British-born and Australian-based producer and electronic music artist Mark Pritchard has over the course of his 30 year recording career of collaborated with an impressive and lengthy list of electronic music artists and producers, including Tom Middleton in Global Communication and Jedi Knights, Richard. D. James, Dave Brinkworth in Use of Weapons and Harmonic 33, Stephen Horne in Series 7, Adrian Hughes in Shaft, Danny Breaks in Vertigo, Kevin Hann in The 28 East Boyz, Dominic Fripp in Chaos and Julia Set, Paul Kent in Mystic Institute, Kirsty Hawkshaw in Pulusha, Trim in Pritch and Trim and Steve Spacek in Africa Hitech, among others. Additionally, Pritchard has released solo material under a number of aliases including Reload, Link, Harmonic 313, Troubleman, NY Connection, William Parrott and Roberto Edwardo Turner (The Returner), as well as under his own birth name. A couple of years ago, Pritchard announced that he would be retiring his various aliases and alter-egos and would be using his brith name for future releases from that point forward; but if there was one consistent thing about Pritchard and his work, it was the fact that he’s held a reputation for writing, recording and producing across a rather eclectic array of genres, subgenres and styles as he’s worked with hip-hop, techno, jungle house, ambient electronica, drum ‘n’ bass and grime, and for a lush and instantly accessible production style, as Fact Magazine once noted.
Warp Records released Pritchard’s latest effort Under the Sun earlier this year, and from all accounts the album has Pritchard maintaining the lush and accessible production style that has won him international attention — but while crafting material that may arguably be the least club and dance-floor ready he’s released to date. Interestingly, one of the album’s singles is”Beautiful People,” a lush and ethereal collaboration with Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke that pairs Yorke’s plaintive and aching vocals with a slow-burning production that possesses an almost painterly quality as it consists of an airy and gorgeous, looped flute sample, steady yet tribal-like drum programming and cascading layers of shimmering and undulating synths. In some way sonically speaking, the song meshes the ancient and tribal with the contemporary in a way that’s spectral –and in fact, in some way the song reminds the listener that ghosts linger and have a way of haunting your life in unexpected ways. That shouldn’t be surprising because as Pritchard explained in press notes “The original instrumental to ‘Beautiful People’ is a personal song about loss, hopelessness and chaos, but ultimately the message is love and hope. Thom’s contribution to this collaboration captured perfectly what the piece is about. . .”
The recently released video is a stunningly gorgeous video that follows its hooded, central character as it hikes and explores scenery that possess an otherworldly beauty before revealing that the character is a sort of Thom Yorke avatar. As the camera pans out in a cinematic fashion, it manages to reveal how small and insignificant its central character is the proceedings at hand — that is before some amazing gravity defying action at the end. Much like the song that inspired it, the video possesses a patient yet intense quality.