The New Young Turks

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Mark Dixon
Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The New Young Turks*

*Young Turks" is a song by Rod Stewart that first appeared in 1981 on his album Tonight I'm Yours. The track presented Stewart backed by a new synthpop and new wave sound, in part influenced by acts like Devo. The term young Turk, which originates from the early 20th-century secular nationalist reform party of the same name, is slang for a rebellious youth who acts contrary to what is deemed normal by society. The actual phrase "young Turks" is in fact never heard in the song, the chorus instead centering on the phrase "young hearts, be free, tonight", leading to the song frequently being misidentified as "Young Hearts" or "Young Hearts Be Free".

Someone threw a wrench into the Top-10 ratings this week — first and second place each had five ties. With this development, I decided to make this a story about all the producers we have seen this year — and how these very productive artists keep showing up with breathtaking music videos.

I also realized something much larger has been happening. Not only is this a list of some of the most creative, productive, and talented artists we have been following for over a year now, but of a new generation of filmmakers showing us all how making films and videos is supposed to be done. These artists are serious about their craft. Be it traditional or animated videos, they are intent on being creative and making something that will last beyond the end of a fad.

2023 has been a year of world-wide turmoil — wars, destruction, dictators, blind faith, and arrogant conviction that has no regard for history or human life. Underneath the videos, we see a rebellion of sorts. And it’s growing. The artists here and the ones we see in this year’s film festival are young and they know the kind of world they will inherit. We haven’t heard anyone say let the world be damned. Instead what we are seeing is an outpouring of creative energy showing us there really is hope in beauty.

Watching these young filmmakers gives me hope that this new generation will be the ones who pull us back from the brink: showing us what we have and why it’s worth keeping. By showing their work, I hope to show how these are the new young Turks, a generation of filmmakers willing to explore styles, techniques, and technologies to accomplish their vision.

And vision they do have.

The anti-AI crowd condemns this work without ever taking the time to understand how this tech works. The critics condemn the artists as lazy because they feel threatened. This is an old story about one generation coming of age and another refusing to acknowledge their skills and talent.  This is about the independent filmmaker. This is why TikiKiti got into business. We have been waiting for this revolution.

The filmmakers we see here have no idea how important they are to modern history. They are independent. And it is this independence that fuses their talent into a whirlwind of creativity that will show the rest of the world the path away from the dark. Let’s listen to them here.

From Spain, Fedor Prunkov came to our attention one year ago when he entered a couple of his videos in the TikiKiti International Film Festival. That was enough to get me to interview him. This year has been no different. He has been very productive. That’s why we will start by highlighting his skill, creativity, and talent with his showreel from 2023:

And this is his new video tied for #1 this week. This is “Lonely” by The Blaze.

From Denver, Colorado, comes a new video from Mike Krumlauf. His style is unmistakable and he keeps showing up in our queue with awe-inspiring music videos.  He has had a formative and productive year. Watching his collection of videos on his YouTube channel is all the evidence we need to show he is a creative force. And I do mean force. It will be difficult to keep him down. Here is his retrospective of 2023 set to “Crimson” by Pogo.

In this next video, set to “OverHeated,” by Billie Eilish, he turns a bleak winter’s rain into an impeccable video flowing from beat to beat — like a black and white painting. Except it’s not black and white. Just muted, as this winter’s day really is.

And here is the video Krumlauf recently submitted to the TKIFF 2023 — set to “Venus as a Boy,” by Bjork. The video comes with an age restriction warning: “This Music Video Is Intended for 18+ Only and has Been Restricted To Reflect That. It contains partial male nudity.” However, we at TikiKiti found this is to be a purely artistic statement done with smoke and sweat.  It moves along the curves of the body just as the song does.

These videos are what I’m calling “traditional video productions.” This sets them apart from the artificial intelligence-animated videos we started seeing this year — or just IRL productions. (How’s that sound. None of it feels right to me.)

It got me thinking about what we saw around the first of the year. Here’s an example — “Dark Soul” by Mako & Beamon.

It was also when we saw some early AI, such as this set to “Springtheme” by Ween, and produced by Eric M. (His video to “Newjack” by Justice is in this year’s TKIFF.)

The proliferation of software applications that allow the independent musician and video producer to make their own videos inexpensively has been partly responsible for the renaissance we have been following in this industry. And we have had a front row seat.  

Sharing the #1 position is this video from Doctor Diffusion and is set to “The Fall” by Johnny Polygon.

We have been seeing some very good stuff from the good Doctor, and he shows no signs of slowing down. His current videos are less abstract and more narrative. Just under the surface of his brilliant imagery is the story he is telling. (He does like faces poking out of small holes.)

Another of his brilliant videos is set to “Neighbour” by Mother Mother. He is working on a theme here.

We now come to Monyo Project and “Deep Inside.” This couple from Hungary has been in front of the wave of new musicians and artists creating the videos for their own music. I listen to them and I can’t help but imagine some of the best music to come out of the 70s.

If you want to see how good Monyo is on the guitar, just check out some of his videos. Here he performs “Fair Play” while shredding what he calls “Pink Kramer.” Monyo is one of the new masters of the guitar, leading the Young Turks in this musical revolution. For a long time, it seemed no one cared about the electric guitar or its history. But it has shaped all music we listen to today. And now it is coming back.

Along the same line of guitar masters, here is the accomplished Rex Pearson from the UK — hear him sliding through AC⚡️DC and “Whole Lotta Rosie.” We aren’t finished talking about Rex. More on him in a later article.

Next up is this from CharryProject called “2099.” CharryProject shows that war is not about countries as much as it is about the leaders of those countries. Videos such as this is evidence of the artists creative ability mirror events and show us what is going on in the world. And we really need that these days. Yeah, we already know all what is going on, but CharryProject brings it all up front. This is our future.

CharryProject is another artist who has leaped into our video queue with some spectacular videos. This is their second appearance in the Top-10.

Then there is blnk — who keeps pushing boundaries and showing up here. This week it is with "Ghosts of Those Years.” I just had to kick back for this one. I recommend you do as well.

Oh, while your at it, check out the Artist Profile we did of them along with a podcast.

Here is what Nemirschi calls an impromptu dance performance with Silva Helena Schmidt performing this dance set to “Black Mambo” by Glass Animals. Be sure to read the description. Beautifully done.

Here is Lamson carving his own unique niches with AI video. He just started showing up last week and already he’s in the Top-10.

Another newcomer, Brenry and is song and video Inbound Dreams. Don’t let this thumbnail fool you. This video is not just about a lot of pretty faces.

Stanislav Horňák is from the Czech Republic and he rounds out the Top-10 with this video. We have been seeing his work frequently as well. Here is “S.O.S” by BAO.

It is thrilling to watch these artists develop their styles. We know that we will be seeing them again soon. It is this degree of devotion and vision that has been pushing independent artists — and this entire industry — to new levels of excellence.

These are the new Young Turks who are going to shake things up and show the rest of us how it’s done. Now and in the future. All of us at TikiKiti are looking forward to the next round of videos. The submissions for the TikiKiti International Film Festival are looking more exciting every day.

In the very near future, we will be highlighting other producers. From Russia we have Anastasia Volkovskaya, and we are excited about her new work. The same can be said of Jeden from France. Plus Dope Music Video, aka Gregory Mandarano, who came into our queues early and has not left. He is what we consider a mover and shaker in this industry.

Some more familiar names are also on this list of Young Turks. Kevin Bodin has not taken a breather long enough to ponder his place in this music video universe. He is too busy working his magic. This year we have seen something from him nearly every week. He typifies the modern Young Turk in that he is focused in on his vision and knows how to share it with his co-producers. He is determined. And that is just one reason why he has won three Barclay awards.

It is thrilling to watch these artists develop their styles. We know that we will be seeing them again soon. It is this degree of devotion and vision that has been pushing independent artists as you see here, and also to push this entire industry to new levels of excellence.

Stick around for more impressive music video producers and how they will change the world.

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