House of Vans hosted an exclusive screening party for Childish Gambino fans, this was a chance to preview the long awaited vinyl release. The limited edition record features access to some virtual reality footage, created specifically to coincide with the album Awaken, My Love!. The VR concept is a mixture of Childish Gambino’s live performance at Joshua Tree and some colourfully animated videos made available on the Pharos app. To hype the release, this event had a party vibe (helped by the free beer tokens provided on arrival) with the We Are CROOX DJs on hand. They were playing the perfect collection of tunes for a Gambino crowd, from Anderson. Paak to Busta Rhymes, and a cool version of Honne’s ‘Warm On A Cold Night’ feat. Aminé, these guys really read the room.
On display was the Awaken, My Love! vinyl, presented in a nifty box with a glow in the dark album cover. House of Vans was a great setting for an exclusive launch, based in some underground railway arches it actually felt like a secret location. The VR itself was screened in a chillout cinema room, through the cardboard glasses made for the vinyl release (which have a unique art design), with cushions and beanbags to get comfy and lose yourself for 20 minutes. Only four songs from the album were previewed, but that was enough to pump us up for the full release. Both ‘Me and Your Mamma’ and ‘Zombies’ contain a live performance combined with animation, this VR animated element takes place over-head for the full 360 degree effect. Then with ‘California’ it moved onto an entirely animated 3D jungle-scape, with various creature designs. This was followed by our favourite footage, the video for ‘Stand Tall’ which features some space visuals that will blow you out of this world.
Whilst the graphics for all VR headsets globally are still in the early stages, Gambino has created a fantastically eerie world to explore. The teased VR footage really does feel like a unique experience, never attempted before by a musician, which is both immersive and hugely captivating with its bewitching visuals. It's nearly six months since the album came out, but Gambino is still keeping us excited with his fresh and innovative approach to music and video. This is a vinyl worth investing your money and time into, and we’ll be reviewing the entire footage and vinyl boxset once it’s here.