I first heard about London beatsmith/filmmaker Benjy Keating, aka Palmistry, while posting a few missives from the Cantonese-rapping Hippos In Tanks artist Triad God. The origins of that project remain somewhat of a mystery to me, but Palmistry’s driving role in both the production and visual aspects of the Vietnamese/Chinese MC’s career got me kind of curious about the guy. A few weeks ago, he dropped an Auto-Tuned, dancehall-inspired single on Mixpak; the accompanying slow-mo footage of a woman dancing in athletic gear enhanced the feel-good vibes, and also confirmed his vision as a hyper-stylized one, manifesting itself equally through image and sound.
Now, he’s got a 12-inch coming out on Milan-based imprint Presto!?, and Triad God’s Vinh Ngan stars in the video for the soulfully synthetic title track, “Lil Gem.” Says Keating of the video and song, “While working on the new Triad God project, we were filming Vinh pay his respects to family members in which he burned incense, money and left drinks at a shrine. The idea for the Lil Gem video came from this footage where I wanted to distill this emotion in a simple set up and present a symbolic portrait of his awe-inspiring presence and solemn nature. As a singer and producer I end up singing on half of my productions depending on how im feeling but for Lil Gem the vocals of the track are the visuals. That’s how I see it.” Lil Gem 12-inch is out January 18th via Presto!?, but you can pre-order it here.