A Union of Flesh and Beats From Erol Alkan's Expansive Dance Protégé
The pulsating, warped electronics of Daniel Avery’s “All I Need” cloak a half-clothed ensemble in this carnal music promo shot by Lewis Kyle White. Following remixes for Django Django and Primal Scream, Avery wrote his critically acclaimed debut album Drone Logic in a converted shipping container overlooking the Thames in London, creating a disorientating record that Rough Trade has cited as its dance album of the year. “I didn't want to make anything throwback. It had to represent me working in London in 2013,” explains Avery of his uncompromising record. “A level of patience is required; you can come with us on this trip if you like, it's going to be amazing but it's going to happen at our pace.” The Fabric DJ was taken under the wing of both venerated dance polymath Andrew Weatherall and electro pioneer and Phantasy label owner Erol Alkan, who himself invited White to make the video. “There is an intimate sound at the start of the track that reminds me of the moment you wake up in bed with someone right there in your face, breathing,” says the director of the inspiration behind the video's oddly estranged sensuality. “I was thinking of things such as internet dating: being close to someone yet remaining very distant.”
Poppy Delevingne and Friends Get Under the Skin of an Age-Old Beauty Phenomenon in a Lisa Rovner Short
Mystical kisses from the sun or an embarrassing pigmentation? Filmmaker Lisa Rovner’s short Constellations takes a close look at what it means to be a female with freckles from the point of view of five young women who have them: Anna Tatton, a model and aspiring writer; television presenter and fashion stylist Angela Scanlon; costume designer Amy Pollitt; Adwoa Aboah, who just finished her degree in art; and model and Chanel ambassador Poppy Delevingne. Shot in London after a challenging casting search, Rovner’s film pays homage to the late American cult director Les Blank’s whimsical 1987 short Gap-Toothed Women. Blank explored social attitudes and self-esteem issues by interviewing over a hundred women and Rovner’s love letter to freckles similarly unpacks a genetic quirk from a playful perspective. “In the age of airbrushed everything, the prototype of a beautiful woman seems almost unattainable by natural means,” says the director. “Are the so-called ‘flaws’ that are driving women to do almost anything to change their looks really flaws? I wanted to make a film to investigate that question.”
Where did you find your freckled muses?
Lisa Rovner: Believe it or not, casting women with freckles in London was hard. I tried everything: Facebook, casting directors, art schools, Oxford Street. I ended up finding these incredible freckled faces with a little help from my friends.
What’s the connection between the girls, the freckles and the novels they are carrying?
LR: I asked the girls to bring the books they were reading with them on the day I interviewed them. It was my way of asking, “Who are you?”.
Was there a common trait among these freckled women?
LR: The film reveals more about their differences than their similarities. In a way, the film becomes a kind of celebration of difference.
Who do you think of when you think of freckles?
LR: I think of constellations. As the saying goes: “A face without freckles is like a sky without stars.”
Floria Sigismondi Takes to LA’s Chateau Marmont For a Tale Of Glamour and Madness
“LA is a sunny place for shady people,” says singer-songwriter Lawrence Rothman, describing today’s promo for his entrancing, entropic debut single, “Montauk Fling.” Shot in LA’s foremost den of glamour and vice, the Chateau Marmont, the video is the dark brainchild of artist and filmmaker Floria Sigismondi, whose past projects include 2011 feature The Runaways and a long list of ingenious, era-defining music videos for the likes of Björk, Marilyn Manson and David Bowie—she directed his recent video for “The Next Day,” starring Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard. Released on June 20, “Montauk Fling” is not only Rothman’s debut single, it’s also the first 7-inch to be released on Sigismondi’s own label, Mama Roma, which she’s launching as a platform to put out undiscovered new music. Rothman describes Sigismondi’s visuals as “a spew of consciousness about a messy love triangle,” the director having cast the singer as a deranged Elizabeth Taylor, stuck, as she puts it, in a “tragic parallel reality where the character’s hunger descends into madness.” Far from taking his role lightly, Rothman spent hours prior to the shoot watching Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula on loop to fully prepare himself. The backing dancers were choreographed on set with no rehearsals, and ended up drawing a little upon the spirit of the Chateau, says Sigismondi, “like haunted spirits roaming its halls.”