Scansmiths – Jamiroquai – Virtual Insanity

Scansmiths are proud to have re-scanned in 4k “Virtual Insanity” is a song by British funkband Jamiroquai. It was released as the second single from their third studio album, Travelling Without Moving(1996), on 19 August 1996. The song’s award-winning music videowas released in September 1996. “Virtual Insanity” was a number-one hit in Iceland and reached number three on the UK Singles Chart Peaking within the top 10 in Finland and Ireland, the song also peaked at number 38 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart upon the single’s release in the US in 1997. The sight of underground town in Sapporo, Northern Japan provided inspiration to this song.

“Virtual Insanity” is Jamiroquai’s best known music video. At the 1997 MTV Music Video Awards in September 1997, it earned 10 nominations, winning four awards, including “Breakthrough Video” and the “Best Video of the Year.” In 2006, it was voted 9th by MTV viewers in a poll on music videos that ‘broke the rules.’ It was directed by Jonathan Glazer The single was released in the U.S. in 1997. At the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, Jamiroquai performed the song, recreating the famous floor moving concept with two moving walkways on the stage floor, going in different directions, for Jay Kay to use to dance on.

The video consists mainly of Jamiroquai’s singer, Jay Kay, dancing and performing the song in a bright white room with a grey floor. Throughout the video, there are several combinations of couches and easy chair, which are the only pieces of furniture in the room. The video earned recognition from critics for its special effects: the floor appears to move while the rest of the room stays still. At some points, the camera tilts up or down to show the floor or ceiling for a few seconds, and when it returns to the central position, the scene has completely changed. Other scenes show a crow flying across the room, a cockroach on the floor, the couches bleeding and the other members of Jamiroquai in a corridor being blown away by wind. This became the second video released by Jamiroquai to be successfully done in one complete, albeit composited, shot; “Space Cowboy” was the first. In a short making-of documentary, director Jonathan Glazer describes how the walls move on a stationary grey floor with no detail, to give the illusion that objects on the floor are moving. In several shots, chairs or couches are fixed to the walls so that they appear to be standing still, when in fact they are moving. In other shots chairs remain stationary on the floor, but the illusion is such that they appear to be moving. The moving walls were not completely rigid and can be seen in some shots to wiggle slightly.