Overexposed at the edge of town: Mart Avi – Back 2 Light

There’s something spectral and unearthly about Mart Avi’s avant-garde pop, and he further explores the nocturnal outer limits on his new video for the single Back 2 Light.

The song is taken from the Estonian artist’s fourth LP OtherWorld — in Moo Kid’s top albums of 2018 — a masterwork of oblique underworld pop through shattered glass and drizzled city ambience — imagine if Burial was obsessed with Bowie and Scott Walker instead of old rave tapes.

He transports this melancholy night bus mood into the video, with surreal aerial shots of an industrial estate roundabout turning the scene into abstract sci-fi, while Avi rides in the back of a limo behind what looks like a retro space craft control panel if you squint enough.

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Much of the video has Avi tightrope walking on the kerb, trailing the limo, sitting on the bonnet or pacing beside an edge-of-town warehouse illuminated in a brilliant golden orange that nods to the colour palette of Villeneueve’s Blade Runner 2049. The drab non-space on the outskirts is elevated to a surrealist over-exposed backdrop for Avi’s spindly motions and occasional close-ups — all in 35mm aspect ratio.

“It is very difficult to tame the light — no wall, environment or power method can hold it, it always finds its way,” says Avi. “The light radiation from their infinitely distant stars, which have already exploded into dust, has ended up in millions of years ago.”