Barker takes his family on a cosmic adventure in ‘Utility’
Starring his mother Judy, his sister Jo, his granny Vee, his aunty Kim and his uncle Brock behind the camera.
Last month marked the one-year anniversary of Utility, the stunning debut album from Barker. Eschewing the utilitarian kick drums associated with the dingy techno that proliferates his base of Berlin, Barker used modular synthesis, self-built mechanical instruments and DIY plate reverb to glide across blissful ravescapes that are equal parts euphoric and romantic.
The album arrived as a quite literal realisation of a love of music that was fostered in Sam Barker by his family from a young age, something the producer reflects on in the video for the record’s title track, ‘Utility’. “This video is dedicated to Judy and Jo Barker, my mother and sister and the stars of this video, who first inspired my love of music”, he explains.
“Before my sister Jo was born with Down’s, my mother Judy was a school teacher who loved singing and playing guitar in her spare time”, he continues. “With Jo, she started to combine these interests, viewing music as an essential tool to support her literacy, social and creative development, in a less tedious way than standard rote learning. As such we spent a lot of our childhood singing and playing together, making a lot of noise, chaos, and occasionally music, which I only later understood was a strategy to give Jo the best possible education.”
“Judy went on to train as a special needs teacher, and developed her own methods using music as a learning device, writing song books and giving after school classes for children with autism, Down’s, and other learning difficulties. For this reason, I grew up surrounded by musical instruments, and was encouraged to learn them – essentially so I could be part of that process.”
“Judy retired from teaching a few years ago (and is now available for shows). Jo’s tambourine skills are a bit out of practice these days but she keeps a daily diary in better handwriting than mine, and writes epic stories about princesses and wizards on the side.”
“Special thanks to the ravers Granny Vee who still has the moves at 94, party veteran Aunty Kim, and Uncle Brock behind the camera. Extra special thanks to Reza Hasni for making this awesome video, and taking my family on this cosmic adventure.”
Director and Producer – Reza Hasni
Music – Sam Barker
Musicians – Jo Barker (tambourine), Judy Barker (guitar)
Dancers – Kim Van Den Bogarde, Vee Day
Camera – Brock Van Den Bogarde