The new video for Algodón Egipcio‘s “El Ciclo de Agua,” the third single off last year’s La Confianza Ciega, is a visually rich portrait of a complicated relationship, and one of the Venezuelan producer’s most powerful. At first, it’s not clear what’s going on. What is the relationship between the two young weed heads in the video? Are they brothers cycling rapidly between affection and rivalry? Are they in a romantic relationship that has really problematic power dynamics? Are they two dudes with poor boundaries and no air conditioning on a bender that’s gone a little strange?
Really, it’s about two friends who do drugs together and push each other around. The aesthetic is kind of like if Harmony Korine directed a 2017 live action Beavis and Butthead movie, but it’s the ambiguity in the way the characters relate to each other – and the resulting tension – that makes it compelling. That ambiguity puts the viewer in the position of intimately observing interactions between two men that can’t be immediately defined. The suspension of categorization is meant to make you open your mind a little to the complexities of male relationships.
Barcelona-based filmmaker Jordi Estrada, who directed the clip, describes it as “a hedonistic fantasy in their little corner of intimacy, where we explore the idealization of masculinity, platonic desire, and self-destruction’s subliming freedom.” This intense vignette is a model example of what an interesting art form music videos can really be.