With a very high level of technical skill, creativity and an impressive ability to think on their feet, the audiovisual group Addictive TV promise to put on a terrific show this Saturday at the opening party of ICON TLV. Graham Daniels and Mark Vidler mix audio and video tracks from a variety of sources, including their original work, to produce an experience for the eyes and ears. The rest of the body can’t help but join in. Addictive indeed.
Addictive TV is known online for their alternative trailers for movies such as Slumdog Millionaire and Iron Man, and remixes based on movies and television shows. They are known offline for enormous parties with a unique atmosphere of dance music coupled with breathtaking – or silly, or psychedelic – visuals. The group has been involved in numerous projects, from a massive silent disco in France to commercial remixes for Adidas.
I met with the artist duo on the roof of a building in Jaffa across from Abulafia. With the ocean nearby and surrounded by Jaffa’s old but beautiful architecture, the setting was dilapidated but picturesque Middle Eastern. The two were filming Israeli musicians for their new international musical project, Orchestra of Samples. For the first time, their video tracks will all be of their own production. Among the artists they filmed today were vocal instrumentalist Nir Yaniv, violinist Ira Bareli, flutist Aram Drevekenin, and guitarist Tal Segev. I was fortunate enough to be able to ask them a few questions about their work between takes.
You produce compelling and complex pieces. How would you describe your work?
Graham: We are visual DJs, or rather, audiovisual artists. When we perform, we are not playing other people’s work as DJs might, but rather our own mixes, our own material. It’s a cross between an electronic act and filmmaking. We might take a guitar riff, footage of somebody shouting in a movie, slamming car doors- we take all of those rhythms, and make music from them.
Mark: We sample (take excerpts) from famous films, television shows and music videos. We sample both the audio and video from the scenes that interest us, and then we remix them live, onstage.
Graham: We try to deliver an experience. We like to think that that the added visual element of our performance takes people on a journey. Sometimes we find that people are overwhelmed by the show. They find it too intense, a sort of sensory overload. People are used to experiencing hearing music, but the visual experience of seeing what produces the sound can be too much.
Mark: It can be intimidating to those who have never experienced such a show.
Graham: But we enjoy the responses from people for whom the experience is new. It’s interesting to see the realization dawn on people who have just realized that the video onscreen matches what they hear.
What do you have in store for us at the ICON party on Saturday?
Mark: There will be a screen projecting the video simultaneously with speakers that will sound the audio. We will use DVD tables to mix the videos. We prepare the foundation beforehand, but during events we do all of the mixing live. We manipulate everything throughout the show, in the same way a DJ does.
Graham: We mix between different tracks, and loop the audio and the video, and insert tracks of our own on top of that. It’s all very dynamic. In particular for ICON, we have prepared science fiction and fantasy themed tracks, such as Star Trek and Pan’s Labyrinth.
Can you tell me more about your new project, Orchestra of Samples?
Graham: On our travels, we’ve been filming musicians playing traditional instruments. Essentially, we’ve been compiling an orchestra of samples, collecting video tracks from artists all over the world.
Mark: There’s a global flavor to everything we’ve seen. We might mix music from an Israeli flutist with African drums that were recorded in Senegal. We’ve filmed in Mexico, Brazil, Romania, France, England, Spain, and the list goes on. Everywhere we have a gig, we films local artists. We’re planning to use the tracks we’ve collected to perform live next year.
Is there a message that you would like to get across with this project?
Graham: We would like to show how particular genres can move beyond their niche, and blend with everything else. We’d like to bring together instruments that aren’t normally played with one another, and artists that never play together. We are piecing together music from all over the world to create something that hasn’t been heard before.
Mark: The project’s quite open-ended; we haven’t exactly figured out the particulars of it. The details really depend on what we capture, on the feel that we get from the musicians, and the way that it will come together onstage. We’re letting the project lead us, rather than the other way around.
Graham: Also, it’s very important for us to provide exposure for artists we’re working with, and for different genres. For instance, last week we were in France, and met musicians who create bagpipes made of a whole goatskin. They insert pipes into the legs of the goat, inflate the carcass and produce wind music in this way. They play a goat as an instrument! So, we are trying to raise awareness for many of the less-heard styles that exist out there. It’s like a melting pot for musicians.
View Addictive Tv’s remixes on their Youtube channel. Learn more about them on their official website.
Addictive TV Live at the opening part of ICON TLV- Saturday, 15th October
The Cat and The Dog, Karlibach 23, Tel Aviv – from 22:00