I spend a lot of my time writing about music in a very specific way. A band or artist releases a record, pushing a certain, established signature sound, it is part of a linear musical canon, generally speaking, and the music is backed up by supporting videos to help underline the message. With collectives, for want of a better word, you need to look at things with a longer lens, from further away so that you can see a much broader picture, the overview, one that seems to move outwards in all directions from a central position rather than forward down a linear pathway.
Wavz, are just such a collective. Based in the field of contemporary arts, event promotion and acting as a music label, both for remixing and fresh new creation, they seem to be travelling in many directions at once, though those journeys are always wonderfully inter-connected.
If you take a look at their website, it is both wonderfully slick and modern, and wonderfully vague too, all you can do is explore the scattergun presentation of videos and music found there and let those do the talking. And talk they do. Rather than feeling like the usual form of a song release driving the creation of a video, added almost as an afterthought, and which often has little to do with the sonic component, here the music and the visual are two halves of the same, perfectly complementary coin.
From the blend of cutting edge, chilled dance grooves and timeless yet exotic oriental vocals of Fake Serious to the meditative and mood-enhancing tones and textures of Down to Earth and from the almost classical minimalism of Across to the glitchy and buoyant refrains of Oblivious, the music found here covers a lot of ground. It is generally chilled, understated and calming but has moments of tension and drama, is gently dance grooved but beyond that is almost impossible to second guess.
And the videos are just as eclectic. Often with an oriental flavour to the visuals, they wander between images that seem to complement the music and those which seem to clash and contrast, sometimes thoughtful, sometimes wonderful odd…which in its way, makes you think even more. And running through many of the videos, you find short blasts of slogans and political or economic messages, sort of Situationist word-bites for the modern age, which again makes you wonder at the thought process driving the creation of these short and often strange films.
But more than anything else, Wavz (and Ocean & Wavz, which is the music component of this growing creative empire), is a studio that perfectly represents creativity in the modern age. Between the two creatives that it is founded on, you find a cultural mix that takes in Tahiti, Canton and Sweden, Malaysia, Japan and Singapore, their place of work is the world as a whole, as likely to be plying their trade in Shanghai as Paris, and their music is very much the product of the post-genre world. Doesn’t that say something wonderful about the world that we find ourselves in todday and the tribalistic, genre specific, geographically bordered, narrow-minded, analogue one that we have left behind?
But creativity has to be judged on its output and the output of the Wavz machine speaks for itself. Eclectic, unique, adventurous, soulful, not something that you associate with the digital age, often soothing and sensual, sometimes full of drive and drama.
Welcome to a new adventure in sight and sound. Welcome to the sight and sound of Wavz.