The glory of 80’s and 90’s fashion, including but not limited to bright colors, outlandish designs, and as much skin showing as possible, crossing the line between borderline pornography and questionable material and lewd designs. Who better to exploit such controversial topics than the man behind the Judicator album himself, Stilz. Stilz isn’t only just a sci-fi artist, he also tackles other stuff like drug heists and, as of now, fashion shows. Music in fashion shows are always fairly electronic in scale as background noise, but Stilz says no to that with this release from Minitel Records.
“Motif” is the first track on the album, and very well fits a fashion show, like every track on this release. It’s still as dark and as slow as Judicator and other releases by Stilz, but also with many instruments and rhythms combined as possible, adding to the visions of spotlights and show times. The second track is entitled “Fashion ’86”, and this one has to be my favorite on the album. It’s heavy drums and scratchy background echoes are haunting and fits one of the girls in the showcase feel like she’s hiding something. The trailer for the release has that tension and dark soundscape that’s very much terrifying, like something out of The Neon Demon. In fact, this entire album sounds like it could fit within Nicholas Wending Refn’s newest film, it has the vibe and tone of the feature.
The title track, “Haute”, is the most pop-sounding track on the short album, very much a dance/disco track, and perfect for runways and girls with eyeliner and white clothing. Though it’s still very much dark and feels very much like it could be a movie score from Refn’s films, maybe in Drive or Only God Forgives. I imagine a girl standing backstage, being interviewed by a man with too much interest in this girl, and the girl acting all innocent and passionate about being involved in the fashion designer’s project, but in reality this is a stepping stone to her, and her way to the top isn’t too far away. The fourth track is entitled “Midnight Dancer”, and I can’t decide what exactly this track is about. It could be about many things with it’s tones and feelings, its roots are impossible to trace and define. One part of my mind screams nightclubs and poles, the other screams fashion shows and catwalks. The outfits embraced by both differ, but the girls’ unfathomable beauty remains through and through.
There are two remixes as well, let us not forget. An artist named Arsonye remixes the track “Haute”, and adds even more of a disco feeling to the original track, yet keeping the dark feelings of the original track. One of my favorite artists named Faint Waves remixed my favorite track “Fashion ’86”, and it sounds so incredible. It’s still heavy and scratchy, but more relaxing and yet still ambient fitting in movies. It sounds atmospheric but with a taste of non-casual listening. This album perfectly feels like an old near softcore porn level movie, movies like Angel and Savage Streets, payback and vice. Mixed with the incredible artwork by Nigel Silva, aka The Encounter, and the remixes by Arsonye and Faint Waves, I give my regards to Stilz for the incredible vibes.