Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The xx at The Vinyl Factory, Soho

xx: A Sculpture of the Album at the Vinyl Factory (the gallery space under the excellent Phonica record shop in Soho's Poland Street) was a '3D physical interpretation' of The xx's debut album. It was put together by the music video director Saam Farahmand, who described it as 'a physical music video, a looping shrine to the album that you cannot compress, send or turn off'.

Essentially it was a triangle of three audio-visual units in the middle of a dark room, with each of the units featuring video footage of a member of the band performing. The music was split between the three speakers/band members, so that the guitar sound for instance came out of the unit showing the guitarist playing. The effect was something like standing in the middle of the band in a live performance, and obviously the mix between the instruments varied as you moved around in relation to the three sound sources.
There was nothing technologically astounding about if - after all the possibility of 'surround sound' has been in existence since the launch of Quadraphonic sound in the early 1970s. But with music ubiquitous as background sound, it did create a space for paying attention to the music. The xx were a good choice for this approach, with their understated sound and softly-sung vocals drawing the listener in.

Sorry folks, it was only from the 8th to 12th January so you've missed it!

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