Manitas Nerviosas’ “Ilumíname” Video is a Stark Hymn for Gender Rebels

Lead Photo: Courtesy of Manitas Nerviosas

Creepy mutant sounds are on the horizon, as Monterrey-based avant-garde producer Manitas Nerviosas readies the release of her first EP, Ilumíname. Manitas Nerviosas is the psychosexual solo project of Mou, a former member of the generative experimental Monterrey bands Bam Bam and Animación Suspendida. The project comes via Sonido Inconsciente, the Mexico City label showcasing some of the country’s top underground electronic talent.

Our first glimpse into Manitas Nerviosas’ world of kinky head trips is through the video for Ilumíname’s title track, a deranged take on Chicago’s already eerie “Colour My World.” Mou has dialed up the song’s uneasy obsessive overtones by tweaking the classic forlorn piano melody, giving it a spooky, carnivalesque twist and laying it over some effortlessly plush beats. In spite of the witchy and cannibalistic imagery, the Jaime Martínez-directed clip is oddly endearing. Mou writhes around and pouts for the camera, right before eating an eyeball out of a skull.

Mou’s pseudonym is a clever play on words, as it can mean “nervous hands” as well as “nervous sisters.” Both can be interpreted as direct references to Mou’s journey in gender transition, an emotional struggle detailed extensively in her own visual art works. Her Tumblr and Instagram pages are filled with fetishistic depictions of women as warped objects of beauty, and men as decaying monsters.

Much about Manitas Nerviosas is still unknown. Her SoundCloud mostly consists of gloomy ambient songs, but “Ilumíname” stands out as structured effort pointing towards a more defined sonic direction. We’re still not sure what the EP is going to sound like, but smeared eyeliner and broken hearts will always be relatable, and Mou’s got that in spades.