Los Angeles-via-Lawrence, KS musician Phil Canty is the rare electronic producer who writes pretty much all of his tracks out on a Rhodes before going in for the beats and samples. Consequently, whether he’s collaborating with Kelela or Le1f, remixing Justin Bieber or cutting tracks for the Night Slugs crew, there’s a wide-eyed, orchestral quality to his work, a free-wheeling melodicism that never hews too closely to the grid. Recently, he re-styled his handle from Morri$ to P. Morris, and announced a first solo mixtape with the similarly meat-and-potatoes title, Debut. It’s out today via Canty’s own Bear Club Music Group label, but he’s unveiling it in the form of a Google Streetview-powered, interactive environment courtesy of the recently FADER-profiled creative agency, OKFocus. Below, FADER’s art director Harry Gassel talks to executive creative director Ryder Ripps about his firm’s philosophy on interactivity, and how that relates to P. Morris’ new tracks.
How did this collaboration with P. Morris start? A mutual friend connected us maybe a year ago and Phil and I hit it off. After I made this art work I thought this was a great format for a music video and talked to Phil about expanding this type of interaction for Debut.
Where are the images from, and what was your selection process like? All Google Streetview. In Safari or Chrome, you will see the scenes affected by new WebKit filters that are available. Going through Streetview photographers portfolios and looking on Streetview blogs that index interesting places and simply by traversing the world placing the Streetview marker in far-out places. P. Morris chose the scenes. I personally like “Gemini,” where you see an inverted view inside a Range Rover.
What are you hoping viewers/listeners/users will get out of experiencing P. Morris’s mixtape this way? People often talk about interactive media. The most interactive thing is reality. Something truly interactive allows the user total freedom. I think it’s an exploration to see if people enjoy this type of freedom.
It seems like there is a relationship between these found images and a certain type of royalty-free mixtape culture. What is the relationship between the way you went about sourcing and building this site and P. Morris’s record? Theres so much cool stuff already in the world. Art is a reflection as well as an imposition of society. It’s more interesting to impose a reflection than to pretend like you’re creating something out of thin air.
What is the relationship between this project and Beyonce’s “visual album”? Whats that?
Check out the interactive mixtape site here.