Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Video Review: ANDA "Touch"

Be still my little gay heart.

    I like to think a weird cocktail of media related curiosity and an invested personally make me a perfect English major. But it turns out it also makes me that friend that sends you six obnoxiously themed and customized playlists, begging you to get into whatever new cult I've unearthed in the ninth circle of tumblr hell.

  So imagine my surprise when a close friend sent me something she insisted I would love.

 (She was right!)

    Behold the infinitely homoerotic, glitchy, and coyly bombastic gem that is kpop rnb artist Anda's "Touch". Despite pulling close resemblances in structure and stylistic conventions to fellow Korean artist Lim Kim's recent release of  "Awoo",  Anda's ( formerly Andamiro) new video uniquely subverts a lot of pop cliches. For one, despite the obviously sexual nature of the video, the girl on girl action is the only action happening. There is no male interruption in the concept, and thus no explicit exploitation or fetishization of lgbt desire.

Have you ever seen someone so happy?
    Despite the sexy shots, the desire portrayed isn't necessarily penetrated by the male gaze; Anda herself is an aggressor, touching, asking for reciprocation. The choreography itself is sexy, but it's also very exclusive: the way the dancers touch themselves until they're palm to palm and smirk has extremely autonomous connotations about the desire portrayed. Unlike many uncomfortable "sexy" concepts in kpop, she also looks like she's having a really good time. What makes this work even better is the fact that the lyrics of the song themselves perfectly neglect any gender pronouns, keeping the desire projected in the song gender neutral if it weren't for the exclusive array of female bodies-and the compromising situations in which they're in. If anything, I'd say that's the genius of the marketing for this song: Almost squeaky clean lyrics paired with one of the most straightforwardly provocative kpop videos I've seen in a long time (someone count how many times total this woman sings between a pair of lady legs or a strategically vaginal flower- I'm swooning) makes it near impossible for the song to be banned from both radio and stage performances.

   Secondly, the song itself is pretty damn catchy; the steady bouncing of the beat and staccato chorus line contrasted to the smooth rnb sounds of the opening and the refrain parts make for really engaging listens based on contrast. The shift from Anda's singing register to her huskier talk rapping in the chorus really gets your imagination going. The thumping, flirty sounds of a woman that knows what she wants is really different from some of the more infantilizing "Oppa, what should I do!" concepts.

   Something like " Cuz if you're gonna be mine you don't have to take your time," is beyond refreshing. It's straight up fun and sexy.

   The editing of the video really makes what might have otherwise been a boring video really a part of the whole Anda "Touch" experience. The growing collection of hands at the start of the song are quick to destroy expectations by adding one after another, very not male prettily polished female hands. The eponymous touch, the sexual frustration becomes distinctly female, and right away the viewer knows this is going to be different. The endlessly looped way she disrobes, leans in for a kiss, or seems to pull out her bra is both coy for a sexy effect, and coy in a way that suggests the exclusivity of this flirtation: you're never going to see what comes after it. But you can be sure as hell it's going to have something to do with those women making out in the background.

  The visual repetition also does the same thing aural ones do, in mimicking the rapid beat or synth that mimics your climbing heart rate and gets your blood pumping. The tension that comes through the repeated special effects really illustrates the sexual desire of the video in a fun, suggestive way that makes the video worth more than just some girls messing around in a badly lit apartment.

  Over all, I am more than thrilled to see this catchy a level of queer desire be portrayed ( in kpop, nonetheless, where I haven't seen something this lgbt fun and friendly since Glam's Party XXO). Welcome Anda to official summer jam status.

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