What Does the Wolf Say? Who Knows, But We're Terrified

Devin Flynn, C. Spencer Yeh, and Robert Beatty create an unsettling soundtrack to Takeshi Murata's digital video art

Philip Sherburne WRITTEN BY
Philip Sherburne

Forget what a couple of Euro-dance pranksters have led you to believe about furry woodland creatures. In the trailer for Takeshi Murata's "OM Rider," a wolf — or maybe gorilla-dog, or some other, unspecified breed of hellish canine beast — pounds an electronic keyboard, pukes green fluid, and peels through a darkened desert landscape on a moped whose petite dimensions seem ludicrously out of keeping with the clip's blood-curdlingly apocalyptic atmosphere.

Credit for the video's claustrophobic sonics goes to a trio of artists: Los Angeles' Devin Flynn, a visual artist and musician who formerly played in the DFA-signed band Pixeltan; veteran noisenik C. Spencer Yeh, a member of Burning Star Core and a frequent collaborator with the likes of Chris Corsano, Paul Flaherty, Aaron Dillowy, and John Wiese; and Robert Beatty, of Hair Police and Burning Star Core (and also a talented visual artist himself, having designed the De Chirico-inspired sleeve for Oneohtrix Point Never's R Plus Seven). The video itself is the work of New York's Takeshi Murata, an artist and filmmaker whose highly stylized work invokes surrealism, animation, and video games in its journey into the digital uncanny valley, and who recently created two videos for Oneohtrix Point Never. Based on the preview, "OM Rider" pays tribute to David Lynch, Donnie Darko, and Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" video, with additional, unnerving nods to whatever your worst nightmare may be.

"OM Rider" is being shown as part of Murata's solo exhibition Midnight at San Francisco's Ratio 3 gallery from now until December 14, accompanied by a hologram that "allows viewers to explore Murata's animation as an immersive and reactive image," as a press release explains. To coincide with the show, Tiny Mix Tapes reports, Jason Lescalleet's Glistening Examples label is releasing Soundtracks for Takeshi Murata, a collection of Beatty's sound work for the artist.

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