Savages Brutalize Their Own Sound in ‘I Am Here’ Video
English post-punks engineer the decay of 'Silence Yourself' song
Savages don’t shy from intensity. The London post-punks dropped their brutal barrage of a debut album, Silence Yourself, earlier this year, and most recently got incredibly urgent with a live rendition of “She Will” on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Now they’ve made a video for one of their Essential LP’s highlights, “I Am Here,” but it’s hardly your normal fare. It is, in a word, intense. Intensely intense, really, considering the nature of the project.
Director Joshua Zucker-Pluda worked with the band to create a “decayed” version of the song inspired by a 1969 experiment by composer Alvin Lucier. For “I Am Sitting in a Room,” the man recorded himself reading aloud, then recorded a recording of the reading in the same space, and so on and so forth until the thing became completely distorted. That process was repeated on “I Am Here,” resulting in an unusual capture only partly displayed by the clip above.
“We divided the process in two days,” said Savages via Pitchfork. “One for recording the band, one for recording the room the next day. Gemma Thompson and Johnny Hostile sat in the basement all afternoon while the song was being played and recorded in the room 10 times in total, witnessing the slow disintegration of the song until it became really abstract, each instrument merging into the cacophony of this new orchestral autonomous ensemble.”
Skip through the 20-minute pile-up below to see how the song morphed along the way: