The New LoFi

Ten Years

J Lloyd and Charlie Di Placido change the game again with a series of amazing videos for their new album “Volcano”

Josh Lloyd-Watson (one half of the modern electronic soul collective, Jungle) has teamed up with Director Charlie Di Placido once again to create a series of hugely captivating music videos to compliment their new album. Unlike most any other band I know, Jungle put as much time and care into their visuals as they do their music. It’s hard to separate the audio from the visuals when you think of their work.

In fact, the way I first came across Jungle was through one of their videos 10 years ago. A friend of mine was talking about this video of a small child cracking out some unbelievable break dancing moves in a purple track suit. You have to remember that this was a little over a decade ago — before AI, and deep fake. So to see a small kid do these dance moves (and all in a single take) was truly mind blowing. Of course, this was the video for Jungle’s hit single, “Platoon.”

After watching “Platoon,” I came across other videos Jungle had created for their tracks “Time” and “The Heat.” Each video was amazing, not because of any fancy special effects, but almost because of the lack of special effects. The sets were clean and minimal, the film was usually executed with one continuous shot, and the theme was always around interpreting the music through dance. What was so captivating was the choreography and simple lighting and framing tricks the director played. These are all pretty lo-fi tricks, but it really helped to achieve a sense of suspended reality because it was always performers doing the thing in real life in real time rather than leaning on special effects.

For example, in their video for “The Heat,” we start off on a head-and-shoulders shot of a man in a green adidas track suit looking straight at the viewer. As the camera slowly pulls back, the man starts to dance. but the dance has this sort of surreal smoothness to it; he’s moonwalking in place. How is that even possible? Then as the camera pulls back to full length, you realize that the man is dancing in roller skates. It’s a simple move, but you can’t take your eyes off of it. And it is so linked up with the music, that it is impossible to separate the two. You can’t think of the music without thinking of the video that goes along with it.

The man behind most of these amazing one-shot dance videos is Charlie Di Placido along with a couple of dancers, a choreographer and cinematographer that have been longtime collaborators. And of course there is Josh Lloyd-Watson who somehow finds time to help direct the videos as well as compose the music.

For their latest album, Jungle again team up with Di Placido to create a series of videos for their new album, Volcano. In fact, I think they’ve out done themselves again by releasing a full motion picture to compliment the album — a series of videos that all link together to make one narrative. Not just that, but they’ve also teamed up with WeTransfer to create their first ever interactive video (for “Back On 74“) where you can buy the original artwork in the film by clicking on it while it plays. How will Jungle push the boundaries next?

I’ve included a couple of my favorite singles from Volcano below (it was impossible to choose without just putting the whole album on there) and you should also check out the visual version of the album by watching A Motion Picture By Jungle.

JUNGLE – Back On 74

JUNGLE – Us Against The World

JUNGLE – Don’t Play

JUNGLE – Every Night

JUNGLE – Dominoes