Having recently wrapped his ever-branching tendrils around the world of invisible art, creeping ivy James Franco is now taking root in the mostly virgin soil of invisible music collaboration. As reported earlier this month, Franco has an EP looming on the horizon as one-half of Kalup And Franco, a duo formed with New York-based performance artist Kalup Linzy that found favor with DJ /rupture’s Dutty Artz label, which releases the group’s debut, Turn It Up, in two weeks. At the time it seemed unclear as to what extent Franco, whose many dilettantish talents somehow do not include singing or playing music, would be involved in the project. And with this video for first single “Rising,” it’s still pretty unclear.
As in so many of his side pursuits, Franco exists entirely in blurred, spectral form—a metaphor, perhaps, for his desire to transcend definition and exist only as an ephemeral near-illusion. Or maybe the way he floats around the edges of the frame is symbolic of how the very tease of his presence is mostly what keeps viewers interested in what is otherwise a mostly just okay track of mellow indie R&B (it's reminiscent of a dumbed-down James Blake or The Weeknd) delivered by a guy in a silly wig. Whatever the interpretation, the fact is he doesn’t really do anything. Linzy claims in a statement that Franco “contributed vocals during recording sessions,” though you’d be hard-pressed to pick them out. Most likely he’s the guy contributing those sporadic, echo-drenched “oh” sounds; how he managed to turn that into equal billing and a musical credit is just the magic of Franco, we guess. [via Pitchfork]