Images from PBVSGR.com, courtesy the artists
Panda Bear unveiled PBVSGR.com yesterday, a strange and trippy website collaboratively built with the help of a number of visual artists. Launched weeks after the premiere of Isaiah Saxon and Sean Hellfritsch's co-directed video for “Boys Latin” and Monday's unveiling of a global radio campaign, the interactive album-previewing experience is the latest entry in the digital rollout of Panda Bear's forthcoming album, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper (out January 13th on Domino Records).
Alongside videos by frequent collaborator Danny Perez and graphics by Marco Papiro, Patakk, Hugo Oliveira and more, the site features an original soundtrack by Panda Bear and Sonic Boom of English band Spacemen 3. Both its desktop and mobile versions open with a clash of moving shapes and colors that resemble glitchy video interlacing. By using a laptop's arrow keys or swiping a smartphone screen, users can cycle through a procession of otherworldly videos and graphics, some of which appeared with Panda Bear's live performance visuals from 2014, while others will be used in the forthcoming record's physical sleeve.
A swipe or arrow left sends users to Perez's video of a trippy Grim Reaper, whose figure is the canvas for what looks like old school, pre-CGI optical printer effects. This shamanic, psychedelic image of death beckons viewers to approach before making the universal "throat cutting" gesture. Flickering graphics that again resemble corrupted video files serve as the background to the Reaper's dark seduction.
Arrow right from the home screen and an illustration of Panda Bear holding a video game controller and challenging the Grim Reaper appears alongside a bevy of butterflies and analog synthesizers. A few more swipes to the right, and a black-and-white optical illusion appears. Elsewhere, in a day-glo scene that would make Burning Man crowds' hearts flutter, two figures' hands and feet link together and rotate kaleidoscopically.
Panda Bear and Danny Perez have also set to play a sold-out special in New York City on Sunday, January 11th. The audiovisual surround sound performance is part of Boiler Room's Sunday Sessions, and will take place at MoMA PS1's VW Dome. Click here for more info.
Experience Panda Bear's interactive website on PBVSGR.com. Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper comes out on January 13th in Standard CD and 2xLP formats, and Limited Edition Deluxe 2xCD and 3xLP formats. Click here for more information and to to preorder the album.