Occasionally a group of like-minded individuals will wreck havoc creating new musical landscapes, creating space where there’s no space left to take. The Brooklyn, NY based Old Robes just might be one of those groups. Made up of electronic loop plunderers Daniel Munkus, Heather Sommerlad, and Rachel Epp, the trio formed back in 2012, and while they cite a number of artists as influences, it sounds Old Robes pieces together is derivative unto itself. The band premieres its video for the animated “Soldier Online,” created by multimedia artist John Jannone. The track is off the forthcoming The Spider And The Spectator, dropping April 20 on Subtle Soup Records. This is the band’s sophomore release, following 2012’s Past The Suitors.
Of the video, Jannone says, “Who is the Soldier Online? A gamer, lost in their own exciting but unreal world? A drone pilot, far removed from the too-real destruction they are causing? A troll, wielding heavy words at a distance? Just a persistent brute, pushing forward despite desperate odds? Or perhaps, quite literally, a dog in heat? (On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog…) It’s this mystery character that I animated, always running, but always fragmenting and re-forming, in a world alternately collapsing and exploding around them. The animation is generative and audio-responsive, meaning that it is not “edited” in a conventional, linear way: rather it is a piece of software that responds to the changes in the music to create an evolving visual narrative. Although you are seeing one recording of the video, in its native form it turns out differently each time it is played, influencing the narrative implications. The look of the piece takes its playful inspiration from motifs in 17th-century Chinese classical painting.”