Chains & Rings / Tsepi i kol'tsa

In 2003, Universal Music Russia commissioned a fully animated clip for one of its most eccentric and talented artists, the singer Linda. The song was entitled Tsepi i kol'tsa, or Chains & Rings in its English version, to be released as a single both in Russian and English language. Under a tight schedule, as customary in the world of animation, I.G's senior line producer Ryuji Mitsumoto (Patlabor The Movie, Innocence) quickly gathered a team of animators that included, among others, character designer Akiharu Ishii (Blood+), key animators Yasunori Miyazawa (Kill Bill: Vol. 1) and Naoyoshi Shiotani (Blood+ OP 3), special effects operator Hisashi Ezura (Tachigui: The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters) and art director Shuichi Hirata (Innocence). The Chinese characters appearing in the opening sequence of the video, meaning 'metempsychosis' (the story-concept of the clip), were hand-written by Tetsuya Nishio, Jin-Roh character designer. For the direction, Mitsumoto contacted Mizuho Nishikubo (Video Girl Ai, Otogi Zoshi), long-time collaborator of Mamoru Oshii since the days of Patlabor. While the single was released in 2004 using a screenshot from the animation as cover art, the 3'20" music clip has not been available to the public until 2006, when Universal Music Russia finally released a deluxe double-disc edition of Linda's 2004 album Ataka, that included a bonus DVD with both the Russian and English versions.

Born in 1975 in Kentau, Kazakhstan, Linda is one of the most representative figures in recent Russian popular music. After her debut in 1994 with the album Pesni Tibetskih Lam (Songs of Tibetan Llamas), Linda quickly gained a wide following thanks to her unique fusion of electronic sounds and folk instruments into dark and hypnotic melodies, expressed in a more complete form in the second album, Vorona (Crow), a huge sensational hit released in 1996 and considered by many a turning point in Russian pop/rock music. Highly visual-conscious Linda is also famous for her ever-changing extreme look and conceptual music clips. Tsepi i kol'tsa/Chains & Rings is her first experiment with animation.