On New Year’s Day, Ty Evans announced that Pretty Sweet will be his final video with the Girl family. It is unclear whether he is moving on from skate videos entirely, but it makes sense for a dude who directed a Super Bowl commercial to seek creative opportunities that do not involve chasing 20-year-olds down stair sets.
Despite all the bitching and moaning on behalf of nitpicky skate nerds everywhere, be it about excessive slow motion in the past two projects or just too many high fives, there is no denying that Ty Evans influenced skate videos more than anyone else in the past decade-and-a-half. His work propelled skate videos beyond bro-cam status and gave meaning to the concept of professional skateboard videography. With Evans “venturing out,” we are looking back at Rhythm Skateboards’ Genesis video, one of his earliest projects.
Released in 1997, Genesis was Rhythm’s first and only video. It was a follow-up to an eight-minute Rhythm montage at the end of Silver, the Planet Earth video that Evans made a year earlier. (Does anyone know if Silver was his first video?) Many hallmarks of future Ty Evans projects were already there: synth-heavy music supervision, female vocals, art direction based on staticky nineties technology (which would re-emerge in Transmission 7), and yes, occasionally a good bit of “lifestyle” filler between each trick.
Genesis is a somewhat “forgotten” entry in Evans’ catalog. After being online for three years (the entire video is available on Skate.ly, minus Chany Jeanguenin’s part due to forbidden music rights), Richard Angelides’ section is the only one with significant YouTube views.
Angelides’ opener is the best in the video, if not one of the most underrated nineties skate parts altogether. While switching between Adidas and Converses, he provides a guide to all the right tricks to do on ledges — one of the earliest adherences to what would come to be known as the “Trilogy Rule.” And is there a mid-ninties part more influential in accelerating the progression of switch frontside tricks down handrails?
Ryan Bartsma and Danny Montoya skate to the video’s two songs that were most likely to be played at raves during the time of its release. Both pay proper homage to switch variations of the frontside 5-0 shove-it, an underutilized maneuver by today’s nineties nostalgists, who prefer the frontside half cab noseslide shove-it. Jeff Taylor’s grunge haircut makes you assume that he was the token dude on Rhythm who didn’t vibe with electronic music, and Felix Anguelles may be the first person on record to successfully defeat a knobbed handrail.
If you need another name for the “Europeans Snubbed by the American Skate Narrative” list, write in Chany Jeanguenin. Everyone traces Furby’s and David Gonzalez’s lineage to Muska, Jamie Thomas and Pat Duffy, but people tend to forget Chany’s part of monster 5050s and that it predates Muska’s two rail skating benchmarks (Fulfill the Dream and Feedback.)
Genesis fits as the sole skate video in that small canon of late-nineties rave movies. Ty Evans’ work would soon drift away from its inklings of rave culture, but regardless, Genesis was definitely any MDMA-experimenting skateboarder’s favorite VHS tape in 1997.
Good luck and all the best for the future, Ty.
(Sidebar regarding female vocals and synths…pretty sure most kids who are in their twenties now discovered what electronic music was from Harsh Euro Barge.)