PREMIERE: Ceschi Uncovers Home Movies in “1988” Video

The versatile rapper looks fondly upon the past in the clip for the Sans Soleil single.

If the transition from the Neutral Milk Hotel–inspired acoustic dirge “Old Graves” to the P.O.S. and Open Mike Eagle–featuring party rap “Incesticide” on his most recent record Sans Soleil is any indication, Ceschi Ramos certainly has range. The New Haven–based musician blends lush indie rock production with left-field hip-hop like no one else since the early days of Anticon, the experimental label he isn’t shy about venerating with appearances from WHY?’s Yoni Wolf, Sole, and Serengeti—er, Kenny Dennis—on his new LP.

After featuring his fast-talking, socially conscious collab with Wolf in last month’s Signal Boost column, we’re excited to share the video for the Soleil track “1988,” a single that falls on the introspective end of the Ceschi spectrum. To the sounds of the artist’s soft falsetto, acoustic guitar and autoharp strums, and a driving beat, we get a found-footage glimpse of what is presumably the year 1988 in children’s birthday parties, as well as a somewhat futile attempt at recreating those memories in the present day. 

“Around early 2008 I had been working with LA beat hero Omid Walizadeh—a.k.a. OD—on what we considered to be a pop record,” recalls Ramos, characteristically contextualizing the video’s backstory with a familial narrative. “It was a difficult limbo time in life. My brother David and I had left the buzz of LA, our band Toca, and a development deal with Snoop Dogg’s management team only to return to the relative darkness of New Haven, Connecticut. Our beloved Nonna had been overdosed by a nurse and we spent months in a hospital by her side enduring the monotony and sorrow of the experience. Those late nights when I would rarely get to work on music were short bursts of light.” 

He continues, “The song ‘1988’ represents one of those bursts. Omid had sent me a blank drum loop and I built the entire song with acoustic guitars, synths, autoharp, and vocals over it. It is a nostalgic thank you to my childhood from the perspective of a dystopian future where ‘the party hats and confetti [are] recycled into respiratory masks to help us breathe without disease.’ Ten years later, Max Heath of our band Anonymous Inc and Child Actor reworked the song with my brother David on drums, and also directed the video.” 

Describing the video itself, Ramos explains: “The video stars our friend Chris Schuck—a real life boy genius who started studying at Yale around age fourteen or something crazy like that. Chris is attempting to recreate the feelings of childhood bliss by mimicking real life videos of children’s birthday parties compiled from 1988. It made a lot of sense to include this song on an album based around my formation as an artist.”

Check out the video below, which also features footage of Ceschi performing the track alongside fellow Fake Fourers Child Actor and brother David. Sans Soleil is available now via Fake Four Inc.—you can order it here.

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