Getting lost is sometimes the best way to escape. In the opening sequence of Booker Stardrum’s beautiful lament, “Walking Through Still Air,” he cascades jewel-encrusted notes into a fuzz-laden pool, waiting for the moment to break free. Jamie Branch’s skittering trumpet lights the fuse and as soon as Stardrum layers in phased-out, raucous percussive samples it’s time for lift-off. This dense piece shoots through the night sky, an invisible spaceship bleeding shards of glittering aural debris. Branch continues building looping tonal monuments, enveloping everything Stardrum puts forward in a smoldering aural blanket.
In the video by Miranda Javid, the dizzying forward progression of the music is matched by colorful animations and formless shapes. Warm and cool colors move together, echoing the emotional strains felt through the song, the worry of a world on fire, and the question of where to go from here. Javid stitches this abstract imagery together with various footage from Stardrum, Branch, and Ize Green Dieboll. The jump cuts in the video add to the tension felt throughout “Walking Through Still Air,” but as the last notes fade out and the video hovers, an unsteady calm is found.
Booker Stardrum’s new album, CRATER, is out July 2nd on NNA Tapes. Listen and pre-order below:
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