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The Blaze Keeps Burning

Words:

Edd Norval
May 21, 2019

Where The Blaze's music videos stand out is, besides being extremely cool, well shot and interesting, the way that they carry a cinematic narrative rarely seen in music now. Why is this? Because they do everything themselves, taking control of their vision that prizes emotion above all else.

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The Parisian pair, whose father's are brothers, but whose bond as cousins seems to tip more on the brotherly side, make music and videos under the name The Blaze which symbolises intensity, but also 'name' in colloquial French. This is something else they share. One is Jonathan, the other Guillaume. Both are are Alric.


Predominantly making dancehall music, from which their debut directly takes its name, it has a real emotional resonance, one that is only part experienced by the music itself. Drenched in a minor nostalgia, the subdued and minimal dancehall comes as part of a package with their now iconic music videos.


It really started with Territory in early 2017, a music video filled with young North African men working out and sharing moments of ambivalent joy with each other and their families, displaying an honest masculinity. Their guard was down and when we watch them in action, so too does ours lower.

With music videos upping their calibre over the last decade, utilising unorthodox aspect ratios and arced narratives, or even several serialised parts, standing out is more competitive now than it has been in the past. Not only did they do that, they set an extremely high benchmark for their follow-up which they miraculously followed.


Their outlook is poetic, French and deeply romantic. Romance is embedded in everything they seem to do, the pair taking into consideration the time of their sets, the venues and just about everything else that could give the audience an experience over simply a live show.


Particulars of their music is secondary. A lot of producers like to geek-out, but the Blaze pair choose instead to step back and look at their creations from a distance. They pour feelings into it and in return, hope to transmit those accurately to the audience. That transmission takes precedence over anything else.

Contemporary music, their art and accompanying visuals has a way of ageing. Timeless isn't what sells anymore, it's 'the times'. For The Blaze, their song-video pairings from years ago still have a feeling of never being in, nor out. This is exactly because of their emphasis on the feelings transmitted. Some sounds and styles may come and go, but feelings forever remain the same. If you feel it strongly enough, you'll never forget it, nor forget who made you feel that way.


Utilising highly dance-able underscores, their dreamy and ethereal music carries with it a constant transportive summer mood. In The Blaze, we feel the heat, the sun. With The Blaze, we go somewhere. In the future, their music and video making chops will likely appear on playlists and in collaborations with many other artists who too will seek that permanence offered by the ecstatic duality of audiovisual packages.


Maybe not brand new, but they've never aged. Their videos become a part of your life. Certainly, they've become a part of ours.

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