Candied, crushed sago't gulaman
A phone is virtually hanging off a table. A woman is calling. You should answer it. Or you could knock the phone off the table with a beer bottle, thus setting off a Lovecraftian chain reaction where mouths materialize out of thin air to meddle with breakfast. Eyes sprout from walls to peer into sin-blackened crags of your soul.
All this to the tune of plinking Shibuya-kei.
Pale Machine is the next line on the growing list of interactivity-infused music videos. More artists should consider video games to be the vehicle of their music. Thinking that you may have some stake in a music video’s outcome is exciting stuff. Get up off the audience chairs! Hurtle through the fourth wall! In this brave new world, you can press arrow keys to make pots drop off terraces!
In all seriousness, Pale Machine is a sublime work of art, both visually and musically. Unity as a platform continues to wiggle madly in its niche–its rabid tapping spelling out “Ooh! Pick me, pick me!” in Morse code. The visual choices, of disembodied body parts invading domestic settings, are arresting in their simple surrealness. The music is topnotch Japanese maximalist pop. bo en is an aural ring leader, playing the listener with jazzy flourishes and vocals that bounce around in your head long after you hear them.
Pale Machine is a credit to the melding of media: slick graphic design, obscure music, and the sweetest hint of interactivity. A postmodern artistic statement that limits are meant to be tested.
You can “play” Pale Machine here or by clicking any of the pictures.