Kutiman Killed the Video Star
Wednesday, March 11, 2009; 7:14 AM
If you haven't heard of Kutiman yet you're about a week late on the latest music sensation to be incubated on the Web. Ophir Kutiel, aka Kutiman, is an Israeli musician and producer that released a project titled Thru You on the Web seven days ago. It has since garnered over a million views and generated a buzz both on the blogosphere and on Twitter.
The project consists of seven music tracks/videos that are made exclusively from video material found on YouTube. Kutiman spent 3 months in his bedroom splicing and dicing over one hundred videos for samples of singers and instruments?from guitars, pianos, drums and harps, to synthesizers, a bouzouki and even a cash register.
The resulting seven tracks which range in genres?from R&B, Funk and Reggae, to Jungle, Afro and Jazz?are quite impressive. The project as a whole is reminiscent of DJ Shadow's Endtroducing¿.., a brilliant and seminal album created completely by the sampling of other albums (hear it here).
Apart from the revolutionary music creation aspect, this story also has an interesting social media angle. The entire snowball effect that resulted in over a million views, a crashed website and a fair bit of buzz, was initiated by three people associated with the project. They emailed twenty people in total and it took a life of its own from there. From zero views to over a million in less than 7 days with no marketing dollars, blackhatting or SEO'ing involved. The team around Kutiman attribute much of this to word traveling across Twitter. If this is true, Kutiman may in fact be the first music star to be born on Twitter. There's no question that we are sure to see other up and coming musicians harness it as well in the future.
Here are a couple of Kutiman's tracks: