Last week, French electronic duo Cassius made a very welcome return to speakers around the world with the surprise premiere of brand-new single "Action" on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show. As Cassius — the partnership of Philippe Zdar and Boom Bass — laid down some seriously groovy bongo-inflected beats, collaborators Chan Marshall of Cat Power and Mike D of the Beastie Boys delivered some high energy vocals. Twisted together, it's the thumping Afrobeat-meets-disco cut we've been waiting 10 years to hear. Today, i-D is very pleased to premiere "Action's" super surreal video — the debut directorial effort of famed satirical contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan's Toilet Paper collective, produced in partnership with director Yuri Ancarani.
As Mike D kicks off the track with a signature nasally bang, Zdar and Boom Bass step into a photobooth which transports them to fictional "Ibifornia," where they drop in on a Tiki party we'd have loved an invite to. Golden gorillas, flame haired go-go girls, friendly volcanos, amazing tracksuits, and so much spaghetti — what more could you ask for?
The track marks a reunion of sorts; in the 10 years since the release of their last full-length album, 15 Again, in 2006, Zdar and Boom Bass have crafted forward-thinking sounds outside of Paris' defining French Touch house music movement. Zdar has become a Grammy-winning producer and mixer for acts as diverse as Phoenix, Kindness, Bloc Party, and Chromeo. His mixing efforts on the Beastie Boys' final record, 2011's Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, inspired Marshall to tap him for her most recent Cat Power LP, 2012's Sun. Speaking with Pitchfork, Mike D said "Action" came about when Zdar first spun the track for he and Marshall in New York City. "The song came with this world liberation theme and then I came with a modern-day relationship theme, and somehow the two went together. It's kind of like toast and Vegemite go together only in Australia," the enigmatic rapper told the site.
There are also familiar elements in Toilet Paper's literally bananas visuals. Since the summer of 2010, the collective's founder Cattelan has collaborated with Pierpaolo Ferrari to produce bi-annual print issues of a hyper-creative artists' magazine of the same name. Previous issues of Toilet Paper Magazine and its ongoing collaboration with Kenzo have included have included sausage curtains, chomping teeth, disembodied fingers, and couches full of spaghetti similar to those that make up the wildly eccentric visual world of Ancarani's "Action."
Zdar and Boom Bass are tight-lipped about their future plans beyond "Action," but we'll be keeping our eyes and ears peeled for any upcoming collaborations. For now, press play on this truly unique video. Lights, Camera, oh you know what comes next.
Text Emily Manning