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Modular Synthesist Datach’i's New Video is like a Cyberpunk ‘Toy Story’

“Final Meta” is off his new record ‘System’ on Venetian Snares’ Timesig label.

With certain kinds of mathematically dense modular synth music, like that of Brooklyn producer Datach'i, the sheer lushness of detail makes one feel like they can sense the moving parts of the process in an unusually direct way. Chicago filmmaker Daniel Ryan's video for "Final Meta"—off Joseph Fraioli's new record System on Venetian Snares' Timesig label—materializes this sensation, illustrating it with a micro-detailed, plastic model suburb built into a microchip-strewn motherboard. It's in this setting that a subtly dystopic narrative of decay unfolds—you can think of it as something like a cyberpunk Toy Story, and watch with uncomfortable curiosity as it goes up and flames.


Fraioli gave THUMP some backstory on the track via email. "When this [synth] patch/track came about it really struck me as having some kind of hidden narrative," he said. "There's an interesting thing that happens when collaborating with a machine to create music: certain stories and emotion can emerge in ways that you weren't expecting and are not necessarily describable with words."

Ryan also told us a little about his directorial process. "For 'Final Meta.' I envisioned a surreal landscape evolving over the course of time," he says. "To execute this idea on a micro-budget I tried to think, quite literally, on a micro-level. Once the concept solidified, I designed a miniature world out of discarded television and computer parts and restricted myself to the smallest camera I had - an iPhone with a few lens attachments.The video brings to life the idea of nature vs. machines in a way that mirrors the creative process of Datach'i."

Venetian Snares is no stranger to modular synths himself—he says that his setup is "almost like a bandmate, but you somehow have access to their neural network."

System came out on August 19.