Los Angeles, CA (March 6, 2014)—Californian trio Crystal Antlers has teamed up with the original pioneer of dub music, Scientist, for an ichorous interpretation of their track “We All Gotta Die,” from their third LP Nothing Is Real. For the Video, calling upon sought after Street Artist Skullphone to visually interpret their humming thermal sound.
“We really wanted to bring attention to “We All Gotta Die” so it was only natural for us to reach out to both Scientist and Skullphone,” says, Guitarist Andrew King of Crystal Antlers. “We have been big fans of both guys work for some time now—being able to bring these visionaries together, we not only met our expectations but exceeded them by creating such an inspiring video.”
The band drew inspiration from both artists, which is clearly reflected in the video. Scientist mixing and adding his signature style and sound while Skullphone directed an interpretation of “We All Gotta Die”—highlighting, in his usual manner, contradictions in modern culture. Skullphone describes the video inspiration as coming from “living “in our increasingly toxic & radioactive world – a look we achieved by shooting in and around Los Angeles with a Thermal Camera”.
Working with fellow artists is nothing new for the Crystal Antlers. Their 2011 Two Way Mirror LP artwork was drawn by the legendary Raymond Pettibon (Black Flag artist); and their current Nothing Is Real album art was created with California Skate/Surf Icon CR Stecyk. The Crystal Antler’s 10 year friendship with Skullphone allowed a seamless creative video collaboration for “We All Gotta Die.”
Band: Crystal Antlers (CrystalAntlers.com, instagram: @CrystalAntlers)
Song: “We All Gotta Die” (Scientist Remix)
Director: Skullphone (Skullphone.com, instagram: @Skullphone)
Director of Photography: Mary Bell
Editor: Forrest Borie
Crystal Antlers Biography
“Merging Psych, garage, lo-fi, prog, and countless other influences, the group easily maintains consistency despite a complete inability to be pinned to any specific movement or trend.” – Pitchfork
Long Beach, California’s Crystal Antlers began turning heads in 2008 with their recording debut, EP, a release that was produced by Ikey Owens (known for his work with the Mars Volta) and noted for its blend of psychedelic, garage, and prog rock sounds. Jonny Bell (bass, vocals, woodwinds), Andrew King (guitar, organ), Kevin Stuart (drums) soon developed a reputation for eccentric live shows. The group made a number of appearances on the 2008 F Yeah Tour and signed with Touch & Go Records in August of that year. By 2009, talk of a new full-length began circulating, and in April, Tentacles was released. That album would be the last new record on Touch & Go before the label drastically downsized in 2009, and Crystal Antlers were left to release their follow-up, Two-Way Mirror, on their own Recreation Ltd in July of 2011.
Their third full-length, Nothing Is Real, showcased the band as the original trio. It was released by Innovative Leisure in the fall of 2013.
The Crystal Antlers’ debut for L.A.’s Innovative Leisure was recorded at bassist/vocalist Jonny Bell’s home studio Jazzcats. This set marks not only an extension of the band’s garagey neo-speech roots, but an expansion into new sonic terrains using synths and drum machines, they dominate the basic guitar/bass/drums/organ attack & supplement it with noise and texture. These 11 songs reveal that this trio has become not only comfortable in the recording studio, but with one another as musicians; they are willing to push themselves into a new red zone. All things tolled, Nothing Is Real evidences everything right about indie rock. Though it blisters with intensity, it boasts well-written songs illustrated by canny production, played with confident recklessness and vulnerable honesty.
Overton Brown was only 16 years old when producer/performer Errol “Don” Mais discovered and used the considerable talents of this adolescent dub whiz. Born in Kingston in 1960, the Scientist learned basic electronics from his TV repairman father, skills that made him very popular with the mobile DJs and their not-always-functioning sound systems. A friend suggested he visit the legendary dub producer/mixer King Tubby, not to remix records, but to get some transformers by which Scientist could build his own amplifiers. Soon the Scientist was an employee of Tubby’s, fixing transformers and televisions, when one day, after an animated conversation about mixing records, Tubby challenged the Scientist to take a shot at remixing a record. Brimming with adolescent bravado, Scientist took Tubby’s challenge, and that led to an extended apprenticeship in dub experimentation under Tubby’s guidance. It was while at Tubby’s that the Scientist developed his idiosyncratic dub style, playful and very psychedelic, loaded with echo explosions and blasts of feedback, a sound that caught the attention of Don Mais, who overheard the Scientist at the mixing board during a visit to Tubby’s studio. With Mais supervising the production, Scientist, now all of 18, cut some wicked dub sides for the Roots Tradition label. At the end of the ’70s, Scientist (now also referred to as “The Dub Chemist”) left Tubby’s to become the main engineer at Channel One Studios, and working with Henry “Junjo” Lawes, cut some best-selling dub LPs, only to leave for the greener pastures of Tuff Gong in 1982. In 1985, Scientist moved to Silver Springs, Maryland, where he lives and works as a recording engineer.
Skullphone began installing an image of a witty black-and-white skull holding a cellphone throughout city streets in 1999, and the moniker “Skullphone” ensued. His work is documented in a wide range of Street Art publications, including Taschen’s Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art, and Banksy’s Exit Through the Giftshop. Skullphone’s work continues to examine and document contradictions in digital culture, and can be found @skullphone.