The long-awaited return of LCD Soundsystem is finally upon us, but the world has changed a lot since James Murphy last released an album (This Is Happening in 2010). Donald Trump is president, fidget spinners have taken over, and virtual reality is a thing now. Murphy is embracing the latter by following up his decidedly old school clip for “Tonite” with an overtly modern, virtual reality experience that features the song and is called “Dance Tonite.”
The Web VR experiment, made in collaboration with Google, sends the viewer through multiple colorful rooms, where they can watch dance performances from minimalist geometric figures choreographed by fans. Viewers who have VR headsets become performers in the video, while those who don’t simply float through the different rooms and observe.
“I don’t get [virtual reality] in the big picture,” Murphy said in a making of video. “But it’s sort of like going to the beach: If somebody says [they’re] going to the beach, I’m like, ‘I don’t want to go to the beach.’ Then you go to the beach, you swim around, you hang out, you have a day off, and it feels kind of great.”
He also said that although he’s “not naturally interested in technology,” this particular project really spoke to him:
“I’m not naturally collaborative and I’m not naturally interested in technology. I’m a loner and a luddite. If there’s a project that impels me to collaborate based on technology and it seems interesting, I’ll try it because it gets me out of my comfort zone… The uncanniness of the ‘Dance Tonite’ experience is super entertaining and weird, and I really enjoy it.”