In my decades as a musician, space, that final frontier, has fascinated me with child-like fixation. I remember going to Sugar’s home studio, a tiny room in Edmonton, North London, some time in the early 90s. We spent a few hours writing a song together. Our sessions often went into the wee hours. Our goodbyes were always long, they started from the top of the stairs to the door, with me contemplating the drive back to Hackney as the final act in the process, usually proceeded by the door closing. This time though Sugar hadn’t let me get a foot out of the door, when he said ‘come back, I got to show you the best thing’. I popped back into the tiny room and he said in his characteristic Gringlish ‘Readymos?’. The light went out and I found myself in a mini planetarium. He was playing one of his ambient pithkiavli-penny whistle songs in the background. It was all done with some tacky plastic glow planets, stars and constelations but it felt so chilled. ‘I did it this week and sit here everynight, traveling with the stars’. Sugar’s words reminded me of my childhood fascination with The Planeturium, where I went as a little nipper and just got lost in the vastness of the experience. Space has always fascinated me. It’s a common thread through alot of my work. From the hilarious intro by Sugar on Chakaramak! (1994) warning of aliens descending from space, with penny whistles and vrakes to the ambient spontineity of ‘Stargazing’ (2017) with ex-collaborator Gibsy Rhodes.
So some time in 2020, my long time friend and beat maker Steffen Franz of IDC suggested for me to collaborate with Chris Boshuizen aka Dr Chrispy, an award-winning aeronautical engineer-turned sound engineer and songwriter on a spoken word electronic piece called ‘Transitory Evening (Afro Travel). I thought why not , after all its got to do with space! Writing the song was perhaps the easiest part of the process. I talked to Chris mainly by email. He sent me some lyrics, which I vibed off and adapted a little bit, improvising a few lines and words. The release came out in September 2020 as the Transitory EP followed by several excellent remixes of ‘Transitory Evening (Afro Travel). At some point Chris suggested we do a video clip. I had this crazy idea of filming in Sia, a village in the heart of Cyprus, which had red lake, that reminded me of a Martian landscape. We discussed the video at length with conceptualization of Afro Travel from Cyprus to California via Outerspace. There were many twists and turns, including a COVID pandemic and the sweltering Cyprus summer heat – 44 degrees C plus. Shooting in Sia had to start 6am, finish by 10 due to the heat, take a break til 5 then film til 7pm. Plus editing the clip had alot of back and forth exchanges, ideas and adaptations. The end result, after about a year, is now out there for all to see and its the finest video clip I have ever had the pleasure of working on. Its wildly creative, from the Martian like lake in Sia to Dr. Chrispy’s secret lab in San Francisco.
On a final note, I always like challenges, doing something new, and pushing the envelope further and further. Big thanks to Dr Chrispy for one of the most amazing intergalatic musical trips. Big shout to Steffen Franz for linking us up. Here’s a few more links:
Watch the music video for Transitory Evening on your favourite platform: https://drchrispy.com/transitory-video
Listen to the Transitory EP
Follow Haji Mike:
For more information about DR CHRISPY please visit:
To learn more about the “secret lab” featured in the music video visit https://youtube.com/c/LazyElectrons
Full Video Credits:
Directed by Dr Chrispy.
Written by Dr Chrispy and Haji Mike.
Camera by Gavin Murray (https://gavinvmurray.com), Bolweslaw “Bolo” Gryczynski, Dima Ani and Dimi Morozov (Blind Dog Studio).
Editing and post-production by Gus O’Brien Cavanough.
Transitory “iris” concept, artwork and animation by Drew Mcgaraghan. Space animation by Dr Chrispy and Gus O’Brien Cavanough.
Shot on location in Cyprus and California. Thank you to Sia Municipality, Cyprus, for their support filming this video.
With special thanks to Rajesh Vs (https://youtube.com/c/LazyElectrons), Darryl Thoms, Drew Mcgaraghan, Vanessa Zhang and Shaun Meehan.