An ode to cassettes, vinyl and the retro boombox: Enter the kaleidoscopic world of animator Ardhira Putra

Electronic producer and 'groove master' Englewood has just released the official animated music video to his hit single Crystal Dolphin, created by Indonesian illustrator and animator, Ardhira Putra. Drawing on influences such as Japanese funk and soul, the song itself has been a hit on TikTok, accumulating over five million views. Join us as we deep dive into the chaotic but equally brilliant world of Crystal Dolphin.

The premiere of electro-funk record Crystal Dolphin is very much welcomed after the recent news that after nearly three decades together, Daft Punk are no more. Twenty-four-year-old Brooklyn-based electronic music producer, Englewood's music video for Crystal Dolphin is what I imagine a modern-day Daft Punk video to look like, think One More Time but more technicolour and trippy.

Crystal Dolphin is the perfect summer anthem accompanied by a cold drink on a tropical beach. It has become one of the most viral sounds of TikTok and reached 100 million streams online. The song features on Englewood's album Yacht World, which is a delectable collection of good vibes spanning multiple genres including funk, soul, disco and tropical. The fusion of sounds we hear bodes well with the animations created by Singapore-based animator Ardhira Putra. It doesn't go unnoticed that the style was heavily influenced by retro Asian pop.

For Ardhira: "[It's] about the music connection from past generations to current generations, from the band in the past, captured by VHS, LP, Cassettes and [moving it] into [the] digital [world], I want to say everything that has been recorded cannot die, as you can see its a connection between Kingo Hamada and Englewood."

Kingo Hamada is a Japanese singer who's song Dolphin in Town is sampled in Englewood's Crystal Dolphin. Englewood is known for his sample flips and vintage stylings, so the collaboration between the producer and Ardhira seems like a match made in heaven. For Ardhira, it was about bridging the generational gap, and envisioning what old school cassette tapes, VHS players, and vinyl would look like in today's digital world. 22 seconds in and we're greeted by a retro Turbo boombox and a vinyl record floating around in the air, moving with the rhythmic flow, in a digital sphere where anything goes.

Ardhira says: "[I'm] really glad Englewood gave me total freedom to create the visuals and also the story. I then came up with the musical connection from past generations to future generations."

Ardhira worked on the animations for over five months, and it's not hard to see why. The detailing is astounding, and he has it nailed from the vintage box like desktop, to the dizzyingly loud streets of what can only be Tokyo. Expect your senses to go into overload, in a good way, as if you're playing Sega Saturn or an old school Nintendo. The meticulous attention to detail and the charming allure of the colours has given the song an extra dash of nuance. Ardhira's storytelling is not lost on us, and we're sure that the oasis he has created will catapult the song into new realms.


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