Jae Matthews and Augustus Muller have been doing Boy Harsher for a little while now, constantly honing their craft of danceable bleakness and etching their name in the wall of electronic music. Unrelenting rhythm sections match with addictively dark synth compositions and curiously ominous vocals, to make for a sound as disconcerting as it is intoxicating. Their new video for “Deep Well,” off their LP Yr Body Is Nothing (out this past June on DKA Records), is a perfect visualization of their mission statement, depicting a sole dancer using aerobic movement to expel inner demons.
The song’s opening synth tones, indeed. immediately sound like falling down some foreign rabbit hole, or a dusky entry into a k-hole, giving way to the thump of kick drum and sharp staccato keys and initiating the strange exorcism. Sonically, everything constant throughout, but it’s repetitious in a way whose anxiety and duration intensifies mood. Matthews’ weighty vocals loom overhead and oversee the progression, or rather, the maintenance, of doom.The video, directed by Zach Hart, is shot in a grainy black and white, giving it the feel of a silent film. Abrupt linear visual effects and obscurities add to the off-kilter feel of this stagnant universe of dancer, of song, of artist. The dancer is clearly troubled throughout, looks of desperate determination consuming their face in between rather violent head shakes and tightly shut eyes. But the ritual isn’t working, and they are fated to this act of futility forever.
Boy Harsher play Elvis Guesthouse with Angels in America and Cienguegos.