If there’s a single word to distill Hideki Inaba’s animation style, it would be “intricate.” His 2015 video for Dutch producer Beatsofreen (commissioned by BC label King Deluxe, always a reliable source of gorgeous animated videos) is as sumptuous as it gets, with cascades of magical creatures swelling and fading in hypnotic pulses. The sheer number of visual layers is enough to overwhelm—which is a testament to Inaba’s compositional skills.

With the video for Canigou’s song “Tape,” Inaba riffs on the same theme with even more exquisite choreography. The track itself is relatively sparse, a collection of well-placed percussive tics building to a moment of transcendence. The video is equally tranquil in its feel, but maximalist in its composition. Each screen is positively overstuffed with life, growing, shifting pulsing in time to subtle currents. The soft sway of each element keeps things feeling gentle and calm, even as the imagery becomes increasingly multilayered.

Some of the film’s best moments are its most subtle—the echoes of the double helix in the dance of a school of fish, or the gentle dissipation of the bursts of energy that infuse the film. But those subtle details aren’t really the heart of the piece. This is a video that finds its beauty in grandeur, the sheer overwhelming mass of nature. More than any other emotion, it evokes awe—a sensation that leaves you spellbound, struck by the staggering complexity of life.



dir: Hideki Inaba

syn: Official music video for Canigou ­” Tape”

Every creature has a memory.
All living things are connected.
Not only our species are special.

Process: Made using AfterEffects and Photoshop, according to the comments on Vimeo. Inaba has also shared some test clips from the making of Tape on his Facebook page.

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