Dancefloor Diplomacy began in 2007 as the brainchild of two best friends from grade school, KJ Rothweiler and Jakob Dorof, who decided to pursue an idea they called "collage music," or, what most of us might recognize as mash-ups. Only, Rothweiler and Dorof didn't want computers and samples to do the work for them. Today, the project relies on 20 live musicians in compositions pulled from bars of recorded music—their first music video, a little over eight minutes long, plays like a series of classical movements extracted from 38 existing songs.
"We Are Ready," directed by Theo Anthony (who's also done videos for Wiseblood and Best Coast), premiered at the Lower East Side's Anthology Film Archives last Saturday night. The song is an impressive musical narrative that borrows from Aphex Twin to Joanna Newsom and much in between, but also stands on its own as something unique and highly likeable. The visuals similarly run the gamut in theme—tracking everything from a fleet of suburban kids on bikes to a Viking look-a-like attacking a woodpile with fire. Though a "mash-up" might connote a low, haphazard stringing together of samples (especially now that Girl Talk's novelty has worn off), Dancefloor's care and craft oddly place them in almost total opposition to that idea. Much like the Kony 2012 video, you kind of just have to watch and listen to understand. Enjoy.
You can follow Sydney Brownstone on Twitter @sydbrownstone