Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Labuat: Soy Tu Aire

Has the internet amazed you recently?

I recently came across this wonderful, wonderful piece of media, thanks to Mr. Aaron Diaz of Dresden Kodak fame (he's pretty amazing too, when he updates his comics on a regular schedule). Assuming my Spanish has not failed me altogether, "Labuat" is a musical collaboration by a collection of Spanish-language artists, including the lovely Virginia Maestro, and two fellows called The Pinker Tones.

What really amazes me about these guys, however, is that they've produced what is ultimately a music video game; not in the sense of a video game about music, which we have bajillions of anyway, but a music video that is also a game.

What we have here is a scrolling screen with a line of ink being drawn across it; the direction of the line is controlled by the user, who can move it up or down, side to side, and draw all kinds of shapes (I tried writing my name; it didn't come out so well). Meanwhile the music plays, and the game gives us all sorts of impressionistic effects, images leaping from the ink at lyrically opportune moments, and the volume of ink even varies with the mood of the song.

The effect of all this was that, as my ink trail danced across the screen, I almost felt like I was somehow producing the music myself; although my control of the events was actually quite limited, I felt thoroughly involved in it. What's more, my mistakes didn't matter; I had the ability to take risks, repeat successful maneuvers and quickly forget ones that didn't work out. It was creativity for creativity's sake, instantly disposable but endlessly repeatable, relentlessly moving forward and always ready for another go.

So go watch it, listen to it, play it, however you want to think about it. If you're not a musician, you'll feel like one for about three minutes. If you are a musician, you'll experience music visually and tactually in a highly original way.

Grade: A

By the way, here's a direct link to Labuat's website. If you dig the music, check it out!

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