The innovative electronic art trio from Tokyo blends the borders of music and visual art with a rhythmically saturated sound of retro-digital compositions and vibrant geometric visuals. Visual artist Ymg (Takashi Yamaguchi) and drummers Itoken and Jimanica have come together in a highly entertaining collaboration of visual and performance art. Itoken and Jimanica’s polyrhythmic compositions, mixed with pre-recorded electronic tracks reminiscent of Nintendo, create an easily accessible musical component for live synchronization with Ymg’s visuals. Ymg’s programming allows triggers on Itoken and Jimanica’s drums to correspond with images and visualizations that range from colorful pop art to interactive games such as pinball and pong.
Picture this: Staring up at a projection screen in anticipation, Itoken stomps the kick drum a few times to bring his pong slider down to the proper position. A quick snare hit pushes his slider up and banks the ball over to the opposite side where Jimanica is in a full-on drum roll trying to bring his slider up for return. The grid squares change colors as the pong ball flies across the screen and what sounds like the soundtrack to a Gameboy blasts through the PA speakers. The game seamlessly dissolves into a head-bopping groove with tight rhythmic communication and a multi-colored visual assault as audience members wonder if they are at a concert, a video arcade or an art installation.
In the spirit of Tokyo’s drive for advanced technology and new information, d.v.d. takes a step toward musical and visual integration with their interactive show. “In Tokyo, people are always concerned with what’s happening,” Jimanica says before a show at Super Deluxe in Tokyo. “Because there is so much information, people are used to so many things that they want something that is unexpected. Tokyoites react when they see something very vivid or new.” With one foot in visual art and the other in music, d.v.d.’s playful attitude and innovative synchronization makes for a contemporary act that continues to push music forward via technological and artistic vision. Recently returning from a European tour, d.v.d. has also (ironically) released a DVD, 01 > 01 (01 Less Than 01).