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Thom Yorke’s Collaboration With Modeselektor Results in Creepy ‘This’ Video

Thom Yorke
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Thom Yorke lends vocals to Modeselektor’s new video, a high gloss of freaked out puppetry, out-of-nowhere animation and the Radiohead frontman’s spliced and screwed vocals.

Berlin electronic act Modeselektor has some high art for you: The video begins with film-style credits of MODESELEKTOR with THOM YORKE. Fade into a hooded leather-jacketed figure — looking like a mashup of Assassin’s Creed and Pete Wentz — spotlit and crouching before a small lifelike puppet lying on the floor. Arms, heads and mannequins surround the androgynous master-puppeteer protagonist, who raises the miniature marionette to its feet.

Now standing, the puppet looks at its oversized hand, turning it back and forth like a person curious to be alive. The beat picks up, and the puppeteer and her performer begin to dance. A toy monkey drums in approval. She begins to shake, a rocking horse begins to rock and the Modeselektor grows tense, too tense — the little puppet falls to the floor, shuddering.

Possessed by the song, the puppeteer stands up and begins to whirl in time with the music, the marionette flying about. Eerie: She tosses the figure to a pile of books, and black feathers fall from above. The puppeteer jumps up, held in the air by something invisible, and green and yellow animated ribbons twist around her. She’s transformed into a dark CGI figure with sinewy bright cords bursting from her chest and head in virtual space. All of a sudden, we’re back to real life, back to the room. Feathers fall from the ceiling, the puppeteer laying passed out in the same pose as the puppet was to start. The marionette smiles.

The manic soundtrack this is off of is Modeselektor’s third full-length, ‘Monkeytown.’ The video was directed by Andrew Jones of FutureDeluxe, a UK creative agency that’s done ads for Ferrari and Heineken. Puppet psychological electro horror must be a new field for them.

Watch Thom Yorke and Modeselektor’s ‘This’ Video

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