Horse Lords are a Baltimore based band which include Andrew Bernstein (saxophone/percussion), Max Eilbacher (bass/electronics), Owen Gardner (guitar), and Sam Haberman (drums). Four years after Interventions, they announced the release of a new album. The Common Task will be out on March 13th via Northern Spy. Watch the official video for the track “People’s Park“.
The song title comes from a public park established by the Young Lords, a Latinx liberation organization. It was built both as a community-run community space and as a bulwark against development on a vacant tract of land in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, which at the time had a large Puerto Rican population who correctly feared they were being pushed out. A modest utopian project compared to some of the other points on the album’s titles’ map of socialist modernisms but an inspiring assertion of the public’s right to occupy public space.
“The music was an experiment in testing the limits of genre–in this case, reggaeton.” says Horse Lords, “The project was approached with great respect for the history, techniques and repertoire of reggaeton, trying to extrapolate from rather than impose upon. The standard drum pattern underwent a process of distillation and recombination (this we must admit was not a minimally invasive procedure), mutating into a tiling rhythmic canon. Reggaeton’s links to dub were emphasized in the production, overall the hope being a balance of reverence and playfulness.
The director, Corey Hughes, explains what inspired the video: “There is something other wordly about figure skating. The movements look supernatural, like they are floating in space or a virtual environment. What I really responded to in the track and the choreography is the balance between structured repetitive elements and looser improvisatory elements. I adopted a similar approach for the cinematography of the video, combining more formal static shots with fluid, energetic, and reactionary camera movements. Like the skaters themselves, the movement of the camera fluctuates in and out of sync with the track.”