A guide to the New East

The Calvert Journal premieres a new video by Russian electronic band SBPCh. Directed by photographer Pavel Samokhvalov, it is a surreal 3D trip on an ocean liner in a galaxy far far away. 

Psychedelic electronic band SBPCh, which stands for "The Biggest Prime Number" in Russian, comes from St Petersburg, and has over the years become the favourite indie act of the Russian-speaking side of the world. In March 2014, the duo — comprising of Ivanov on vocals and synth, and Ilya Baramia on bass — released their latest album I Don't Think They've Invented a Word for This. This video for the track Istanbul has been released to celebrate the vinyl re-issue of SBPCh debut album from 2007.

The video director Pavel Samokhvalov has had a substantial career as a photographer, but his newest passion is experimenting with video and 3D technologies. “I am fascinated by the internet vortex where seemingly incompatible products of culture collide, I love the freedom of speaking the language of new technology,” he explains. 

A combination of gleaming 3D graphics and hypnotising sound layered with dialogues from old films and the narrator’s own diaries makes for an immersive journey into the universe created by both the band and the director. “The first time I heard this song I immediately imagined the future video, the way you can watch it now,” says Samokhvalov. “I am amazed by various 3D-models like a child in a toy store: pick an idea and create it in any material — a figure of Anubis melting and dissolving in a sea of magenta, or a glistening lion on a Caribbean Princess liner heading nobody knows where… Of course, the technology here is quite primitive, but my interest was not to disguise the digital but to expose it.” 

Re-issue of SPBCh debut album is available on vinyl here.

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