The song is “Paris,” an atmospheric and hypnotic piano ballad. The video, released just last week, is shot in black and white by Paul Labonté, who directed Azealia Banks’s “212." SSENSE was on set to style the video and we invited the young performer into our studios to talk about the song’s inspirations.
You would think that when Alex Fleming showed up to the SSENSE studios, he’d carry himself with that particular brand of swagger that comes from being talented, handsome, and nineteen years old. But the Montreal native who’s been making nu-R&B as Black Atlass for the past two years seems strikingly unaffected. Despite being a recent signee to A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs' Brooklyn-based label Fool's Gold Records, Fleming is down-to-earth and shy in a way that you wouldn’t guess from his commanding performances. Fleming's music possesses all the ingredients of classic R&B: his themes center around love, new experiences, and relationships. "All of those things are things I'm experiencing, that's really where it becomes personal," he says. "I'm not really saying anything new. But I'm telling it for myself."
When talking about his recent music video for "Paris," from his 2012 The Black Atlass EP, however, Fleming shows no trace of his former reserve. He explains that the song tells the story of what he describes as "the kind of night where everything goes perfectly.” Its accompanying video, directed by Paul Labonté and styled by SSENSE, follows "three girls in the first moments of a night like that. You watch them getting ready, but you don't really know for what."
"It was the easiest song to write out of the entire project. It was the song that inspired everything else," Fleming says of the rock-tinged piano ballad, which he wrote in Montreal in 2011. "I could hear the song in my head the whole time I was writing it. I knew exactly what I wanted to say, exactly what I wanted to do. It was so natural, it just poured out of me."
Click through for more Black Atlass and watch the new video here.
Vincent Vendetta and Andrew Szekeres became fast friends while in school in their native Australia and founded Midnight Juggernauts in 2004 before introducing drummer Daniel Stricker to the group two years later. Their alternative take on synth pop, dance, and indie electronica was quick to generate buzz in their home country, spurred by the trio's 2005 release and accompanying debut video, "Raised by Wolves." The group started to receive international attention with Dystopia - their danceable, grinding synth-fueled 2007 album released under their own label, Siberia Records - and a successful tour with French electro-house duo, Justice. Since, the band has continued to develop their sound, releasing a second album and a number of EPs under the likes of Cutters Records, Institubes, and Bandroom. Their forthcoming album, Uncanny Valley, is set for release this year.
Opening with The Orb's ambient 1990 single "Little Fluffy Clouds," Midnight Juggernauts' exclusive mix for SSENSE features tracks from SFV Acid, Mungolian Jetset, Elkin & Nelson, and 808 State.
The Orb Little Fluffy Clouds
Turkish Prison Ancient City
Elkin & Nelson Jibaro
Bob Chance Jungle Talk
John Barry The Persuaders Theme
New Jackson Sat Around Here Waiting
Spike Magic Table
Mungolian Jetset Mungolian Jetset Presents...
Daniel Avery Drone Logic
808 State Pacific State
SFV Acid Library
Geoff Barrow & Ben Salisbury Exhale
Tiled photos scroll by, iMovie style, to a soundtrack of Brooklyn indie rocker DIIV’s post-grunge guitar. Hedi Slimane has cast his own Kurt and Courtney in the form of DIIV frontman Zachary Cole Smith and model Cara Delevingne, who pout in the Saint Laurent collection’s flannel, studs, ripped denim, and babydoll dresses with all the requisite attitude.
Versus shoots its video as a screen test, giving us a look behind the scenes at the faces of its print campaign. The models fidget, laugh, make faces, and talk charmingly about their favorite bands (Alice Cooper, dubstep), hometowns (southern Poland), and outfits (“The lining is amazing!”). A far cry from the larger-than-life Naomis and Lindas that defined 90s Versace, these models sound more like what they embody: a new generation of cool Versus kids.
To celebrate ten years of collaboration between Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas, digital agency ACNE designed an interactive audiovisual experience for the Y-3 website. Viewers can call up different video clips by pressing each letter key, manipulate sound and image effects with number keys, then share their unique videos. The resulting films are meditative studies in color and motion: performance gear as art. Ambient electronic sounds composed by Tim Hecker lend an air of spiritual calm.
We expect nothing less than aesthetic perfection from a Dior Homme campaign, and Karim Sadli’s rich black and white cinematography does not disappoint. The “graphic prints and precise lines, sharp jackets and soft knits” that form the foundations of the collection appear on a series of pensive models gazing into the distance, interspersed with overlapping images of streetscapes and seaside cliffs. The resulting mood is one of longing and tension: a collection of textures and expressions that capture the soulful, meticulous essence of Dior Homme.
MCQ Alexander McQueen
McQ’s first ever fashion film stars models Botond Cseke and Maria Bradley in a moody collage of visual effects and contrasts. Inspired by postwar Italian cinema and the Czech avant garde, Roger Deckker’s film juxtaposes distorted shots of the pair with bleached out images of parking garages and fields. An intense synth soundtrack complements an atmosphere that’s at once futuristic and nostalgic, vulnerable and strong.