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Robin Olly James – “Red Tor”


The video for Robin Olly James’s ‘Red Tor’ was released on the 16th, April 2021 and was shortly followed by a 2 track EP of the same name on the 23rd of April.

It is not often that I am in touch with an Irish electronic artist. It’s almost just as infrequent that I am in touch with a musician who is promoting visual art as an equal to sound. As a visual artist myself,  who almost exclusively works with the relationship of images to sound I was both interested and excited to do a feature for Robin’s new single.

I view Red Tor as less of a visual accompaniment to an audio piece, and more of the two mediums being synonymous with one another. Though I am guilty of falling partial to the nostalgia of VHS and film aesthetics, something that  I look for in art is how it is indicative of the time in which it was created. Red Tor is refreshingly modern. With its audio reactive approach to visuals the piece immediately resonates as a representation of the continual growth that film / video / projection / etc play in the audio world.

Time passes much like the way it does in a dream with layered abstract textural elements that each create their own new image throughout the non-narrative, which further emphasizes the music created by Robin. The captivating sculptural elements of the videos focus are one of the many aspects that represent it as a wide collaborative effort between artists. “This was an experiment between some artist friends during the COVID lock-downs” says Robin. “ It was about passing art work back and forth and seeing what we came up with. Another aspect of this is that I dealt directly with James Sheridan (video and art director). But I didn’t know who else was working on the project (Joseph and Philip).”

Although not everyone may have been so lucky, Robin’s trust in collaboration has paid off.  Red Tor is the directorial debut of Philip McMahon . Phil is the lead singer and songwriter for Galway-based Indie Folk band Oscar Mild. It was co-directed by James Sherdian (an award winning visual artist who has become synonymous with a segment of Irish heavy music.) I feel as though it is impossible to enter any community of artists without a similar crossover of people from different mediums pooling together efforts and this work is no different. “When the editor Joe sent me the finalized piece I was shocked! He is someone I have played shows with many times over the years but I had no idea he was a video editor. The anonymous nature of the project was nice and freeing and it all came together in a very natural way.”

The music is composed, produced and mixed by Irish musician and producer Robin Olly James. Robin is best known for his band Ilenkus. He has also worked with artists such as James Lonergan, Eoin Dolan and The BVs. This collaborative project follows up on Robins’ recent solo debut. It was mastered by Moritz Illner at Duphonic Mastering.

Robin Olly James’s

Red Tor:
Directed by James Sheridan and Philip Mcmahon…

Edited by Joeseph Padfield…

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