IndieLondon Video Jukebox: Monarchy featuring Dita Von Teese - Disintegration
After seeing Monarchy perform at Coachella in 2011 Dita Von Teese started tweeting about them. The first one was “Currently listening to Monarchy and Cut Copy. What music are you listening to that doesn’t suck?”.
They began emailing. Dita described herself as a “super-fan”, and she invited Monarchy to DJ at one of her private events in London in October 2011. They chatted for an hour.
It’s late December 2011 and Dita invites Andrew from Monarchy to spend five days over Christmas with her and her friends, staying at her flat in Paris. Less than 24 hours later, Andrew is stepping off a plane in Charles De Gaulle airport. These invitations don’t come every year.
The days consisted of private tours of Musee D’Orsay, dinner up the Eiffel Tower, the circus, Crazy Horse, and Christmas day with the likes of Diane Pernet, Ali Mahdavi, Mr Pearl, Catherine Baba and Eric Szmanda along with various other designers, artists and a dominatrix.
It was during those Christmas days that the idea was hatched for Dita to feature on a Monarchy single. It would be the first time she has provided vocals on a release.
Returning to London, Andrew and Ra wrote a track for Dita called Disintegration. It’s a song about losing the self in a moment, in a love affair, in a partner, drawing from a metaphor of “le petit mort”, that post sex moment where the mind goes blank, as a symbol of the larger loss of self in a relationship.
The track meshes jazz influenced melodies in Dita’s breathy Marilyn Monroe-esq delivery with hard electronic production, and Ra’s soaring vocals for the chorus response – and a “church of synthesizer” breakdown. Energetic, experimental in parts, and emotional, it is both classic and current.
The video is shot by Roy Raz, who previously directed Monarchy’s I Won’t Let Go video, and features Dita extensively as the classic 1950’s housewife escaping the monotony of her marriage through sexual fantasy. The voice over introduction is provided by Eric Szmanda, who initially introduced Dita to Monarchy’s music, and is one of the lead characters from CSI. The photos are taken by Ali Mahdavi, the former creative director at Crazy Horse, and an exceptional fashion and portrait photographer.
Watch the video