Kutiman's Thru-YOU Videos: Remixing the Future Present
Transfixed, I watched all seven videos in succession — then went back to the beginning and watched them all again. The next morning I woke up with the haunting final track "Just A Lady" running round and round in my head.
I then got online and posted links to the Thru-YOU videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr — before sending an effusive and excited email to a huge list of my friends. Then I emailed Kutiman directly, just to express my joy at having discovered his work and to thank him for creating something so captivating and creative.
Although earlier attempts at remixed and mashed-up "scratch" music videos have been made by the likes of Coldcut, NoMig, and PirateTV and others — this is the first time I've seen such a sophisticated, completely realized, and beautiful example of the potential for using freely available YouTube videos as the audio and visual source samples for the composition of new songs.
The results are stunning (see attached videos).
Yes, this might be a zeitgeist moment for internet culture and the creative classes of web digerati, but it's also a flawless execution of a concept borne out of a collective, imaginative inevitability — a product of a time when so much is so widely available to anyone with little more than an internet connection and a unique vision of what might come from the act of reshaping what is there already.
Let's hope other artists are inspired by Kutiman's work; I'm excited to see where it will lead.
Every now and then comes something that is a perfect expression of what the Internet is about.
The latest, if you haven't already heard, comes via Kutiman, an Israeli Web impresario who mashed and mixed video clips of amateur YouTube musicians to create a near-flawless overture to the Twittering masses.
ThruYOU, his resulting record (if you can call it that), has taken the Web by storm, garnering more than a million YouTube views in the seven days since its release.
That's impressive when you consider its humble beginnings. Kutiman sent an e-mail about the project to just 20 friends. They told their friends about it and ThruYOU took on a life of its own, spreading like a netroots brushfire via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and blogs.
But the ThruYOU sensation is more than a momentary blip on social media's radar.