Atak hails out of Paris, an audiovisual label with a quite a few releases under their gallic belt by now. ‘Meat’ features a series of clips by 3 artists on their roster, on a DVD boasting to be ‘DVJ ready’ – ready for looping and scratching by those with access to DVD turntables. The disc’s cover is a good clue to the content within, an eye-popping collage of photoshopped flesh in various states of life, augmented by various bolted on bits of electronic technology.
Cinemassaker start off with various close up screen textures, layers of surveillance cameras and jolts of colourised tv news, punctuated by beeps and glitches. It’s nicely done, with mostly restrained palettes, and quite hypnotically edited, up to and including the introduction of footage from John Carpenter’s legendary ‘They Live’ movie, where the main characters discover special sunglasses which enable them a capacity to decode all public advertisements ( put the glasses on and a billboard for a car now reads in stark black and white : ‘work, consume, die’ ). Overlaid barcodes and pixelated animations, along with burnt colours help their editing condense the film’s samples down to a bare repetitive essence, and they manage to lock into some kind of ambient audiovisual groove. Next track follows the same recipe, gradually introducing a film I didn’t know and paring it down over time, and the final track is a sequence of ever bloodying hi-speed martial arts chops.
Mutation continue the gore with a chicken killing scene that comes off as some weird voodoo circus scene the way they’ve colorised and framed it. Some wasted human dominates the next clip in eerie close up, and their final clip plays with highway panoramas and nicely overlaid motion graphics with sound on top of footage of overhead power lines sweeping by.
Lifesteak start off in a much more ambient vein, overlaid layers of light streaked plant close-ups, building up in slow intensity, the next clip musically editing and layering the squawks of birds flying from clifffaces. Factory machine close-ups are sequenced in the next clip, getting denser over time and it closes with butcher footage interlaced with motion graphics and some lab hand analysing a human brain.
Not for the squeamish then, but some worthwhile moments on the disc.