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16 September 2019

Natural Born Killers (Ride For Me)

by Alice May


James Massiah: “Natural Born Killers (Ride For Me)” - 4 mins 55s

It's the end of the world, happening not with a bang but a heatwave; the planet simmering like one big lobster pot slowly coming to the boil. People strip and lie motionless, basting in their own sweat. The oppression is hypnotic. It's not the first theme that might come to mind for James Massiah's 'Natural Born Killers', but somehow it's the most perfect fit imaginable.

Ian Pons Jewell has created a promo whose own mesmeric mood matches and intensifies the track, which, it has to be said, is a belter.

As the music unfolds, all filigree electronic swirls carrying Massiah's voice knocked back in the mix, one man in particular staggers through the deserted streets and effortfully lurches onto a bridge before collapsing.

A taxi driver, himself suffering, sees him. In the back of his cab is the one person barely affected by the heat - Massiah - spilling the lyrics intimately into his phone while a woman listens on the other end in her squalid room, floored by the humidity. The contrast of his vitality with everyone else's defeat turns the intensity up another degree.

Back on the bridge, the collapsed man has no reserves left to call on. And so while the temperature rises inexorably, he relinquishes his hold on selfhood and deliquesces onto the asphalt; a human ice cream pooling under the sun's glare.


Director: Ian Pons Jewell Ⓟ Ⓦ (Academy Films Ⓟ Ⓦ)
1st AD: Andrés Chenaut
Cinematographer: Mauro Chiarello
2nd AC: Maximiliano Villavedra
Gaffer: Agustin Rocca
Art Department: Sebastian Beretta
Wardrobe: Sol Montalvo
Hair Design: Lucrecia Fontana / Magdalena Wust
Make-Up: Lucrecia Fontana / Magdalena Wust
Editor: Gaia Borretti ♀ Ⓟ Ⓦ @ The Assembly Rooms Ⓟ Ⓦ
Post Production: Time Based Arts Ⓟ Ⓦ
Colourist: Lewis Crossfield
Sound Designer: Kaspar Broyd @ String and Tins Ⓟ Ⓦ

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