Album cover ThruYou - Kutiman
ThruYouKutiman6/10

Kutiman - ThruYou

23 Mar 2009 macron1

What would happen if you watched around 7500 YouTube clips? Personally, on my 50 baud connection, this preposterous task would take at least as many years so as to make it impossible, however for those capable, the results probably would range from "nothing", to potentially triggering some kind of mental illness. For one dedicated fellow, the answer was to undertake the herculean task of combining them into a mostly seamless work of art, i.e. from 7,615 clips* to 7 clips. The lonely soul in question is Kutiman, musician/composer/producer from Isreal, and the work is titled ThruYou.

ThruYou is, to quote the man himself, comprised of "a mix of unrelated YouTube videos/clips edited together", the clips acting as instruments, mashed/mixed together à la Girl Talk/J Dilla/diplo et al, into "new" material. Clips include such hits as a dude performing freestyle, a guy giving instruction on the E Pentatonic scale, drum lessons from the "world's most recorded drummer", and... a white guy (allegedly) talking politics in a Jamaican accent, among many, many others.

Upon first viewing, alongside audible gasps, thoughts of "holy WTF how the hell did he do that?/that's impossible/he's a witch, burn him", fill the room and flood the mind, as the various "unrelated" clips meld together almost perfectly in to wholly new works of art. Perhaps to address any shock experienced by the viewer, helpfully there is a short "About" video included, in which the artist thanks contributors, and explains a little about the project. Additionally, it features footage of Kutiman carrying out YouTube searches, searching for videos featuring "funk drums" for example, suggesting each track began with more of a concept of a branch or genre of music - funk in "The Mother Of All Funk Chords", reggae in "This Is What It Became" etc, merely collecting and clipping together similarly titled/themed clips. Obviously this overly simplifies the situation, the shot of him searching for funk drums is likely for illustrative purposes only, but at least gives an idea of how it might be done (do not try this you will fail).

Taken as an album, ThruYou is a mixed bag of styles. The first track, "The Mother of All Funk Chords", evokes perhaps a Propellerheads feel with its horns and big crashing drums, as well as a generous helping of funk, and is followed up by the straight-up reggae of "This Is What It Became". "Babylon Band" has a heavy drum and bass/didgeridoo intro, descending into a weird Eastern European sounding organ jam over with the d&b riff, before some dude starts shamanically chanting over the drums. This is followed by the laid-back snake charmer Lounge of "Someday". The point being that the clips that comprise ThruYou suggest more of a showcase, a set of examples of musical genres, and less of an "album" per se (not that at any time is it suggested that ThruYou is even an album and be interpreted as such). The clear generic influences present in each video lends to a disjointed feel when taken as a complete work, with each having the potential to be a good addition to, or starting point for, an album in of themselves, but maybe not working well as a collection. This is not to disparage the work - each clip is an achievement in its own right, and clearly the creative genius (not to mention patience) required for such a project is beyond almost every other person on earth's talents, and the scope and vision of ThruYouis remarkable.

As for purchase... being what it is, ThruYou is really a YouTube-only affair, and the best point would be to head to thru-you.com, although it could be obtained from somewhat dubious sources elsewhere on the internet. The latter would contain both the videos as well as separate mp3 tracks, and makes for interesting listening minus the associated videos.

*this number is the total amount of clips viewed by YouTube user "kutiman" as at 18/03/09, and may or may not represent the actual number of clips used in the production of ThruYou. Sorry.

Sardless Tracks

  • The Mother of All Funk Chords (mostly for its name)
  • Babylon Band
  • guitar solo in the About video

Track Listing

  1. The Mother Of All Funk Chords
  2. This Is What It Became
  3. I Am New
  4. Babylon Band
  5. Someday
  6. Wait For me
  7. Just A Lady
  8. About