FM-2030 - €AT TH€ RICH

PREMIERE: FM-2030 – €AT TH€ RICH (Dir. Harry Holcombe-James & Adam Ouston)

AT TH€ RICH, the debut single from FM-2030 starts almost in silence before it is broken open with a terrifying scream and launched into sharp and heavy industrial beats. The clip, directed by Harry Holcombe-James and one half of FM-2030 in Adam Ouston, is similarly in-your-face with shifting close-ups and jittering movements aided by changing framerates. The combination is reminiscent of a modern Bowie, perhaps harsher or wilder at times but not to the detriment of the song and the atmosphere that FM-2030 are able to create.

FM-2030 – €AT TH€ RICH (BTS by Harry Holcombe-James)

The clip constantly shifts from the natural world, cold mist over mountains and through green forests, to the grey concrete of a hospital room far past its prime. Despite this, Ouston and Holcombe-James managed to film everything they needed in and around Queenstown, Tasmania.

“The Queen River that runs through the town is still iridescent orange from the copper runoff. It’s a place where nature and industry have come together in a destructive way. But we feel there are many positive ways in which nature and industry can come together. It’s just that, things are usually done that bad way first. Hopefully we’re seeing the death rattles of the negative. We also did some shooting just outside Queenstown in a very small place called Linda, where there’s the old Colonial Hotel, which is now only a shell. The concrete stands in thrilling contrast to the lush green foliage that’s growing inside it and reclaiming it. We thought it a wonderful metaphor for a lot of things, actually. And we paid a visit to the Spray Tunnel near another mining town in the area, Zeehan. This has been converted into a nature walk, but was once used to ship metals through a huge hill. Rather than go around or over, they just bore a great tunnel right through.”

FM-2030 – €AT TH€ RICH (BTS by Harry Holcombe-James)

The clashing, disruptive auditory backdrop lays the foundation for the message of the song and evokes the dystopian themes and worlds that served as inspiration. Holcombe-James and FM-2030 came together and developed the core ideas for the clip, wanting to create an original piece but with the awareness of conversations that have started.

“We spoke about two themes that are big for us, the synthetic and the organic – in particular using synthesis to enhance human capacities, both physical and mental. That’s what FM-2030 (the guy) was all about; he coined transhumanism in the way we use the word now. It’s about being masters of our own evolution. It’s about taking power. Like, we already are masters of our own evolution, with the Anthropocene, but that’s killing us. If you know Soylent Green, especially the thanatorium scene, you’ll know where we got the idea for the spine of the clip. We haven’t tried to hide that. Also, SG is set in 2022, and it’s predictions are so close to reality as to be horrific.”

FM-2030 – €AT TH€ RICH (BTS by Harry Holcombe-James)

The clip leans more towards a horror movie at times, barely lit scenes strobe in and out of view as the protagonist screams and lies on his hospital bed, the figures that bring death approaching him all the while.

“While SG is beautiful and dreamy (even though we know there’s more than meets the eye), our clip is the opposite. At the same time, the light/dark figures, while sort of harbingers of death, are also a nod to our own power, which we need to rely on more and more as the institutions that have been set up to help and protect us increasingly turn on us.”

FM-2030 – €AT TH€ RICH (BTS by Harry Holcombe-James)

The duality represented in the environments can be seen again reflected in the characters portrayed by FM-2030. Ouston wears deep blacks while Tash Parker dons the opposite. The two characters are opposites but driven by the same purpose, a reclamation of power lost to broken systems and greedy individuals.

“We enlisted the services of Michelle Boyde who did a lot of the outfits for Adam’s solo act Costume. Michelle comes from a dance/fashion background and understood the theatrical concept we were after.”

FM-2030 – €AT TH€ RICH (BTS by Harry Holcombe-James)


“We dreamed up two figures, one dark and one light, who are human but also seem super-human, or rather transhuman. For the dark character (Adam) we went for a sort of samurai aesthetic, while with the light (Tash) we conceived of this part human, part bird creature. It’s all about harnessing power that’s already out there. Because it seems like we all need extra power at the moment. It feels to us like you have to fight for absolutely everything. Systems are broken. The people in powerful positions are these empty vessels without ethics or even a basic understanding of other people; all they know is ambition and greed and whatever keeps them in favour with whoever they’ve ended up siding with.”

FM-2030 – €AT TH€ RICH (BTS by Harry Holcombe-James)

Holcombe-James and Ouston used a Sony FS5mk2 and had to keep equipment and lighting setups relatively simple as they moved across the Tasmanian countryside filming at different locations. With this simplicity in terms of physical equipment, they used colour grading to further emphasise the message of the clip. Pink colours were brought out in the exteriors versus the colder blues of the interiors

“You might notice how the colours begin pink for the external shots and blue for the internal. As the clip evolves the two come together so that by the time the light and dark figures are inside the theatre with the protagonist, the colour has become more purple, a combination of the two. It’s around the lyric ‘The dream is not a dream, it is experience.’ This line comes from a book by Timothy Moreton called Dark Ecology, a wild, lyrical book about how we can live in harmony with other species without killing everything. We’ve interpreted the line as the dream of prosperity is the experience of a nightmare. And that basically sums up what the figure in the clip is experiencing: an absolute nightmare.”

FM-2030 – €AT TH€ RICH (BTS by Harry Holcombe-James)

The jumpiness of the song is matched in its framerates, which are modified to look unnatural, or supernatural even, aiding the quaking movements of the light and dark characters. This is not a perfectly choreographed, flowing video but, in all ways, a disruption of that idea of “perfection”.

“We didn’t want a smooth, hi-fi, fully cinematic look. We wanted a bit of jarring. It was important certain elements remained raw. Some scenes we zoomed in and slowed right down in post, to achieve that. We didn’t want it to appear perfect. We very much dislike perfection. It’s the stuff of nightmares.”

FM-2030 – €AT TH€ RICH (BTS by Harry Holcombe-James)

Harry Holcombe-James and FM-2030 have developed an impressive debut, combining their industrial sounds with a stunning yet disturbing music video. They explore ideas of transhumanism and dystopias, cultivating a warning of how close we are to an end at the hands of the modern industrial forces we are enamoured with. With €AT TH€ RICH being their first showing, we are eager to see what comes next for the duo.

Here is the official video for AT TH RICH

Music Video Credits:

Directors: Adam Ouston & Harry Holcombe-James. AD / B-Camera: Ursula Woods. Guest actor: Chris (from The Cone Smashers). Filming location: Queenstown, Tasmania. Editor: Adam Ouston. Wardrobe: Michelle Boyde.

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