Music

DANCER METTE TOWLEY HELPS REIMAGINE DJ LAG’S “SWITZ”

March 14, 2019

As the musical communication between different beat-languages of the Black Diaspora picks up pace again, it is almost inevitable that dancers would get in on the exchange. Our friend DJ Lag, one of Durban’s kings of gqom, has already been playing his part, collaborating with Brownsville’s Epic B and the Flexin dancers while in town for AFROPUNK Brooklyn last fall. Now comes this mesmerizing dance-oriented video for his 2018 track “Switz,” featuring Mette Towley, whose moves in the clip for N.E.R.D. and Rihanna’s “Lemon” has gone a long way towards making her one of the hottest talents in current dance videos.

Towley and director/photographer Bon Duke have creative directed “Switz” into a short film. As Lag’s minimal rhythms stretch and recede, they hint at a club music born of a drum machine’s dream. Meanwhile, the camera follows Towley around Brooklyn, dancing in Williamsburg parks and by the river, meeting up with a dance crew on the street, before moving into a loft space for a series of quick cuts of both solo and group choreography. The moves are closer in vibe to Brooklyn and Jamaica than to South Africa. Then again, one of the beauties of such moments of cultural exchange is how the origins get all tangled up, and each communication starts to produce more originals.

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