“Filled with quirky, trippy electronic sounds and attention-grabbing vocal performances,
[Shangri-La] ought to catapult the band to new heights”– NPR
“Excellent. 3.5 out of 4 stars”– Los Angeles Times
“YACHT has been reborn yet again”– Billboard
Yesterday Portland’s YACHT released their critically-acclaimed new album, Shangri-La, on iTunes through DFA Records. It will be available digitally everywhere next week on June 28th. The duo also recently stopped by NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert (click HERE to watch) and Sirius’ XMU (premiering tonight at 9pm EST) with their live backing band.
YACHT are also unveiling their trippy, epic double-video for the first two tracks on the new album, “Utopia” and “Dystopia (Earth is on Fire).” Band member Claire L. Evans explains the inspiration behind the video, which was directed by Rene Daalder:
Rene Daalder has been a hero of ours for a very long time. As an artist, he’s had the kind of career we aspire to have: long, genre-oblivious, varied, dotted with experiments and rediscoveries, completely unguided by careerist motivations, brilliant and never limited. He’s made a punk-rock musical, a futurist web community, documentaries, strange and visually arresting science fiction films; he’s awriter, he’s worked with everyone from Russ Meyers to Rem Koolhaas.
It still feels pointedly surreal, but we had the opportunity to work with Rene to make two music videos for Shangri-La: “Utopia” and “Dystopia (The Earth is on Fire).” They’re companion pieces — together they make up a short film straight from the mind of one of our favorite artists of all time.
Without further ado, Utopia and Dystopia (The Earth is on Fire), directed by Rene Daalder!
Some might recognize the spatial environment of Utopia as being a 3D visualization of the ideas of the radical architecture group Superstudio. Superstudio, founded in the late 1960s in Florence, Italy, essentially worked against their own discipline, arguing that architecture and design formalized unjust social divisions in concrete space and induced people to consume unnecessarily. Their vision of Utopia wasn’t an ideal city or a perfectly organized arcology with room for everyone — it was a world without buildings, a life without objects. They dreamed of nomadic communities living the warm and human aspects of life on a vast, impersonal grid.
Superstudio’s vision resonates with us because we see Utopia in the same way: it is not a practical reality, not something we can ever physically build with bricks and mortar. The future is a blank slate upon which anything can be imposed, but it’s also an oppressive absence of place, and as such any aspiration for future paradise is a failure, because all we have to count on is the present moment. Adolfo Natalini of Superstudio:
“…If design is merely an inducement to consume, then we must reject design; if architecture is merely the codifying of bourgeois model of ownership and society, then we must reject architecture; if architecture and town planning is merely the formalization of present unjust social divisions, then we must reject town planning and its cities…until all design activities are aimed towards meeting primary needs. Until then, design must disappear. We can live without architecture…”
Of course, we destroy the spatial grid in the process of our Utopia, attempting to impose a triangular superstructure over it. The end result? A world of shards and memories, and in the end, a revised version of what happens when we try to actually implement Utopia: you end up on island of your own design, cut off from the world.
YACHT Tour Dates:
07/10/11 Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Pitch Festival
07/11/11 Paris, France – Nouveau Casino
07/14/11 Madrid, Spain – Centro De Arte Dos De Mayo
07/15/11 Metz, France – Les Trinitaires
07/16/11 Zurich, Switzerland – Stall 6 @ Theater Gessner Allee
07/18/11 Stuttgart, Germany – Keller Klub
07/19/11 Milano, Italy – Magnolia Summer Festival
07/20/11 Faenza, Italy – Clandestino
07/21/11 Roma, Italy – Frigidaire Sonori Festival
07/22/11 Brescia, Italy – Vinile 45 Open Air Festival
07/24/11 London, UK – Secret Garden Festival
07/25/11 Manchester, UK – Ruby Lounge
07/26/11 London, UK – Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
07/28/11 Copenhagen, Denmark – Trailer Park Festival
07/29/11 Hamburg, Germany – Club Mondial @ Indra
07/30/11 Kutna Hora, Czech Republic – Creepy Teepee Festival
08/02/11 Kosice, Slovakia – Tabacka Kulturfabrik
08/04/11 Berlin, Germany – Puschenfest @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
08/05/11 Luxembourg, Lux – Exit 07
08/06/11 Katowice, Poland – OFF Festival
08/13/11 Detroit, MI – Majestic Complex – Fucking Awesome FEST 2011
09/13/11 Los Angeles, CA – Downtown, 1st & Main – FYF Fest 2011
09/05/11 Seattle, WA – Seattle Center – Bumbershoot 2011
09/10/11 Portland, OR – Branx – MUSICFESTNW 2011