the digital deluge there are biblical reference (locust-looking insects and frogs, for example) juxtaposed with consumer products from today.
My Panda Shall Fly, aka Suren Seneviratne, told The Creators Project, "I love Yoshi's work because it is so colorful and fun... his videos are so playful." The producer added, "I felt like Yoshi would be perfect to illustrate my favorite track from the record because he creates feasts for the eyes—just like how I've intended on creating a feast for the ears."
To learn more about the collaboration between the artists, we talked with Yoshi Sodeoka about the stimulating new video piece.
The Creators Project: You told me off-interview that everyone is free to interpret this video according to his/her own imagination, but you also mentioned the Plagues of Egypt. How would you personally interpret this video?
Yoshi Sodeoka: After my first time listening to the track, a scientific article I read about how real-life raining frogs popped into my mind. This is probably because of a combination of the bubbly texture in the track and obviously the title, “Rainfall.” According to the article, raining frogs is a rare weather phenomenon that actually happens. It is actually not supposed to be just frogs though; it could be fish or squid or anything else. So they say. I guess a lot of people tend to draw attention to frogs more than the others because they appear in the [biblical stories]. Anyway, all of these things make it an interesting story. So I took inspiration from that and elaborated my visual ideas.
Can you explain to me how your collaboration with My Panda Shall Fly came through?
It was pretty simple actually. Suren Seneviratne just emailed and asked if I wanted to make a video. I was familiar with his music, and I’ve been a fan. I loved the song he chose for me, so I said yes.
How does his music influence your work and visuals?
This song in particular gave me a lot of visual ideas. It sounds so colorful, and I thought it really fit my style. When I work on an instrumental song like “Rainfall,” the possibilities for visuals are pretty much endless. It’s open to any interpretation, although that can be a bad thing in some cases. When the path is open ended, I sometimes don’t know where to begin. It really wasn’t like that for this song, however. I felt like the sounds in “Rainfall” totally clicked with my visual aesthetic. I started out with a small seed of an idea, and that quickly multiplied in the process. I had so much fun with it.
Concerning the technical parts, could you explain to me your creative process for this project?
I used AfterEffects with a plug-in called Trapcode Particular. Particular allowed me to create a nice psychedelic texture in the video with a bunch of found GIFs and stock graphics mapped into particles. I often use analog gears to make videos because I like the fluid texture and colors they provides. However, there were no analog gears involved in making this video, as you can probably see. Still, I feel like I succeeded in creating a similar type of visual sensation that you get from watching analog videos.
I imagine that you work on many projects at the same time. What else are you creating right now?
I do have a few commissions I’ve been working on, but I’m not allowed to mention anything specific about those. I’ve also been working on an audio-visual project called “Sibly” with Daron Murphy. We played this in a couple of live shows recently, and we’ve been trying to develop this entire project a little more.
I always have things to do for Undervolt & Co. with my partners, Nicholas O’Brien and Johnny Woods. We are trying a bunch of new things, and the roster of super talented video artists is expanding, which is pretty exciting.