Video Spotlight & Interview: Colossal Mantis – Spatialist
This collaboration between electronic beat makers Colossal Mantis and video production team Gold Street Collective pairs barely-there, ethereal beats with a haunting video that makes you wonder who the protagonist is actually running from. The use of a qin zither sample gives Spatialist an otherworldly, self-reflexive sound that pairs beautifully with questioning what demons she is running from. Originally a demo track, Colossal Mantis reworked Spatialist into the track synced up to the video you see here. Beautifully shot on location in Brooklyn, this video perfectly captures the haunting desert Brooklyn streets can become late at night, while calling to mind feelings of insecurity, loneliness, and fear.
Sensible Reason was able to get in touch with the up-and-coming beat makers that comprise of Colossal Mantis to ask them a little about themselves and their first video.
Sensible Reason: Tell us a little about the people behind Colossal Mantis.
Colossal Mantis: We’ve been around for a year or two as our current incarnation. Right now the group consists of me (Andreas Stavropolis) and Desmond Tetrault. We met on the North Fork where we both grew up, and started hanging out more and being musically productive when we realized we were going to the same school – Hunter College (where we’re now going to be seniors in the fall). At some point, we birthed Colossal Mantis, and Spatialist was actually the first song we ever put out under that name.
Eventually we took it from just making beats to performing with a live band with a drummer and bassist, which gave us the opportunity to play venues all over Manhattan and Brooklyn. More recently we’ve set out on streamlining our sound, and focusing mainly on production. We’re exploring the whole spectrum, making hip-hop beats, dance tracks, experimental music, and really trying to expand what we’re capable of.
SR: How did you come together with Nick Massey and Gold Street Collective to produce this video?
CM: We had met Nick Massey 3-4 years ago through a mutual friend who was living with him. We became good friends with all the people who lived in the apartment (a chaotic and legendary space on Gold Street in the Financial District), and these people ended up becoming Gold Street Collective, a video production team of SVA graduates. The video is actually Nick’s film thesis. We trusted the whole team’s vision and professionalism and got an incredible video out of it.
SR: We love how the title of the track, Spatialist, ties together with the ethereal qualities of the video and the space embodied by the song itself. What was your thought process behind the creation of the track?
CM: I remember naming the track two years ago. At the time we were definitely inspired by the cosmos and thoughts of the beyond. The main section of the track samples a qin zither, which gives it a very ethnic or otherworldly sound. The rises and fades create some kind of new realm, some other space. When we first made the song, we envisioned it as a kind of exploration, making the listener (or viewer, now that there’s a video) the Spatialist, or the navigator of this new domain. This space is open to interpretation. Nick definitely viewed it as a darker, grittier place, and we rolled with that, developing it into a more sinister (and cinematic?) soundscape.
Special thanks to Andreas for the interview. We look forward to seeing what their future collaborations hold.
Gold Street Collective: