PREMIERE: ackerman Inspire Improvisation in “84 Palms” Video

Jordan McAfee-Hahn’s experimental multimedia project gets interpreted by a handful of new fans.

While Merriweather Post Pavilion–derivative bedroom pop projects have been harder to come by in the ten years since the seminal record was released, its influence hasn’t been lost completely. One such case is Jordan McAfee-Hahn’s prolific bedroom pop project ackerman, which experimented with sounds recalling ’80s pop, ambient psych, and nu disco on last year’s 1000 Variations of Yourself before revealing yet another variation last month with the loose single “84 Palms.” 

Today the single is being commemorated with a McAfee-Hahn-directed video starring a handful of young artists who were asked to interpretively dance to the single’s bouncing beats and shimmering falsetto without having heard it prior. “What if we got a bunch of dancers, both professionals, and amateurs, and had them translate the song in real time through dance, without judgment or preparation?” the artist shares regarding the video’s conception, which he attributes to a friend’s introducing him to Butoh. “I was interested in seeing how these different personalities and skill levels translated the music with their bodies and cut that all together to create one fluid dance through their similarities. Then, through incorporating animation, we allowed the animator to translate the work in his own way as well, almost improvisationally.” 

He concludes: “What resulted is a piece that almost seems choreographed, something with an intangible familiarity to it, which I find enthralling. But perhaps what is most important is the joy that everyone brings to their performances. It’s infectious, and because of them, I can’t imagine a better accompaniment to the song.”

“84 Palms” is streaming everywhere.


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