tapehead | Sunday, der 11. September 2011
Mario Mentrup and Volker Sattel, co-directors of CITY OF LIGHT, I DO ADORE and THE EAGLE IS GONE, have helmed the music clip for „Do the Oz“, the lead-off single of Berlin-based electronica/post rock duo Tarwater’s latest album, Inside the Ships.
The stark black and white video presents essentially a one-woman show featuring singer Soffy O (with a blink and you’ll miss it Hitchcockian cameo by Mentrup). Soffy O’s evocative facial expressions carry the clip – the dialogue she silently mouths is besides the point, the real action lies in her batting an eye or minutely pursing her lips. The video’s imagery is a variation of THE EAGLE IS GONE, which also featured Soffy O, the Alexanderplatz location and a score by Tarwater.
„Do the Oz“ is a cover of a 1971 John Lennon track recorded in support of the British underground magazine Oz which was then on trial for obscenity – one issue featured the head of children’s comic book character Rupert Bear grafted onto the body of a figure drawn by „X-rated“ cartoonist Robert Crumb. Why Tarwater chose to cover this little-known Lennon track is somewhat mysterious. Were they inspired by the original’s urgent, minimalist psychedelia (complete with dance step instructions)? Is the Tarwater version some very oblique comment on freedom of expression today? Or is Inside the Ships a concept album of sorts paying submerged homage to musical icons? Another track on the album uses the lyrics of DAF’s „Sato Sato“ – the band’s first ever use of a German-language text. Tarwater explicitly say it’s not a cover, although Lippok’s vocals sound suspiciously like a sly parody of DAF singer Gabi Delgado-Lopez‘ gruff, martial intonation. Whatever, Tarwater’s reworkings are compelling in their own right.