Watch Animated Scores to Music by Radiohead, Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Photek & Other Electronic/Post-Punk/Avant-Garde Musicians

A few weeks ago, we told you about Stephen Mali­nows­ki and the Music Ani­ma­tion Machine, a pop­u­lar and pret­ty expan­sive YouTube chan­nel that fea­tures scrolling, col­or-coor­di­nat­ed ani­mat­ed “scores” for clas­si­cal works from Debussy to Bach and Stravin­sky.

But what if there was a ver­sion of this, some­where some­how, for elec­tron­ic music?

Ask the ques­tion of the Inter­net, dear read­er, and the gods will pro­vide. For just over a year motion graph­ics design­er Johannes Lam­pert has been work­ing in a sim­i­lar style to inter­pret the work of elec­tron­ic, post-punk, and mod­ern com­posers like Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt in which every sound is rep­re­sent­ed by a dif­fer­ent ani­mat­ed sym­bol.

In the above video, Lam­pert takes on Talk­ing Heads’ mul­ti­lay­ered, Fela Kuti-inspired “The Great Curve” from Remain in Light. The video gives us jagged lines for Tina Weymouth’s bass, a steady bor­der of dots for Chris Frantz’ propul­sive drum tracks, and sev­er­al gaps into which the three vocal lines of the song—David Byrne’s lead, and Nona Hendryx and the band’s mul­ti­tracked call-and-response back­ing vocals—drop and pulse. Add to that an unbro­ken jagged line that repli­cates Adri­an Belew’s sear­ing and soar­ing solo.

Cur­rent­ly there are 12 tracks avail­able on Anato­my of a Track’s Youtube chan­nel, with a post­ing record that sug­gests Johannes Lam­pert is work­ing on one every two months.

Lam­pert exper­i­ments with the lay­out and graph­ics of his ani­ma­tions, mak­ing their design com­ple­ment the music. Hence “The Great Curve” look­ing like African tex­tiles, Gil-Scott Heron’s “New York Is Killing Me” aping the New York Sub­way map, and Photek’s “The Rain” as a pud­dle filled with puls­ing rain­drops.

Maybe the most com­plex video so far is for Radiohead’s “Bloom,” which is just as chaot­ic as the band’s tum­bling drum machine. But it does uncov­er how steady the bass is in this track while all around the oth­er instru­ments are shim­mer­ing and ethe­re­al. And for just a good time, Justice’s “Phan­tom” is turned into a dynam­ic light show that looks like a night dri­ve down a Japan­ese express­way.

I would put it to you that mod­ern elec­tron­ic artists think about their music much like these ani­ma­tions. I mean, what are music edit­ing pro­grams like Pro­Tools or Log­ic Pro but hor­i­zon­tal scrolls of dots and sound waves?

No doubt Lam­pert has more tricks up his sleeve and more tracks to ani­mate. Stay tuned.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch Clas­si­cal Music Come to Life in Art­ful­ly Ani­mat­ed Scores: Stravin­sky, Debussy, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart & More

Opti­cal Poems by Oskar Fischinger, the Avant-Garde Ani­ma­tor Hat­ed by Hitler, Dissed by Dis­ney

Watch Clas­si­cal Music Get Per­fect­ly Visu­al­ized as an Emo­tion­al Roller Coast­er Ride

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the artist inter­view-based FunkZone Pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, read his oth­er arts writ­ing at and/or watch his films here.

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