Monday, July 3, 2017

Bristol-based Animator & Director RUFFMERCY Speaks On His Latest Creations, "Time Off" & "Zonked" from Washed Out's "Visual Album" Mister Mellow (Stones Throw)

"Around the beginning of 2016, Ernest [Greene AKA Washed Out] and his management got in touch and sent me a handful of songs to listen to from his forthcoming album, Mister Mellow with the intention of me choosing one to make a video for. I'd really enjoyed his previous albums, so I was definitely into the idea of working on something for him. A bit of time passed and in that time, Ernest decided he wanted me to work on a particular track which turned out to be "Time Off." That was cool with me, as I really loved the laid-back vibe and the YouTube sample of a kid letting the world know that you need to take time off now and again... and sometimes, that involves smoking a huge joint. Ernest gave me a little direction, starting with what work he liked of mine and what kinda vibe he felt the video needed. In fact, he [was] quite specific about the importance of slowing down the pace, as the previous song was quite lively and the one after, too was pretty upbeat. I think Ernest was aware I like to experiment, as I build my videos, so he never saw any style frames upfront, but we both agreed that it would cool to use the YouTube visual from where he got the original sample," Bristol-based animator and director RUFFMERCY wrote within a statement sent exclusively to The Witzard. RUFF is amongst a collective of directors and artists assembled by Stones Throw and Washed Out frontman Ernest Greene to help bring his latest "visual album," Mister Mellow to life; a newly-assembled visual arts collective including The Mister Mellow Show director Ross Harris, Eric Coleman, Winston Hacking, Drew Tyndell, Jonathan Hodgson, Daniel Brereton & Morph Animation, Sophia Bennett-Holmes, Harvey Benschoter, Robert "Parallel Teeth" Wallace, Jason Miller, and Ernest Greene himself on "I've Been Daydreaming My Entire Life."

"I went away and built the video, took me around a week, I think. I then shared a few slightly different versions, from which he chose one. He suggested writing some of the spoken words on screen to gel it all together, so I finished up a the video with a little bit of cell animation. It's only a small video, but it was fun to make and I dug how Ernest had a vision, but also respected mine. After we wrapped up that video, a few months later, Ernest came back asking if I was up for doing one more small video for the track "Zonked." The process was pretty similar, as it was with the "Time Off" video; with Ernest giving me a general direction of what the overlying vibe of the video should feel like and explaining how it sat amongst the tracks [on] either side. For this video, Ernest wanted to overwhelm the viewer with imagery related to stress, so I set about building a collage-based video that crammed in as much as possible. Along the way, we changed a couple of things, but pretty much I felt like we were on the same page throughout the process. It was the kind collaboration that doesn't happen too often," RUFFMERCY continued concerning his The Mister Mellow Show creations, "Time Off" and "Zonked." RUFFMERCY has previously worked with the likes of Pusha T, Disclosure, Run The Jewels, Kiefer, Danny Brown, The Lions, Blu, and Nxworries' "SIDEPIECE," which was featured and thoroughly broken down right here at The Witzard. Washed Out's Mister Mellow—his first since 2013's Paracosm—is now available for purchase from new label Stones Throw in digital and CD+DVD complete with "visual album" formats. Mister Mellow is also currently available for pre-order on "mustard-yellow vinyl" LP, which is expected to ship by or before August 11th.

- cheers russ

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