David Knight - 1st Aug 2013

Hal Ritson from The Young Punx was in China playing gigs in Beijing and Shanghai when he happened upon hundreds of middle-aged women dancing in a mall in Shanghai.

That was the beginning of a process which began with his iPhone footage of the women, continued with an edit of the footage by Adam Baroukh at Superplex Pictures and ended with multimedia artist and longtime Young Punx collaborator Han Hoogerbrugge.

The end result is a fascinating and hypnotic combination of documentary and FX - a sort of descendent of the AV creations of Coldcut, Hexstatic and others – for Young Punx' Girls Like Disco. And, of course, they certainly do... 

Hal Ritson: "This isn't a video that came about in any planned commercial way. A couple of months back I was in China playing Young Punx gigs in Beijing and Shanghai, and while walking down Nanjing Road in Shanghai I stumbled upon this surreal and bewitching spectacle of literally hundreds of middle-aged Chinese women, studiously and diligently dancing a bizarre mixture of disco, chinese traditional and line-dancing moves. I don't know the back story. I guess it's just their idea of a good night out. The incongruity of it was like discovering some weird unexplained congregation of hundreds of wild animals in nature. 

"I filmed it there and then on my iPhone, and when back in the UK played it to Adam Baroukh from Superplex Films, who had worked with us on the Afterburn video for Bobby Tank. As he commented then, you couldn't really ask for more for a song called "Girls Like Disco" than some candid found footage of women dancing very intensely in a strange location. We loved all the characters lurking in the dance - the white-dressed leading lady oozing with haughty elegance, being following intently, and with only varying success by her comedic dumpier friend next to her. Searching the ensemble for different people's characters is the gift that keeps giving. Adam edited the footage together, locking it to the beat. But we weren't finished yet. 

"We then passed the fully edited video over to esteemed Dutch multi-media artist Han Hoogerbrugge who has overseen nearly all Young Punx artwork and visuals since 2005. You never know what will emerge from Han's dark and mysterious mind, and we were as surprised as ever when Han passed the video back warped into a seizure inducing Kaleidoscopic trip, abstracting the formerly lofi camera-phone footage into a bewildering psychedelic fantasy and adding the occasional pole dancer and dancing skeleton to the crowd. 

"God knows what kind of video this makes, but I love how organic and unplanned it is."

Credits

DirectorHal Ritson
DirectorSuperplex Pictures
DirectorHan Hoogerbrugge
Production CompanySuperplex Pictures
CameraHal Ritson
EditorAdam Baroukh
VFXHan Hoogerbrugge
LabelMofoHifi Records

David Knight - 1st Aug 2013

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