When I first saw this video for the song "Electric" by Chilean psych band Föllakzoid, I couldn't look away for the full 12 minutes. For something to hold your undivided attention that long these days is a minor miracle, so let's figure out how directors Ion Rakhmatulina and Domingo Garcia-Huidobro did it.
First, there's the strobe light. Rakhmatulina, the Santiago-based video artist who shot the film, pairs Föllakzoid's hypnotic pulse to beams of light that plunge the grainy hand-held footage in and out of complete blackness.
Then there's the smoke. Disorienting plumes of it surround the camera as the lights turn on, then off, then on, then off. Soon, you see the silhouettes of the band itself — Garcia-Huidobro on guitar, Diego Lorca on drums and Juan Pablo Rodriguez on bass, assembled on a darkened stage, shrouded in the mist.
And that's when Föllakzoid's organic tribal trance starts to take hold. This is exactly what occult ceremonies are supposed to sound like. Lorca and Rodriguez establish a hypnotic groove, and Garcia-Huidobro uses foreboding reverb to fill the room.
And, oh, what a room this is. "Electric" was shot in a darkened fine arts theater in the Chilean capital with only the strobes providing light. The opulent architecture of the theater takes on a dilapidated eeriness as Rakhmatulina's black-and-white camera slips in and out of focus.
But the thing that takes this whole production to the next level is the ballerinas. But perhaps I've revealed too much already ...
Föllakzoid's new album, III, is out March 31 on Sacred Bones.