New Bonobo video illuminates the patterns hidden round us

The McGloughlin Brothers have created the music video for ATK, the first single released by Bonobo since his album Fragments. The duo, made up of brothers Páraic and Kevin, have created numerous pieces of work in the past that twist scale, perspective and motion into compelling sequences, with recent credits for A$AP Rocky and Max Cooper.

The high-speed video for ATK takes viewers on a journey looking out of a train window, and is reminiscent of Michel Gondry’s iconic video for the Chemical Brothers track Star Guitar. It pieces together a string of cuts that illuminate the patterns and graphic motifs hidden in everyday places, including a particularly satisfying clip of a galloping horse.

“We wanted to create a minimal film embodying ideas of serendipity and perception, allowing the world to reveal itself in unusual ways spontaneously,” the McGloughlin Brothers tell CR. “If you have ever looked out of a train window to see the wires and tiles weave and dance in a magical way, this, in essence, is what we wanted to capture in our film.”

The film was shot in Portugal on a journey from Faro to Lisbon to Porto, but the directors purposefully stayed off the beaten track with the footage. “We wanted to keep the film textural, gritty and quite indistinct for the most part, keeping the main landmarks and attractions generally off limits, focusing on the overall feel and movement of the cities.”

The flickering visuals resemble a zoetrope, an early animation technology that creates the illusion of moving imagery by rotating a cylindrical mechanism lined with still images – like frames.

“We shot most of the video in real time, with only a few additional stop motion animation sequences,” the directors explain. “Maybe 90% of it is in camera and real time. Our aim was to find these little ‘zoetropes moments’ that animate naturally. Shooting video footage, using extremely high shutter speeds and tight [lenses] from fast moving transport is how we achieved the vast majority of the shots. We also used very sporadic stop motion.”

The edit was inevitably complicated, but “in a strange kind of way”, the directors explain. “Our main objective was to capture a simple journey, but to present it from a strange perspective. So there was a built-in paradox from the get go. We cut a lot of the more ‘complicated animation’ because we found it detracted from the general idea,” they say, “keeping our focus on completely detectable, yet ethereal footage.

“In terms of technicality, creating the moving patterns and objects that appear static yet are moving at fast speeds was a matter of sieving through the footage and finding these moments. It was a very strange one to put together, and we got it to a place that was very close to our original vision.”

ATK by Bonobo is out now on Outlier; @mcgloughlinbrothers