The video for Diamond Field’s soaring 80s-inspired synth-pop gem, “This City,” premieres here on Vehlinggo today.
The single release, which will include a 12-inch mix and remixes by Dream Fiend, Von Hertzog, Midwave, and VHS Dreams, will be available from Luca Discs and Future City Records on Sept. 14.
Diamond Field’s Andy Diamond and singer Matthew Ruys wrote “This City” in their native Auckland, New Zealand, before relocating to other countries. (Diamond is in Brooklyn now, and Ruys is in Asia.) However, they didn’t finish it until years later. The video came together in June when both men were back in New Zealand.
Especially observant readers will remember the song from Vehlinggo’s May mix. However, this version’s a little different. Enjoy.
Diamond tells the story of how the video came together:
As both Matt and I live in different parts of the world, we tried to figure out how we could make a music video long-distance. It was not until the last minute that Matt and I knew we’d be in Auckland at the same time in June, and only for a couple of days.
Time was limited, so shooting took place over a couple of hours one early winter’s night in Auckland City. Many of the locations used in the video have significance for both Matt and myself — areas of the city that played a part in the making of life and careers.
Wardrobe choices were non-existent, so it was a case of “make use of what you have.” For musical props, I had my Steinberger bass guitar with me, and a vintage Roland Jupiter 8 synthesizer was kindly loaned to us by New Zealand musician Nathan Haines.
All footage was shot with an iPhone, mounted on a tripod or hand-held, including the time-lapse, which involved standing dead-still for several minutes on a busy city street while bemused passers-by looked on.
No lights were used — only natural lighting from street lights and parking lots. It was Matt’s idea to stare coldly towards the camera in an 80s synth-pop music-video way, and in some cases, not lip-sync at all. So while we look serious in the video there’s a little tongue-in-cheek going on. But we definitely wanted some kind of nod to the ‘80s in it.
Music sync came from Matt’s phone — we’d hit play on the MP3, and get into position while the camera was rolling. In most cases, [we were] unable to hear much or remember the actual words of the song.
Post-production editing included adding lighting effects and graphic elements that were a throwback to 80s videos. These included dividing lines between multiple shots, cropped/windowed shots, and freeze frame fades.
Overall, we were pretty happy with the results, considering the minimal gear we had and the short amount of time to shoot.