With Mentrix’s striking debut album My Enemy, My Love released last week on her female-led label House of Strength she takes us on a stunning visual journey with behind the scenes footage from her trip to Iran filming the videos for ‘Walk’ and ‘Nature’.

Powerfully hypnotic and primordial, Mentrix’s compositions are profoundly moving and stir up something sacred deep inside. Blending traditional Sufi instrumentation with Western sounds she pays homage to her Iranian heritage and draws on influences from her times living in Europe at varying points in her life. Currently based in Berlin, across the record Samar Rad, who’s behind the Mentrix moniker, incorporates trance-like beats and expansive electronica interwoven with ancient traditional Iranian percussion to form poignant gothic-tinged pop.

Listen to My Enemy, My Love here and check out the Mentrix’s photo series below.

Photo by Kathy Le Sant

This (above) is me last year on the set of Walk, in Bafgh, in the Yazd region. 17 women were part of our cast who came down from Tehran. These ladies were joined by other local extras to accompany me on a march in the desert. Walking in a straight line in the desert is not easy. As you can tell by the look on my face, I was worried, wondering if we got that shot or not…?

Photo by Quentin de Lamarzelle

I think we did 🙂 The above picture was taken by DOP Quentin de Lamarzelle on his iPhone. He quickly showed me this on set and put my mind at rest. Watch the full video of Walk here.

Photo by Kathy Le Sant

The stunning argentique picture of me, as well as many I am exclusively sharing here with London in Stereo, is captured by Kathy Le Sant. 

Kathy is the talented make up artist who joined us on this fabulous trip. She is also the genius photographer who captured these photos we wanted to show in a proper photo exhibition. These plans are now on hold – like pretty much everything #worldlockdown – but we are both happy to share a few of these here and salute our friends around the world in memory of this unforgettable trip.

In the picture, I am assisted by Amir who is fixing my scarf and Simon, as I get off the van in the middle of Kavir-e-Lut, a desert in eastern Iran, in the region of Kerman. Amir is now in the south of Iran self-isolating. This trip was the opposite of that. We were all so close to one another that leaving was emotional for everyone. Especially for Amir. This one’s for you. You know we all love you very much.

Photo by Kathy Le Sant

The other guy in the picture with his back to the camera is Simon. It’s thanks to his magazine La Revue that we got the amazing t as our stylist on board. Sadly she has lost all her photos and the only one I have is another beauty shot by Kathy Le Sant. That’s Danielle in that funny hat 🙂 And that’s me and the girls and Gilles further behind.

Photo by Kathy Le Sant

Here I am on top of the Tower of Silence, in Yazd. Next to me is director Gilles Estve. We are on the set of Walk. We worked for over a year together, preparing this shoot. I continue to learn from this man. It takes a lot of patience and self control to make films. His self-contained approach to this work has been an inspiration to me.

Photo by Kathy Le Sant

Aida, Faezeh and Mahsa are among the dancers which appear in both videos. They are dancers which Nelly and I casted together.

Nelly aka Nelody Ahlroth is the choreographer and movement designer behind the videos. I continue to collaborate with her. She is one witch I love. Nelly and I organised a few open level women only dance workshops in Tehran where we arrived two weeks before the crew. The love we received was immense. This next photo was taken by me after one of the workshops. Shout out to all those girls out there!

Photo by me, Nelly aka Nelody drowned by the girls who attended the workshop in Tehran.
Photo by Kathy Le Sant

Here I am with my girls on the set of Nature, in the kaluts (Kavir-e-Lut, Kerman region).. From left to right we have Faezeh, Aida, Ghazal and Elina.

Photo by Kathy Le Sant

Above you can see DOP Quentin de Lamarzelle kneeling to get a good frame while Gilles’s head is sunk into the monitor. You can watch the full video of Nature here.

This next picture was taken by Mahsa in my hotel room in Kerman. From left to right: Kathy Le Sant, Faezeh, Elina, Amir, Mahsa and I. We felt strong and happy together as we were coming the end of our wonderful trip.

Photo by Mahsa

As I am sharing these pictures here, my thoughts go to the wonderful crew we worked with in Iran, especially the girls and Amir. Special thoughts for the french crew as always. Now that we are all stuck indoors, our adventure seems even more like a dream… Thank you Kathy, Yazoue, Gilles and Quentin for dreaming with me! Let’s continue dreaming!

‘My Enemy, My Love’ is out on House of Strength now. Buy here.