srijeda, 19. prosinca 2012.

Jochem Paap & Scott Pagano - Umfeld (2007)

alt movie full

Nešto između muzičkog video-spota i filma. Fragmenti industrijske podsvijesti, apstraktno-organska stroboskopska hipnoza, nanotehnološka mistika.

Download the FREE full-res version at



Umfeld is an audiovisual production created in HD with audio meticulously composed for 5.1 surround. The piece is an intense sensory expedition that takes the audience through eight chapters, comprising a drama drawing on the dynamic arc of a feature film, but consisting of highly abstract sounds and images. Soundscapes modulate rhythmically from intense and subtle to assertive and thundering, always using the surround audio environment to its full potential. In synchronicity with the sound, the images move through an array of contrasting worlds ranging from cold organic black and white synthetic animation to boldly colorful angular compositions, with their roots in imagery captured in the old industrial harbor of Paap's hometown, Rotterdam. Together, the exploration of sound and image build upon each other, creating and examining detailed worlds of composition and form, with a deep embedded desire to forge a progressive approach to the worlds of sound and cinema.

How difficult can it be to categorize a post. The answer is: quite.
Umfeld as a project lies somewhere between the realm of film and music video. Its abstract, musical roots put it in the same league as Autechre's Gantz Graf video. Its length and structure are reminiscent of Koyaanisqatsi. Umfeld is a project that draws heavily on the sound, but is visualized in such a way that it plays like a movie. And above all, it's just insanely awesome.
screencap from Umfeld
When reviewing a movie, you can go on about storylines and actors and interpretations etc. Reviewing Umfeld is a tad more difficult. The film has little else than a soundtrack and abstract visuals. That is literally it. In between the abstract images you can make out some concrete objects like buildings and factories, end of story.
The film thrives on the synergy between the music and the visuals, and that's where it truly excels. A music video like Gantz Graf makes the music accessible by toning down the visual intensity and showing an abstract figure reacting to the music. Umfeld is way more complex than that, as almost all frames consist of visuals layered on top of each other, morphing and twisting and bulging away. By doing this, the visuals give little aid in placing the music, but at the same time it makes it more of a film.
Umfeld really is a project where the music feeds on the visuals, and the visuals are enhanced by the music. It a perfect merge between two media that complement each other wonderfully.
That is not to say Umfeld is perfect. When looking at both aspects separately, improvements could be made. While the music is strong and emotive, there are better artists out there to handle the glitchy, distorted ambient set underneath the visuals. The music is constructed by Speedy J, a techno natural, who does miss the class of an artist like Richard Devine when creating obscure, dark soundscapes. Though Paap himself admits that the project misses some subtlety, I'm not quite sure he's the best person fit for this kind of work.
screencap from Umfeld
In the same way, the visuals feel a tad too random at times. The coherence is sometimes lost which is a shame in this kind of project. It would've been nicer if the film had featured a naturally evolving one hour song with matching visuals. Now, the moments when switched between segments stick out and do take you out of the film for a short moment.
That said, there's nothing like Umfeld, which makes it a great milestone project. There's nothing out there that matches the experience of 56 minutes of abstract ambient glitches tailored to morphing abstract visuals. Hope this catches on, so we might see more and better. Until that time, this will remain one of my favorite films.
Don't miss the Umfeld trailer. If you want a real taste of the film, the DVD image can actually be downloaded (legally) for free from the Umfeld website. What more do you want? -




Skrillex - Origin
Direction of new visual show for EDM superstar Skrillex. Debuted at the 2012 Ultra Music Festival in Miami.
Show review at
"Leading into his set was MTV's #1 EDM Artist of 2011, Skrillex, who maximized the potential of Ultra's main stage, specifically the giant LED screens that echoed the futuristic sounds of his set. Especially stunning were the images of animated dancing robots that matched every bass-crunching riff of Skrill's signature sound."
Show review at Dancing Astronaut
"Skrillex’s set took advantage of the Main Stage’s technological capabilities, both sonically and visually. While most artists had good-looking but generic graphics flashing across the video screens while they spun, Skrillex had intricate animations and videos to match each song. A scary-sexy robot gyrated onscreen during an extended interlude that utilized only the words “Make that booty clap,” and slice-of-life clips of Skrill and famous friends aired during “Rock N Roll (Will Take You To The Mountain).” For fans who were too far away from the stage to see Skrillex himself, the fast-paced visuals offered an inspired bit of visual interest."
The team at work
Directors: Scott Pagano & Nika Offenbac
CG Supervisor: Dimitri Loginowski
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Listen to theThe M Machine - Metrpolis Pt. 1 EP on

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Music video For Koan Sound's Funk Blaster (OWSLA)
Director / Desinger: Scott Pagano
Character Modeling: Jeremiah Strong
Rigging / Animation: Lyz Holder
Scenic Modeling / VFX: Benjamin Laidlaw
Funk Blaster debuts on
Skrillex introduces Koan Sound on

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Live visual content for Skrillex's remix of Birdy Nam Nam's "Goin' In". Debuted during the 2012 Skrillex-led Full Flex Express train tour.

Electric Deluxe - Mysteryland
Visual library commissioned by Dutch techno label Electric Deluxe founded by Speedy J. Debuted at Mysterland 2012.
CG Artists: Aaron Rovner, Andy Thompson

Skrillex Mothership Halloween
Art direction and production of content for a Halloween themed run of shows during the Skrillex Mothership Tour.

The Black Estate
Fine art animation work created with illustrator Noah MacDonald.

Sand Dogs Concept Art
Concept art for feature film / video game project

Real-Time 3D realized in TouchDesigner

Region Free 77
77 audiovisual segments created with musician Jochem Paap


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