Warp Vision: The Videos 1989 – 2004 (DVD Review)

You may not believe it (because I sure as hell didn’t) but Warp Records has been running now for fifteen years. In that time they’ve brought us some of the most innovative and exciting electronic music around: Aphex Twin; Squarepusher; Autechre; Plaid; Jamie Liddell and LFO to name just a few.

This DVD celebrates the label’s mid-teen milestone by bringing together 32 promos and short films. Much like Ninja Tune’s Zen TV compilation, released last year, Warp Vision contains some of the most important music videos ever made, including those which launched the career of legendary director, Chris Cunningham.


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It all starts out very much of the rave scene, with music and images all pretty much the same across each video and really only designed for people getting mashed up in a field. Then, four tracks in, we hit Jarvis Cocker’s seminal video for Aphex Twin’s On and everything changes. After this point Warp became a much darker place and the music began to mutate into the twisted drum n bass the label is best known for, with track from LFO, Autechre, Aphex Twin and Squarepusher.



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As the 90’s draw to a close, we hit the soft jazz vocals of Jimi Tenor’s Midsummer’s Night that provide a well needed rest after the brain-swap kiddie mental hospital escape story of Squarepusher’s Come On My Selector Video. Tenor appears again two tracks later with some fucked up party funk and a video that features a violent attack on a dead pig in an art gallery and responsibility falls to Broadcast to return calm to proceedings, marking Warp’s first video of the new millennium and yet another shift in sound.

The music remains firmly in the left field but becomes far more diverse with the likes of Jamie Liddell and Antipop Consortium adding R ‘n’ B and hip hop into the mix. Generally everything becomes more chilled out though the label’s darker, harder side lives on through Autechre, Chris Clark and LFO.

This DVD is packed so full of classic pieces of music and video that I could continue writing about it for hours. It may be the choice of directors or that the music lends itself to being connected with visuals that has led to such an amazing body of work. I think it’s both these things and the fact that the label don’t interfere. Let’s face it, most people would laugh someone out of the office if they pitched ideas like dancing teddy bears with Richard D. James’ face (Aphex Twin’s Donkey Rhubarb) or a man singing a shaving in a shop (Jamie Liddell’s In The City) or a man taking on the actions of a wasp (Chris Clark’s Gob Coitus) out of the office. And the same could be said about much of the music they release.

Rest assured, if you invest your hard earned cash in this, you will not be disappointed. If you are, you’re an idiot (and that’s an expert opinion, admissible in court).

Initial pressings come with a bonus CD featuring and hour long mix by London DJ’s Buddy Peace (Lex Records) and Zilla.

Label: Warp
Website: www.warp records.com
Trailer: www.warprecords.com/vision/trailer/launch.html
Release date: 27th September 2004

Tracklist:

  1. Sweet Exorcist – Testone (Martin Wallace & Jarvis Cocker, 1990)
  2. LFO – LFO (1991)
  3. Nightmares On Wax – Aftermath (Jarvis Cocker, 1991)
  4. Aphex Twin – On (Jarvis Cocker, 1993)
  5. I Smell Quality (David Slade, 1994)
  6. LFO – Tied Up (David Slade, 1994)
  7. Sabres of Paradise – Wilmot (Douglas Hart, 1994)
  8. Seefeel – Fracture (Seefeel, 1994)
  9. Aphex Twin – Donkey Rhubarb (David Slade, 1995)
  10. Autechre – Second Bad Vilbel (Chris Cunningham, 1995)
  11. Aphex Twin – Come To Daddy (Directors Cut) (Chris Cunningham, 1997)
  12. Squarepusher – Come On My Selector (Chris Cunningham, 1997)
  13. Jimi Tenor – Midsummer’s Night (Jimi Tenor and Sökö Kaukoranta, 1998)
  14. Aphex Twin – Windowlicker (Directors Cut) (Chris Cunningham, 1999)
  15. Jimi Tenor – Total Devastation (Jimi Tenor and Sökö Kaukoranta, 1999)
  16. Broadcast – Papercuts (Barback, 2000)
  17. Jamie Lidell – Daddy’s Car (Frederic D, 2000)
  18. John Callaghan – I’m Not Comfortable Inside My Mind (John Callaghan, 2000)
  19. Antipop Consortium – Perpendicular / Vector (Marcus Wambsganss, 2001)
  20. Plaid – Eyen (Jean Luc Chansay, 2001)
  21. Antipop Consortium – Ghostlawns (Carlos Arias, 2002)
  22. Autechre – Gantz Graf (Alex Rutterford, 2002)
  23. Aphex Twin – Nannou (Laurent Briet, 2003)
  24. Chris Clark – Gob Coitus (Lynn Fox, 2003)
  25. LFO – Freak (Directors Cut) (Daniel Levi, 2003)
  26. Luke Vibert – Love Acid (Delicious 9, 2003)
  27. Mira Calix – Little Numba (Daniele Lunghini, 2003)
  28. Plaid – Itsu (Pleix, 2003)
  29. Prefuse 73 – Half Of What (Ed Holdsworth, 2003)
  30. Opto-Scientific (TDR, 2003)
  31. Beans – Mutescreamer (Adam Levite, 2004)
  32. Jamie Lidell – The City (Frederic D, 2004)

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