Fatima Al Qadiri is an electronic music composer from Kuwait. Her music is characterized by brooding horn synthesizers, crystalline steel pan sounds, and brittle plucked strings. For an electronic music composer, her sound stands out in her genre for featuring less of the percussive textures that many producers use these days and instead for having a curious sense of atonality. However, the purpose of this article is to discuss another underrated aspect of her art—her music videos.
       Qadiri has some of the most visually stimulating and enchanting music videos I’ve ever seen. The music video for the song “Vatican Vibes” is quintessential Fatima. The best way I would describe Fatima’s characteristic aesthetic is early 2010s CNN news network visuals mixed with pharmaceutical industry advertisement vibes. On “Vatican Vibes,” the clinical visuals cut like a knife, and the images of red blood cells would make viewers squeamish if they weren’t so beautiful. Mixed with the Caribbean bell textures and dystopian synthesizers, the visuals pair with electronica music in a manner that creates a sense of suspense and exhilaration. It’s reminiscent of the thrill of entering a mid-2000s movie theater for the first time as a kid, and feeling frightened yet enticed by the visuals for the arcade game “Gauntlet Legends,” which stood in the lobby among other racing and zombie-shooter themed games.
        Other videos on Qadiri’s channel straddles the line between frightening and divine by mixing psychedelia and erotica. The music video for D-Medley features iTunes visualizer–style graphics, which, halfway through, become the background for female dancers who appear as though they are trapped in a pop-up advertisement for an adult website. The dancers and the psychedelic visuals juxtapose in a way that makes the viewer appreciate the realness of the mid-to-late 2000s general aesthetic. It also brings to light a certain grotesqueness in the way women are objectified in the 21st century, something that can be hard to see in the same light that one would when viewing, say, a clearly sexist and dated advertisement from the 1950s that features a woman in the kitchen. In this sense, Qadiri’s music videos have an artfully political edge to them without coming off as having an “agenda.” The art speaks for itself very sophisticatedly.
        Fatima’s music videos on her YouTube channel are four to six years old. However, I would venture to say they are very ahead of their time. If you like the vaporwave aesthetic, which is becoming more and more trendy each day, check out Qadiri’s music videos. They may be half a decade old, but they still appear beyond modern.

Tagged: YouTube


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