PARADISO, the 2017 album from NON Records founder Chino Amobi released on UNO NYC, was one of the most instantly captivating electronic albums of 2017. It builds its own world through a vivid collision of noise, hip-hop, and techno, but you immediately got a sense of its depth from the cover art, an identity card for the artist himself to inhabit the city he created.
Now, Amobi is opening the gates to the city of PARADISO and its beautiful humanoid inhabitants with WELCOME TO PARADISO (CITY IN THE SEA). It's a new animated short film directed by Rick Farin a.k.a Eaves premiering today on The FADER (Eaves also worked with Amobi on the PARADISO album). Dystopian art is undeniably trendy, but for artists like Amobi who felt the collapse in their bones long before the 2016 election, their distraught visions have a veteran's pedigree to them. One reason for the world's cohesiveness is that PARADISO is not an entirely bleak place: there's real beauty and diversity in between scenes of fevered personality cults and mass graves.
Over email, Chino Amobi listed the inspirations for the film and characters: "The Global South, Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, Timothy Morton’s theories regarding hyper-objects and dark ecology after the end of the world, my experiences traveling and touring globally, Square Enix, Xanadu (Citizen Kane), and the poetry of Elysia Crampton."
"Chino and I had been talking for a while about doing a short film together," Rick Farin wrote in his statement, "and a world-building exercise for PARADISO felt like the most logical step. Created inside Unreal Engine 4, WELCOME TO PARADISO: CITY IN THE SEA takes viewers through multiple songs and across the diverse locales of PARADISO, visiting a unique cast of characters along the journey. The film is staged and crafted like some sort of carnivalized opera, and for me, this very narrative visual completely made sense to deconstruct in reference to the musical space of PARADISO.”
Chino Amobi will play Elsewhere in Brooklyn on July 19 with Qualiatik and Caitlin Baucom. Get tickets here.
Thumbnail photo by Johnny Utterback