The Klaxons: Twin Flames and the rise of the NSFW video


1989 was a big year. It marked the fall of the Berlin wall, the year of the first ever liver transplant, and the release of “Like a Prayer” by Madonna. It was also the year that Brian Yuzna’s revealed his twisted fantasy horror “Society” to the world.

Once seen, never forgotten, it’s certainly stuck in the mind of London-based music video director Saam Farahmand (Simian Mobile Disco – Cruel Intentions, The XX – Islands, Soulwax – Part of the Weekend Never Dies) with his most recent video for long-time collaborators The Klaxons.

Interestingly, considering Society was so highly acclaimed for its make-up and physical effects, Farahmand has chosen to execute his video with clever use of motion control rigs and computer blending. Using techniques of the modern combined with inspiration from the old, Saam creates a wonderful homage to “Society” in this no-holds-barred NSFW video for the band.

This piece also highlights the current trend in directors and commissioners being able to push the censorship boundaries. Although there have always been controversial promos, it begs the question as to whether the MTV censors are factoring as highly in creative decisions now that we have the level playing field of the online community, or, dare I say it, are more controversial videos being commissioned in order to stand out from the online crowd and rack up the hits?

Containing nudity and graphic scenes, this wonderfully executed piece transports you into a world where flesh is as versatile as rubber. Hold onto your hats! It’s a twisted triumph.

Klaxons – Twin Flames (Polydor)
Director: Saam Farahmand / Partizan
Producer: Ella Sanderson
Production Manager: Julie Crosbie
1st AD: Rob Thorpe
DP: Dan Bronks
Art Director: David Lee
Asst Art Director: Laura Marsh
Dir. Assistant: Shiny
Hair & Makeup: Lisa Mustafa, Pamela Cochrane
Stylist: Heather Noir
Editor: Gus Herdman @ Trim
Lead Visual Effects Artists: Ric Comline & Jasper Kidd @ Blind Pig
2D VFX: Tim Andrews, Michael Brown, Mark Pinheiro @ Blind Pig
Flame Artists: Phil Oldham, Michael Smith, Ben Robards, Richard Bainbridge, Simon Holden, Anthony Walsham @ Blind Pig
Combustion Artists: Owen Saward, David de Min, Krissy Nordella, Betty Cameron, Rob Drury @ Blind Pig
3D VFX Artists: Christopher Holmes, Guillaume Julien @ Blind Pig
Post Producers: Dan Bennett, Aimee Safko @ Blind Pig
Commissioner: Ross Anderson & Emily Tedrake

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  • Hieronymus Bosch, really comes to mind when I was watching this video. Feels a bit like a modern minimalist take on his stuff. Really bold and impressive. Bravo.

  • this is definitely not work safe. I would appreciate a warning next time.

  • boatfisher

    looks pretty work safe to me. Where do you work that it’s nsfw lol? The girls aren’t even young enough:( 16 -19 is the preferred age range for rock star designers …

  • “Containing nudity and graphic scenes, this wonderfully executed piece transports you into a world where flesh is as versatile as rubber.” totally agree. And by the way great colours.

  • marco-di-pisa
  • I think with the internet becoming the outlet for most music videos these days, you’ll see a rise in the NSFW content. Its a useful (though some may say cheap) tactic to drive higher viewer numbers in hopes that the video will go viral.

    I cut a music video for a new artist earlier this year and it boomed with hits, far exceeding our expectations within the first week. It’s still pulling in thousands of views every day. Is it because the artist is great and put out a banging track? Or is it because the video is NSFW and as far as music videos go offers something a bit different than what audiences are used to seeing? Honestly I think its a bit of both, but it deffinitely got a lot of attention just based off the concept. The video was featured on Attack of the Show and Playboy channel within a few weeks of its release. It wasn’t a PR push, it happened organically. What is important is that the video has been seen nearly 1/2 a million times on vimeo. Not bad for a new artist on their first album.

    You can check out the video here at

    Like I said, it’s NSFW due to nudity.

  • Ploomers

    This is so well executed that the grotesqueness of the situation seems to slip by a bit. It almost becomes pretty. I cant help thinking the shock is some how entwined in the style of this rather than any other prevarication.

    All the same an impressive work.

  • xpez2000

    ethnocentric leisure art for the bourgeoisie….