To score his first solo album, Jesse Hackett fished a Yamaha PSR-110 keyboard out of a trash heap. The keyboard’s low-fi, precanned sounds inspired his first single, “The Dump Run,” and also the song’s music video–the first music video ever produced by Pentagram London.
“The a-ha moment came when Jesse showed us the keyboard and we saw all the graphic details on it–symbols of lions, birds and trains, weird and wonderful musical genres, simple instructional buttons–and we realized that we could make a video almost entirely from the keyboard in the same way that Jesse had made a song from it,” explains partner Naresh Ramchandani. “Though the static graphics on the keyboard gave us the idea, it was the prospect of animating them that got us excited–sequencing them, kaleidoscoping them, intercutting them, and pulsing them so that they danced and popped to the track, a mixture of a crazily dated graphic equalizer and a funky hypnosis film.”
But if you watch a bit more closely, you’ll see that there is actually a narrative to the visual frenzy. The video opens with the aforementioned sequences and kaleidoscopes, but you don’t really know why you’re seeing them. I’m not sure an explanation is even needed, but about a third of the way through, Hackett fishes that keyboard from the trash. “And on that synth are–guess what? Yes, those graphics,” Ramchandani says. “Mystery solved. It’s like an episode of Columbo in pop video form.”