Exclusive: Hercules & Love Affair's New Music Video Brings Horror to the Disco

Exclusive: Hercules & Love Affair's New Music Video Brings Horror to the Disco

It's as creepy as it is catchy.

It's as creepy as it is catchy.

Text: Jacob Seferian

For the past ten years perhaps no group has simultaneously dominated and challenged our sensibilities on the dance floor quite like Hercules & Love Affair, whose unique marriage of disco and house has made the Andy Butler-helmed DJ project a staple in alternative nightlife.

Their latest single "Controller," a collaboration with vocalist Faris Badwan of The Horrors, is no exception. Buoyed by a disjointed electronic beat, at first the track seems to reject movement, but as additional layers of sound are applied the initial eerie feeling begins to melt into an infectious anthem to sexual domination. By the time Badwan croons the refrain, "Move me it's all I want / use me it's all I want," you'll most likely find yourself at the center of the floor. As the rhythm pounds in the listener's ear, who is really submitting to who becomes unclear.

The song's music video, directed by Rei Nadal, follows the Hercules & Love Affair tradition of lavish visuals. Featuring a spooky cast of characters convulsing in different red rooms, viewers are provided with an example of the type of dancing one might try for the unconventional track. A pale face from the nose down delivers the lyrics, at times barring its blackened teeth and pursing its lipsticked lips, equal parts creepy and fabulous.

On the video and new album, Butler had plenty to say: "I've had some really humbling and special moments of intersection with fashion in my career; from writing music for established entities like Chanel, an institution whose visionary leader has such an enormous legacy, or being fortunate enough to have a legendary enfant terrible like Bernhard Wilhelm direct the styling and costumery of the last video, "Do You Feel the Same?” But it has been similarly rewarding working with individuals who are 'experiencing lift-off', asserting their developing yet powerful voices or visions. I was very excited to have Rei Nadal have her hand at the music video after reading her treatment and seeing some of her work. One collaboration with Nick Knight called 'Girls' evoked the dayglo death rock of Rubella Ballet or Strawberry Switchblade. A sort of doom and gloom turned on its head.  I knew from that she would visually evoke the same twist that Faris and I had achieved with 'Controller.' I am really proud and pleased with what she delivered and cannot wait to see how things develop for this burgeoning talent."

Nadal shares the sentiment, saying, "I felt attracted to the track straight away, it was the mix of the club feel with the obvious dark vibe that made the song complex to me and pushed me to create layers to the images, merging the explicit and the abstract, the spiritual and the vain."

"Controller" is the first single from Hercules & Love Affair's forthcoming album, slated for release this July.

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