We’ve long admired Mimico, and although we listed them as a Canadian post-punk band to watch, in truth, it’s impossible to contain their style to a single genre: They blend skygazing psychedelia, shoegaze, hard-charging kraut, and sweeping post-rock into a smoggy, proggy style all their own. We were transfixed by their 2013 cassette, which is why we’re excited to see that the band, comprised of Ben Oginz, Jeremiah Knight and Nick Kervin, is keeping busy: This month, they’ll release a split 7-inch with fellow experimenters Fresh Snow, and next January, they’ll release the Incantations LP via venerable local imprint Reel Cod Records. Naturally, we’re stoked.
But before those releases arrive, the band’s releasing a video for “Fate Screen,” which we’re proud to premiere today. Directed by Analog Preservation Network / Bile Sister‘s David Jones—the latter group’s Julie Reich also makes an appearance in the vid—the video channels, in Jones’ words, a “futuristic cyberpunk vibe.” It’s inspired by lo-fi industrial and experimental videos of yore: Specifically, Jones cites Cabaret Voltaire’s “Sensoria,” Nine Inch Nails’ “Down In It,” and DHI’s “Chemical Land” as inspirations.
“The eyeball superimposed over the video comes from a vision Ben [Oginz] had about the reflection of your own eye in the lens of your sunglasses, the way it creates intensifies self-awareness and insulates against your surroundings. Kind of like watching yourself in a movie.”
And, as Jones says, the video was a communal affair, much of it made romping around Toronto. “Ben suggested I invite some analogue video artist friends to collaborate on shooting the band. We decided to immerse them in live projections which could be processed and edited later. MC NTSC agreed to help with videography and bring his VHS camcorder packs and other gear, Phil Baljeu brought his live video electronics setup, and Luis Hernandez also helped film and we shot on three cameras with the band immersed in Phil’s projections.
“The city footage we shot in one evening with Annie Wong and Julie Reich as the cyberpunk girls, and Ben as the main character, around Kensington and Chinatown, and in alleys and on rooftops, which played up to the futuristic and kitsch concepts we wanted. Much of it was thought up on the spot, we snuck into backyards, annoyed drivers, burst into shops, shmoozed our way into an unopened hair-dresser on St. Andrew, and called on friends working at bars.”
And if it feels familiar, it should—Jones says the video takes nods from the disposable VHS creations of yore, “like the ones they used to make for you at Canada’s Wonderland.” Or, he adds, the video compilations put together by industrial label Wax Trax! and Nettwerk Records. Or like something bizarre you might catch on MuchMusic’s City Limits in the middle of the night. “It was worth watching [City Limits for] two hours to see the odd weird gem,” he says. “The problem with Youtube is that it doesn’t really connect you with things you wouldn’t expect, things that would be below your radar and that might influence you in strange ways.”
Which may be true. But the YouTube clip for “Fate Screen” intends to change things.