warp vision: the videos 1989-2004

As much as we diss Warp for making bad decisions, they have perfected the right techniques that make them a strong label with a strong identity. Most importantly: present the music in a direct and uncluttered way, with a conscious attention to an appealing design, making sure it is never overpowering: essentially allowing for the music to retain its importance over design. It's essentially what they've done for their first various artist video collection. Warp Vision isn't breaking new grounds nor is it the first of its kind (see: Ninja Tune or Matador), but what it does is collect a wide selection of the music videos that Warp has had something to do with over the years. It has no noticeable Easter Eggs, nor any audio commentary. The menu choices are to play all the videos or select them alphabetically, see the credits and see some images. Noticably absent are videos for Autechre's "Basscadet," Tricky Disco's "Tricky Disco" and "Housefly," anything from Vincent Gallo (THANK GOD), as well as !!! and Tortoise (but then again, they were licensed from US labels so Warp probably doesn't even own the rights to the videos). What is included are everybody's favorite Aphex videos with people running around with his ugly ass face on, Chris Cunningham's brilliant video for Squarepusher's "Come On My Selector" and the Chris Cunningham-wanna be, LFO's "Freak" directed by Daniel Levi (gotta love those fiery young Asian girls), plus videos from Prefuse, Antipop, the inexcusable Jimi Tenor, and many more. I'm pleased to finally be able to see videos for Sweet Exorcist (even if it's a lot of primitive graphics and a Pong! game) and LFO's classic "LFO" and the brilliant "Tied Up." Videos like Broadcast's "Papercuts" are just so visually colorful that it reminds me how much nicer it is to see on a full screen as opposed to a tiny little streaming computer image. A couple Warp TV commercials are included for shits and giggles along with a bonus CD of eleven audio mosaics of various tunes from the Warp vaults mixed by Buddy Pearce and Zilla. The CD is forgettable for the most part, but the DVD has its moments that will please different people depending on their tastes. With any luck 4AD and Mute will take a hint and do something similar. (And if you record execs are actually reading: don't leave anything out next time!)