The French producer/director duo are back with yet another banging song, with what might be an even better video.
Guillaume and Jonathan Alric, better known under their collective alias The Blaze, have released their newest endeavour “Territory” to follow up on what was one of last year’s most exciting house releases, their debut single “Virile”. Unconventionally enough for the music industry, the tandem does not only produce the music but also directs their own videos to go with the tracks, creating a project that moves seamlessly between different media, forming a singular overarching story.
Therefore, just as was the case with “Virile”, “Territory” is accompanied by a beautifully shot and directed video in a short film format. In the video we follow a young man, seemingly returning to his family and friends in Algiers, rejoicing in the simple pleasures of just being at home. All accompanied by a house production that will make your jaw drop.
The Blaze have described this newest delivery of audio-visual bliss as “poetic and visceral”, and we will have to agree that the song/video does both things for us. On the one hand it is poetic because of the sheer emotion and happiness that returning to a home can give you, as one returns to familiar faces, smells, foods and habits. This is beautifully portrayed by both song and video as we follow the main character get seriously bromantic (The Blaze are ironically signed to the Bromance Records label) with his friends, dancing and smoking weed on Algerian rooftops. At the same time, we also hear the vocals proclaiming how “There is nobody like my mom, no place like my home since I was born / When I was young, The flavour is so strong, I’ve missed it so long”, making it clear how emotionally important a place to call your own can be.
On the other hand, the track is also visceral on a number of levels, not least politically. Colonialism and its effects are topics that have been heavily discussed in progressive forums all over the world the last couple of years, and The Blaze does not shy away from this debate. Just the fact that The Blaze, a French band, produces a video set in Algeria (France was the colonialist power of Algeria up until 1962) starring an Algerian only cast in a time where Marine Le Pen has an actual chance of being France’s next president, sends signals of who this video is for.
Furthermore, when one considers the theme of a “Territory” as opposed to that of a home and how one place can be both things, interesting questions arise as to how one should understand the emotional struggle for the people that originate from a place that is under someone else’s governance. For them, a territory is both one’s home and a place that at the same time is not yours, while for the occupiers it only represents a piece of land with resources that can be used to sustain people who live somewhere completely different. The Blaze seems to identify this feeling as something a lot of people feel today, and communicate it subtly with their visual as well as musical production.
Speaking of bromance, a little more than a year has passed since The Blaze released their first song “Virile” to much critical acclaim (the video was for example chosen as best alternative music video at the UK Music Video Awards), both for its musical production as well as its video. “Virile” tells a story of love, while the mesmerising video follows two boys in an apartment in the outskirts of Paris, smoking weed and dancing (favourite motive?), enjoying the night and each other’s company. Also, the music is pure electronic dance music heaven, so if you are a fan of the genre (even if you’re not, it can’t hurt) make sure not to miss out on this opportunity.