February 15, 2013

Video: Tannhäuser Gate - Obsession

For anyone that's ever made a music video for their band or a film project for art class, it almost goes without saying that there are small, relatively easy ways to lend your vision structure; film at your rich friend's apartment, pose next to your rich friend... maybe use your grandpa's wall of hand-carved central European wooden curios as a backdrop to lend an air of textured dignity to your "ambiance". The video for Cape Town based synth-pop duo Tannhäuser Gate's song "Obsession" obviously wins some points for being shot at a well stocked (and very cool looking) Prop Art Rental space. They might add some just being from far-off South Africa, but the name Tannhäuser Gate is enough extra exoticism for me by itself; "Tannhäuser Gate" is a space region named in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, itself a reference to Wagner's opera, Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg. That particular installment in Wagner's enviable oeuvre (hah) depicts a legendary German minstrel as he cavorts with Venus before seeking forgiveness from the Pope. In an earlier legend, he at least once whips himself up to such a fine froth of minstrelsy that he begins predicting the future midway. Though how much of Wagner is deliberately invoked by the duo I can't say, the duality of Tannhäuser legend and Blade Runner, with its very Germanic protagonist in Rutger Hauer, remains with me as the video's patterns and images move through the rental space acquired for filming by director David van Rensburg.

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