LOCATION: On a road between town and country, wakefulness and dreaming
MUSIC: Hand of Stabs
FILM: Giles Whitehead
WORDS: Gareth E. Rees
This is the new work by Hand of Stabs, a progressive bone-age pagan skiffle band previously featured on Unofficial Britain. The video is by Kent-based artist Giles Whitehead.
The music is an undulating tribal shuffle, with heartbeat bass, swirls of analogue synth and a plethora of percussion instruments (made from what sound like old bits of farming equipment.)
The accompanying film is an impressionistic portrait of the landscape as experienced when moving through it. The focus (and lack-of) switches between town and country, industrial and rural using motorways and A-roads at night as conduits.
Pylons in a raw sunset, frazzled tees, piles of chopped logs, wind turbines, the ceilings of industrial buildings, metal grills and mesh. These alternating visions are fused by bleeding colour and fucked-up textures, until everything rolls past in a dazzle of synthetic and real, imagined and actual. The moon becomes a headlamp. The headlamp becomes a human eye. The music beats faster as the car accelerates.
At times all we see is an abstract blaze of light, utterly divorced from the source material. A world seen in the eye’s mind.
In this acid trip, the only coda you can cling to is the illuminated road at night to which the film repeatedly returns.
Wonderful stuff. Before you watch it, turn the lights off and the volume up.