Following the announcement of his fifth album Fractal Future Plays last month, alongside the release of the record’s first single, ‘Tunnel Vision’, Jack Cheshire has now revealed the accompanying visuals for the track, which we’re delighted to premiere this evening.
Featuring a relentless motorik groove with interstellar widescreen atmospherics, the single was DIY recorded between two locations by multi-instrumentalist Jack Cheshire, who constructed the song slowly, exchanging iterations with drummer // producer Jon Scott until it came into focus.
Today’s accompanying video was animated by Thibault Louis & Eric Grayot in April this year. They set out to play with time, create a non-linear narrative with abstract, dreamlike and psychedelic aesthetics. In keeping with the new albums themes they employed a technique theorized by the Armenian filmmaker Artavazd Pelechian called montage a distance.
Animator Thibault Louis says: ‘It creates a circular time inside the film, taking away images which would normally be read one after the other. The idea is that the last image invokes a memory in the spectator that draws them back to the first. As a result, they review the film in reverse, from start to end and thus the time of the film becomes circular.’
Having worked together before, on an album teaser for Black Light Theatre, Jack approached Thibault in early 2020 about making an animation for his first single. Jack says: ‘I sent him a stream of consciousness on the album, some concepts and influences behind it and some visual references. After that I just told them to trust their intuition and left him and Eric to get on with making something beautiful. Every time they sent an extract through I was beaming.’
Lyrically, the track was inspired by a Gramsci quote, ‘pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will’, given by Noam Chomsky in a 2003 interview with Francine Stock:
NC: ‘You look over history…every system of tyranny and oppression…collapses. There’s nothing special about the systems of power that exist now….’
FS: ‘What I wonder though is how you square your fundamental optimism about human nature with what seems to be a pretty pessimistic analysis of what is happening in the world?’
NC: ‘This famous phrase that was borrowed by Gramsci that we should have pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will’.
That resonated deeply with Cheshire as a tonic for these troubling times: ‘I wanted to write something positive, something I could put on and say, despite all the toxic negativity in my mind and all of the madness occurring in the world, I am going to keep trying and keep believing.’
Inspired by the concept of Multiverse, time corridors and the dystopian rabbit hole our world appears to have headed down, Jack Cheshire’s fifth album, Fractal Future Plays is due for release this November via Loose Tongue Records.