Charred techno in red, white, and none-more-black
Dance music's dirty little secret is that watching other people dancing can actually be pretty weird, if not downright unsettling. Bryan Black plays up the creepiness factor in the video for his new single "Black Acid," released under his Black Asteroid alias on Speedy J's Electric Deluxe imprint. Dressed in flowing pieces by the Ukrainian designer Anna October, fashion model Nadya Shapoval writhes and flails like an antic snowflake (or an arctic chicken), smoke leaking from her mouth as though there were something broken inside. There's a weird power dynamic playing out here: Shapoval, looking confrontational and more than a little unhinged, seems like she's trying to short-circuit dance music's voyeuristic impulses, shooting down prying looks with a dead-eyed glare. (Not sure what those brief scenes of her being throttled are supposed to tell us, though; we'll hold out hope that there's a feminist reading of those bits.)
The video's white and red color scheme is unusual for Black, whose work, both solo and in the duo Motor, has generally lurked far at the none-more-black end of the spectrum; perhaps it's his way of getting back to his roots as a sound designer at Paisley Park Studios, under the tutelage of the Purple One himself. "Black Acid," however, finds him sounding as charred as ever, as do the EP's three other tracks of blistering, corrosive techno, with echoes of Pan Sonic's burnt-ozone buzz resonating amidst shuddering machine beats. It'll take more than Prilosec to keep this acid at bay.