The Mystic Portal: A Look At Animator Jake Armstrong's 'Ancient 5G Aliens' By Pipe-Eye

Hotly tipped music video specialist, Baltimore's Jilly, aka Jake Armstrong, is working his à la mode wonder stuff again with his mate from Down Under, directing Pipe-Eye's new animated visualiser for track Ancient 5G Aliens. Alternative wizard King Gizzard and the Murlocs' Cook Craig - at three album's in - is bracing up to his latest number Dream Themes this November and, having linked with Jilly on an earlier release, there was no other candidate to fit the bill.

He recollects what first attracted him to the vintage Bluresque, merry with sinister undertones song: "When I first heard it, I really liked the organ-y raspy kind of keys in the background. I also liked the evil guitar sounding parts that you hear in the middle and end of the song- they remind me of a lot of the guitar work in a bunch of different King Gizz songs.'


Trusting J's artistic judgement, Cook wired the album in its entirety for him to cherry-pick a song to act upon; he could not decide, exhibiting a seductive pull towards many of them, and sent word back. The composer took a pause, and Ancient 5G Aliens manifested in his eye line, "that was cool with me because it was a good length song for animation," Jake affirms.

A laid back Cook did not concern himself with a cast-iron brief nor any brief at all. Jilly revealed an initial idea and granted absolute artistic freedom. Succinct progress updates were sent along the way to an readily stoked Cook. As cameras take in a West Side bird's eye view of a city landscape, we meet a slick-hipped groover and his nemesis. A video gamed vague tale unravels: the two girthy creatures are in a battle with each other in entirely disparate realms.

He knew viewers would compare it to 5G conspiracies which Jilly finds completely humorous, "because they are so insanely ridiculous; I would love to hear their theories. I included the cell tower in the video to push the narrative: bright waves coming out of the top are influencing the two characters to attack each other more. But the only story I started the video on was two different periods attacking each other with different weapons until they both meet their fate."

A neat section to gaze upon is the devising of aircraft coated in the familiar 3D colours where cardboard Anaglyph spectacles, acquired from comic book covers as a kid, offered new worlds. Using the software Blender to build the video was was a completely new occurrence for our traditional animator. Stop motion is his usual creative outlet, but fathoming 'a million different buttons and settings' granted an enticing thrill and opened more doors for the creative about town.

"I probably spent just as much time watching youtube tutorials and classes on Blender as I did actually making the video. But it paid off. Now I have the hang of it and am making a music video for the band Yellow Days from the UK with the same software."


Article by Beverley Knight