Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good Golly, By Jolly, This Is Really Good! #67

The Essex quartet, These New Puritans, first caught my interest through their song ‘Navigate, Navigate’, which I later learnt was actually a song commissioned by menswear fashion designer, Hedi Slimane, for his final runway show with Dior. Earlier this year, the band released their full-length debut, Beat Pyramid, which is a record overflowing with post-punk nuances, raw riffage, and industrial electronics, rendering this collection into one of the most engrossing aural experiences you’ll ever hear:
But out of all the British bands still playing under the umbrella of post-punk, there's so much that TNP get right about the sound: scraps of syncopated guitars making the barest insinuations of melody, stiff electronic beats that sound like factory noise, and singer who barks excitedly but whose message is initially cryptic

Veering a little off-topic here; the name Hedi Slimane, has never come across to my attention, but after a quick research, I discovered that Slimane himself is a force to be reckoned with. I do reserve a slight fascination in what happens within the fashion world, but the world of menswear to me is just comparably dull and frustrating. A mere, unimpressive, clichéd after clichéd, display of suits, and pants, and shirts, and… well, which then the cycle just continues ad infinitum. It would be interesting to find a designer who could work with the constraints to his own advantage and weave out something as equally exciting to its gender counterpart. Fortunate to say, the fashion world have found its saviour, namely Hedi Slimane who’s revolutionized the fashion for men, earning him accolades of fans from both genders alike. The creation of Slimane is anything but conventional; opting for stick-thin models and musing over unlikely fashion icons such as Pete Doherty. I have to admit, for the first time, when watching a runway collection entirely made up of menswear designs, instead of just staring at the model’s faces, Slimane’s works had me taking a step back and appreciating the entire concept and vision as a whole. From the runway design, to its music, to the sleek and elegant yet rugged clothes, even to its final walk, I was mesmerized the whole time. See for yourself:

That’s the song ‘Navigate, Navigate’, you’re listening to in the background. Slimane have always been particular in the music choices, being an avid music fan himself, he’s been responsible for bringing some obscure bands to the forefront, such as the Rakes, and the Answering Machine to name but a few. The clothes, the design, the music, it all feels somewhat pretentious, but what is fashion if not a load of pretentious nothingness. Notice how young some of these models look? Almost thirteen-ish young, which is scary if you think about it. Members of These New Puritans who are either barely twenty or who’ve just turned twenty, also joined in the catwalk fun. Attached are respective pictures as evidence:

Okay so I’ve veered way out of topic, not just a little. Well, it was a much needed break from music-talk anyway. But here’s the original ‘Navigate, Navigate’ song in all it’s fifteen minute splendor, perfect enough for you to reenact your own personal runway show, but with slightly shittier clothes.

Taken from the Navigate, Navigate 12” single.

These New Puritans - Navigate, Navigate

Wouldn’t be fair not to post a cut from their 2008 record though, so here goes. Now, spot the similarities with the above track.

These New Puritans - Colours

:: These New Puritans ::
[ Official website | MySpace | Buy Beat Pyramid ]