Jon Hopkins ‘We Disappear’ ft. Lulu James (Official Video)

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Anyone who’s ever been to some sort of half-decent live performance will understand the simple wizardry that can be achieved with light and smoke. It’s something about spotlighting the obscure; giving unreal form to the formless; illuminating that which usually only conceals.

On a baser level, it just looks cool as shit. Which is probably why it works so well for UK producer JON HOPKINS in his recent video for track ‘We Disappear’. That, and the whole enigmatical thing.

With its sparse, UK garage textures and the sombre, ethereal croons of vocal feature LULU JAMES, ‘We Disappear’ is a dark and nocturnal piece of sound. It drifts like smoke; barely tangible like smoke; every so often illuminated by punches of electronic intervention, like smoke. And the accompanying clip is a dark and nocturnal piece of video.

JAMES gyrates amongst the lights and the shrouds—at times framed starkly against them; at others engulfed completely. One can’t disappear, after all, without having first been visible—the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. It’s ‘tree in the forest’ kind of shit, but pretty well sums up the dualism at play in this video.

As the instrumental layers pulse beneath the surface, JAMES alternates between a pair of ceremonial-style headdresses: one black, one white. One dark, one light. There’s almost certainly something in that—but it’d probably detract from the centre-stage mystery of the thing to delve any further into it here. Like turning up the house lights and unplugging the dry ice.

Words by Gavin Butler

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