onedotzero festival 2011: holotronica review

“You are my goggle eyed guinea pigs”, boomed Stuart Warren Hill before the highly anticipated world first audio visual 3D event at onedotzero BFI. It certainly felt that way. Stuart Warren-Hill is one half of Hexstatic whose work involves “integrated visual experiences, be it in production or live shows”.

CD/DVD releases on Ninja Tune and production work for companies and events such as The Big Chill Festival, Sony and Nokia account for the duo’s work to date and now with such a unique premiere at the BFI it’s clear that Hexstatic have been making a name for themselves for some time now:

The event took place in a packed screen and – with some of the best 3D visuals that I’ve seen in a cinema – the crowd seemed mesmerised at the word go. The nature of a 3D performance such as this make it peculiarly difficult to describe because the spectacle is one of being there to experience an assault on the senses (in the best possible way). With cinema screenings of 3D movies there is the obligatory first five or ten minutes in which you can catch members of the audience reaching out to the screen trying to make the illusion of 3D ‘real’ and touch part of the movie. During Holotronica that never stopped because the 3D felt different with each track, the visuals rising out of the screen in more ways than you expected.

Each song had its own unique visualisation that reacted to the different elements within the track, what each had in common was the abstract nature of the visualisation. Each had a particular look or theme; either a futuristic spaceship against a starry backdrop, a cube of cubes that expressed the melodic notes of a song, a Tron-esque circular graphic within a moving tunnel. Some worked better than others and expressed the tone, colour and ambiance of a song perfectly, but in all cases the 3D aspect was utterly compelling and never did I grow bored of what was on the screen. As to what the live aspect of the event was, I have to admit that I’m not sure and it would have been great if Warren Hill had perhaps gone into a little more detail as to what exactly he was doing behind the plethora of monitors and wires and cables at the back of screening room.

Soundcrash Music


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