Reflections on Maxwell Owin – Fruits and Flowers (9)

In the medium of the modern dystopia and the hurdles of social strife and adversarial biases, much of the internet can be tainted with a despondent amount of hope or cherish. Leveling out the witnessed debauchery can be overwhelming for the healers of the world to challenge and assuage the rising tension of our progressing culture. The tool of radio counteracted the forced propaganda with relics and stories. Television battled forces between colored news and broadcasted presidential speeches with family-oriented acts and episodes. With the internet, much of the content is overwhelmed by the infinite feed of news and entertainment from a multitude of sources.

One thing about an art form that can adapt to changing times, is how mature or subtle it can become when faced with other gleaming content of shining definition and contrast, supported by the wads of money thrown at the effort. With all the music and music videos supporting millions of views with its glossy appearance and conventional sounds, other content that derails from that path hold some sort of esoteric beauty for those willing enough to venture through the roadblocks. In early 2016, a local London DJ and producer by the name of Maxwell Owin uploaded a bizarre collage of coded video segments and four songs in his YouTube page, so far only supporting around 200 subscribers. The video was discreetly entitled Fruits and Flowers.

With Maxwell Owin and his musical compatriots, such as U.K. emcee MC Pinty and producer Rago Foot, there’s usually a certain time you would listen to their music to fully experience the effect. Much of their music epitomizes the nightlife. Whether in an urban environment, confronted by the dazzling nymphs of light poles and building structures, or in a quiet suburb where you can ruminate atop a valley of wet grass, much of their music is listenable in isolation and concentration. They grate their music with effervescent and spacial sounds that compete with the likes of listening to Smooth Jazz at the strike of midnight. They appreciate the quietness in life.

With Fruits and Flowers being suddenly released by a less known London producer, there’s no wonder as to why this was just passed by from the majority of listeners. Fruits and Flowers is not an essential listen for your interstate drive. It was meant to quietly speculate with appreciative attention and thoughtful isolation. The video and music itself convey that meaning with the very first sound that plays after the forty-second recording of a strong-tongued Englander unrecognizably mentioning the key points of “journeying” and “stories of London,” which is presented by a construction of animations and videos depicting odd natural scenery. Samples of pure. Smooth Jazz starts to careen in until it breaks into a Deep House session around two minutes in. These animations and photographic presentations are muddled by obscure coded filters and figure movements. Much of these filters become disorienting as the music progressively becomes more audible.

A climax that happens around two minutes in depicts an animation of a fertilizing seed growing into a full plant as the music surges through the filters and riddled imagery. Another interesting climax that occurs is when a track breaks apart into a slow piano piece eight minutes in, presenting slow pacing black and white footage of a seemingly distraught industrial segment of the world. The music then bounces back with beat breaks and a drum tempo as sporadic imagery flashes on the screen. Throughout the near fourteen minutes of the video, there isn’t much occurring in terms of narrative or comprehension. The smooth and sentient music flows gracefully with the random and sporadic movements of the photographs, videos, and animation.

Sometimes the music smoothly croons along with the pleasing imagery, and other times it haunts the eerie filters, making the experience all the more thematic. With videos like these, there isn’t any sense to be made. The music and videography creep into senses and enhances the mechanisms they provide. Experiences like these are more based on how it makes the watcher feel, rather than what he or she could critique it. Watching this late at night after a strenuous studying session or a night out with friends could help the viewer delve into something that big-budget art could rarely accomplish.


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