Whether you're a child or a child-at-heart, there's hardly any visual trick cooler than a kaleidoscope. Peer through its tube and transform everyday objects into swirling, psychedelic explosions of color and texture. It can turn your television into a fine firework display, or an ordinary spot on the wall into something worth writing a song about.
That's kind of the story behind New Zealand producer Opiuo's aptly-titled single "Kaleidoscope." What begins as a single blip becomes, in his words, "a giant wall of emotive noise." The song is paired with an equally frenzied music video, animated by Dr. D. Foothead, a fellow Kiwi with a mind-boggling approach to visuals.
"[I was] aiming at capturing the listener in a whirlwind of electric chordal harmony and gurgling growling bending bass," Opiuo says. "I had no idea someone existed to bring a song like this to life visually with such incredible class. To me, the collaboration with Dr. D. Foothead could not have gone better. What began as a callout to my fans for a visual artist to work with, ended in meeting a fellow New Zealander with a style of colourful, constantly moving, morphing mind bending life upon the screen. He loved the song, so we jammed some ideas, then he let loose into his world and produced one of my absolute favourite music videos ever."
The song itself plays out like a hallucinoeginc journey, beginning slowly with trepidatious steps over the edge of its excitement. Foothead created a humanesque character to take this journey, and as "Kaleidoscope" reaches its big funky hook, he spins and twirls through a prismatic world of possibility.
"As I absorbed the track, an image formed in my mind of matter beginning to emerge from the void, like the beginning of molecules," Foothead adds. "I started to draw and animate abstract forms that resonated with the light, and playful blips in the opening moments. I wondered what would happen if this dynamic condensation of energy was played with. What if a naive being got their hands on something so volatile and began to test its properties?"
The song isn't all upward motion. As it continues its journey, it comes down to a place of refection. It's almost meditative.
"Working in a stream of consciousness mode," Foothead continues, "I put myself in the same situation as the character, pushing and pulling with the dramatic build and eventual eruption of the music. The forms and actions are a direct response to unique moments in the track, with everything eventually settling into an enveloping harmonious state."
"Kaleidoscope" is a real trip-and-a-half, and it serves as the lead single from Opiuo's forthcoming Syzygy 02 EP, due for release in the fall. The song is out everywhere Friday, Aug. 9, but you can catch an early glimpse of the vibrant, eye-boggling music video below, exclusively on Billboard Dance.