Music Video of the Day: Block Rockin’ Beats by The Chemical Brothers (1997, dir by Dom & Nic)


Are we in the past, the present, or the future?  It’s an interesting question and one that’s more relevant than you might think.  I may be writing this in my present but you’ll be reading it in the future, which of course means that I’m currently speaking to you from the past.

What does that have to do with today’s music video of the day?  Perhaps nothing, though I do like the way that this video seems to be a perfect illustration of how people in the past once spent their present visualizing the future.  There are oppressive government agents, all wearing suits.  There are people fleeing after committing some sort of vague, possibly criminal act.  There’s the appropriately decadent club where people dance while the world outside descends into stormy chaos.  Today, this video and this song would be considered to be rather retro but, back in 1997, it was all undoubtedly viewed as being quite futuristic.

Needles to say, I like this video.  With all the rain and its neon noir atmosphere, it’s a video that seems almost as if it’s been excerpted out of a larger movie.  One could easily imagine a 90-minute version of this video, one that would undoubtedly feature a lot more time spent in the storm.  It’s a video that does a very good job at suggesting life under a dystopia and while dystopian societies are terrible when it comes to day-to-day living, they have inspired some memorable music videos.

This video is one of the many Chemical Brothers videos to have been directed by Nick Goffey and Dominic Hawley (better known as Dom & Nic).  According to the imdb, the cinematographer was Simon Chaudoir, who is credited with not only several other music videos but also with working on two episodes of the British spy series, Spooks.  Here in the States, Spooks was known as MI-5.  I watched a few episodes when it aired over here.  It was a stylish show but I quickly learned not to get too attached to any of the characters.

Anyway, enjoy!