Chances are if you've been listening to dance music for some time now you might recognize the name DJ Kicks, a series of DJ mix albums. Kruder & Dorfmeister are an Austrian duo that made it to popularity through one of their albums with the famed DJ Kicks series back in 1996. Leaning heavily on hip hop, rare groove, dub, and new wave, the pair find their music at home with Massive Attack, Tricky, and Thievery Corporation. If you're a fan of any of these groups, their latest record "Johnson" might be up to your playlist needs. "Johnson" is the duos latest delivery coming in a slicked back and minimal fashion. The track leans heavily on trippy downtempo groves, delicately dancing around the futuristic post-apocalyptic theme, which governs the energy of both the song and the video.
"Johnson" takes the viewer on a path to freedom as the song builds, the subjects who are at one time suppressed give way to the sounds of the music, and simultaneously the song picks up in energy and rhythms. Slow and steady the track spends 4 minutes building into an ultimate breakout in both a sonic splash and the video's dancers finally giving in to the music and the video ensures none can resist the temptation of dancing.
Their ethereal ideas are channeled through nuanced builds, breaks, and flips, challenging rigid notions of space and time.
Speaking over email, director Oscar Pecher shares, "When we heard the track for the first time, pictures immediately came into our minds. The cinematic, atmospherically dense sound, supported by emotional vocal samples, reduced breakbeats, and deep basslines gave us a lot of visual input. Someplace that has stood still in time, the dark corridors, the mysterious musical mood that fits the current time, combined with a young, sensitive leading actress whose sluggish movements increasingly develop towards dance as the track progresses. It matched perfectly, the sounds reflected everything we had thought about during the quarantine, just waiting to be packed into picturesque images.
Personally, it was important for us to create a music video that would uplift the music rather than compete with it. We were given absolute freedom by the musicians during the creation process and were allowed to dream, experiment, and explore. The song is very expressive in itself and rewards anyone who takes the time to listen carefully - so it was important for us to capture our personal feelings and build on them both narratively and visually."
Johnson is the first single off their forthcoming album 1995.