Often labelled ‘experimental’, Gaika is an artist who continues to examine just what it means to be a black male musician, his intention has always been very clear: “if I’ve got one aim musically, it’s to shift where normal is. Particularly with black music” told the Guardian back in March.
His latest work – a short film commissioned by his new label Warp for Channel 4’s Random Acts series – delicately subverts the idea of a passive audience. The deep choral harmonies in the films opening is immediately alluring as both Zawe Ashton and Anthony Welsh come into focus, pulling in their audience from the first frames and challenging us to see ourselves in the characters they portray.
An exploration of love and loss, the short is by turns sultry and calm – intimate and destructive as we question the realities of our most intimate relationships. The knight seen in the short appears each time at the scenarios tipping point, a traditional icon of saviour this knight seems content to bring down the walls of the nocturnal fantasy, and those wrapped within.
The music is taken from his latest EP, ‘Spaghetto’ and much like the work of Casisdead, Gaika achieves a level of audio visual storytelling that is completely immersive. As the short unfolds we question ourselves, to what extent are we complicit in our own destruction? How often do we seek to replace intense realities with our own softer fantasy? The world will continue to turn and its realities remain unchanged.