Paying homage to a dance community hit hard under COVID restrictions, TOKiMONSTA premieres today a new music video featuring choreography throughout Los Angeles. "To be Remote" appears on the producer/ DJ's latest effort Oasis Nocturno Instrumental, out today, which is the third and final rendition of her 2020 studio album, Oasis Nocturno.
The dreamy lo-fi visual, directed by Mitch deQuilettes, showcases contemporary dancers moving through different city environments, from an empty parking lot to the roof a house. Choreographer and LA native Genna Moroni is behind the dancing that perfectly captures this year's uneasy, at times lonely feeling.
TOKiMONSTA's "To be Remote" dancers are all shown by themselves until the very end, when the song builds into a climax and two men move together, loosely in unison before walking off screen. First grounded on an easy piano melody, the sparse production gets layered and layered with colorful flecks of eclectic percussion and horns.
"The pandemic has taken such a toll on the dance community," Moroni says, underscoring studio closures and no open venues for live shows. "Everything about dance is just a huge red hazard flag during COVID times. With so many dancers craving creative projects to keep them in touch with who they are at their core, curating the cast felt like being a kid in a candy shop."
She selected dancers for the film who connect to their movement "like they connect to breathing," adding that their "raw passion and energy" helped her focus their characters and narrative with deQuilettes. "In this video, I feel that there is something honest and unapologetic about each person you follow," she says, "which allows the viewer a moment to feel connected on a deeper level to the person moving on the screen."
Watch the PAPER premiere of "To be Remote" and stream Oasis Nocturno Instrumentals, below, featuring 12 stripped-down updates on TOKiMONSTA's original tracks.
Photography: Nikko Lamere