If “Pleasure” is what you are seeking, then you have arrived at the right place. That’s because electronic artist and producer, Arswain has released his colourful, cinematic, and smooth new music video for his latest track, “Pleasure.”
The dancey beats work together beautifully with the nightclub-like atmosphere of the video, which features a completely original modern dance that was choreographed and performed by well-known German dancer Carly Lave. Lave’s dance movements are perfectly in sync with Arswain’s beats, one of the marquee talents among bright, young electronica artists. Born Freddy Avis, Arswain has already garnered comparisons to Aphex Twin, Massive Attack, Portishead, and Brian Eno.
The inspiration for “Pleasure” comes from a surprising place. As Arswain explains, “At the time I wrote ‘Pleasure’ I was fixated on this idea of climate change as an act of violence; how we, consumers in rich countries, are unwittingly killing people overseas by engaging in petty pleasures like driving our cars and buying meaningless products. So ‘Pleasure’ is about that daily guilt that accompanies modern life, the costs of which are far greater and broader than we perceive on a daily basis. Video director Will Hamilton (aka IndexThumb) understood this vision completely when I came to him for a video, and Carly brought it to life by portraying a club-goer who, like many of us, is aimlessly seeking a kind of fleeting pleasure in nightlife, completely unaware of the consequences.”
Lave and Indexthumb worked primarily on devising the concept for the video, choosing the nightclub as a focus as a result of its predisposition towards pleasure. “We wanted to create a subversive, visceral video that expressed the track’s critique of our culture’s addiction to consumerist pleasure, and actively questioned the viewer’s relationship to such pleasure-seeking,” said both Lave and Indexthumb. “Depicting the entirety of that behaviour felt impossible, so we chose to focus on one theater of excess and pleasure, the club, and built a narrative around a character (Sasha) who relies on that space to escape the pain of modern alienation through pleasurable movement. Rather than glamorizing that search, we chose to express the futility and internal frustrations of Sasha’s never-ending hunt for satisfaction through her body and movement.”
They continue, “The choreography was informed by dropping into the visceral pleasure of movement, juxtaposing fluid motion with sharp isolations. Glitching felt like a fitting, contemporary way to convey the hunger for satisfaction, so we focused on creating isolated movements in the choreography, and echoed that in the time-displaced visual effects that suggest the limitations of transcendence through temporary pleasures. We supported that with an overall reflexive strategy that sought to involve the viewer in our interrogation of pleasure-seeking, present within the abstraction of the club as an empty space, Sasha’s fourth-wall confrontations to camera, and the messiness of the cinematography, with exposed lights, uneven focus, and rough camera movement. While the club remains for us a transformative space of community, we hope that our provocations raise productive questions surrounding the exploitation of bodies and the human need to connect by consumer society’s economies of pleasure.”
As evidenced by this music video, Arswain is more than just a musician; he’s an artist who’s concerned with the complete and total package of his creative expression.