Album Review

Christina Vantzou – Nº. 1 DVD & Remixes (self released, 2012)


 
Everyone should remember Christina Vantzou’s gorgeous Nº. 1 on Kranky last year. And if for some reason you passed over it, let me be the last to tell you that it’s fantastic. She’s one half of The Dead Texan, the other half of whom is Adam Wiltzie, one of the dudes from Stars Of The Lid. Nº. 1 is the Kranky release that got overshadowed by A Winged Victory For The Sullen, another Wiltzie duo, this time with Dustin O’Halloran. But all of this is just precursor, and only for those of you who are unaware, which I hope is few and far between.

So in addition to but separate from the Nº. 1 release on Kranky, Vantzou put out on her own a film accompaniment to the album and a slew of remixes of tracks from Nº. 1. The contributors to the remix project are an insanely awesome bunch: Koen Holtkamp, Loscil, Ben Vida, Dustin O’Halloran, White Rainbow, Robert Lippok, Ernest Gibson III, Montgomery Knott, Isan, and there’s even a new Dead Texan track at the end. All of their takes on Vantzou’s subtleties are just as grand and wonderful as Nº. 1.

And the movie is stunning (trailer is below). It’s 47 minutes, running parallel to the record, although it’s broken up into chapters that don’t necessarily coincide with songs. There’s a golden beauty to it, with lots of found footage manipulated to meet Vantzou’s high standards of quality, taking everything from large crowds to intimate portraits, expansive mountain ranges to solitary swaying trees, and adding a layer of flickering patina to make it all shine. There’s an especially peaceful segment of planes flying through the clouds, as shot from another nearby plane. Truly stunning.

The movie is only available physically through Vantzou’s site and it comes with the remixes. Or you could just knab the remixes digitally and forgo the exceptional video experience. Your choice. But I will judge you if you ignore the movie.