Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Tiësto ft. CC Sheffield: Escape Me

DJs have never been the most visually engaging performers. When you come down to it, you’re talking about a guy (or gal) fiddling around at a turntable. A well-produced techno show compensates for the lack of windmills and stage diving with lights, video screens, and as much bass as the ribcage can handle.

The same goes for a successful electronica music video. Though the cult of personality around club superstar Tiësto may have reached levels unheard of for a DJ, he’s still just a guy standing behind a record player. So for his new music video “Escape Me,” he throws together LED lights, moving platforms and an epilepsy-inducing number of strobe lights to create a typical Euro-club feel.

The difference is, this Dane’s got an ace in the hole: indie-punk chanteuse C.C. Sheffield, former lead singer of La Rev. Dress a gal like that up as a bikini biker cop and give her free reign to strut her stuff and shots of dude-playing-records can be kept to a minimum.

"The concept is an abstract setting and other atmospherics,” said director Matt Nee in a making-of video. “We've got metal particles through the air, LED lights (a hell of a lot of them), three stages, spinning and rotating turntables, walkways, a lot of running…”

This all sounds very elaborate, but Sheffield boiled the concept down to a simpler premise: “I had to dance around in LED lights and shake it like a wildcat.”

Indeed, through the pounding strobes, swirling stages, and churning treadmills it’s Sheffield who holds your attention. Backed by an all-girl band, she swaggers around the effects like she couldn’t care less while Tiësto quietly bops along in the background. Luminescent overload may provide the glitz, but it takes a charismatic figure like Sheffield to give things some soul.

Verdict: 3/5 stars

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