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Top Music Videos – Spring 2012 pt. TWO

Two weeks ago I started with my first review on some selected music videos which were published in the spring. Now we continue with part two…

1. Portugal. The Man – »All Your Light« directed by Dan Brown. The music video review begins once more with a gruesome short. A young boy is walking on a meadow with a bloody bag in his hand. In the following, a scary story around a dirty trailer park begins. By the way: a wonderful song.

Portugal. The Man „All Your Light“

2. Jack White – »Sixteen Saltines« directed by AG Rojas. Jack White has released a video for »Sixteen Saltines« filled with flaming cars, self-asphyxiating burnouts, creative drug use, property destruction and plenty of other bizarre occurrences. Needless to say, hard but pretty amazing.

Jack White – Sixteen Saltines from AG Rojas on Vimeo.

3. Woodkid – »Run Boy Run« directed by Yoann Lemoine. It is difficult to understand the intense work of Yoann Lemoine, the level of passion he has. Stylistically at one with the Iron video, every shot is crafted beautifully. I was a little surprised he did the same again. But it works.

Woodkid – Run Boy Run

4. Grimes – »Oblivion« directed by Emily Kai Bock. Claire Boucher alias Grimes is planning a video-cycle for all 13 album songs. »If music is the main course, then the video is making my dessert« she says. »Oblivion« shows my weakness for half-empty motocross stadiums, cheerleading and floodlights. Besides, this one is my favourite from »Visions«

Grimes – Oblivion

5. M.I.A. – »Bad Girls« directed by Romain Gavras. Based on the criticism of M.I.A.’s »Born Free« video two years ago, her situation was not quite as simple. A longtime critics‘ favorite lost her crown. Her symbols were too bold and too stereotyped. Nevertheless, the mood of the fans was at its best. The video has garnered over 10 million views on YouTube and a ton of attention. It shows M.I.A. in a desert location, surrounded by women in leopard bodysuits. Men in white garments stand on water pipes by the side of the road and watch two BMWs doing high-speed stunts. Brilliant!

M.I.A – Bad Girls

Top Music Videos – Spring 2012 pt. ONE

The best hits and clips of the last weeks. A selection of my personal highlights.

1. Liars – »No.1 Against The Rush« directed by Todd Cole. The series of creepy short stories still continues. »No.1 Against The Rush« is about a serial killer while performing his work. Very impressive and loaded with gorgeous suspense.

Liars – No.1 Against The Rush

2. Hot Chip – »Night & Day« directed by Peter Serafinowicz. Hot Chip produce significantly better clips than making music. This one could become one of the best dance clips these days. British comedian Peter Serafinowicz directed and choreographed that masterpiece and guest star Reggie Watts plays the leading role in this awesome and very alien-esque scenario.

Hot Chip – Night & Day

3. Modeselektor & Thom Yorke – »This« directed by Andrew Jones. Once again Modeselektor in a collaboration with Thom Yorke, on a song from their latest album »Monkeytown«. The clip shows a black-clad puppeteer performing a twisted marionette dance as various toys seem to amp up the angst in the background. Very atmospheric.

Modeselektor & Thom Yorke – This

4. Benga – »I Will Never Change« directed by Us. Great concept for a video for »I Will Never Change« by Dubstep producer Benga. 960 independent pieces of vinyl have been measured, cut and animated with utmost care to create a real-life model of a waveform. The experiment is fascinating and reminds me more of a scientific research.

Benga – I Will Never Change

5. F.S.K. – »Lady Chatterley« directed by Juno Meinecke und Jonas Spriestersbach.

F.S.K. – Lady Chatterley

Lifeless but ON, trolling is the only emotion that is suggesting moderate activity. The clip is a quiet observation of how your body is functioning in front of a computer. Song is taken from the new F.S.K. album »Akt, eine Treppe hinabsteigend«.

Top Music Videos 2011 – No. 5-1

Here are the final five. Please complement this personal list by leaving a comment.

5. Fair Ohs – »Everything is Dancing« directed by Dave Ma. The truth about Batman and Robin as we have not known it before. Ma definitely established the better looking superhero duo. Perhaps, a little lazy and saving the world is not as important as having a large dinner, but also heroes need time off. Moreover, band and video deserve a lot more attention than they have been getting. Please take note.

Fair Ohs – Everything Is Dancing from Fair Ohs

4. Panda Bear – »Surfer’s Hymn« directed by Sam Fleischner and the Brooklyn-based creative company m ss ng p eces. This music video is a tribute to all the surfers taken by the sea. Shot in black and white, it follows skeletons who rise from the dead, get their surfboards and make their way towards the sounds of the waves. Pretty neat idea. Don’t miss the other major ghosts video of 2011, Toro y Mois »How I Know«.

Panda Bear – Surfer’s Hymn from m ss ng p eces

3. David Lynch – »Good Day Today« directed by Arnold de Parscau. Great creepiness again. Back in 2010, Lynch announced a music video contest where directors were invited to submit their own music video creations to any of his songs. The master of mystery made the right choice: the winning video was directed by Arnold de Parscau, a reminiscent of Lynch’s own cinematical work. »Crazy Clown Time« marks Lynch’s solo debut as a musical artist.

David Lynch – Good Day Today from Arnold de Parscau

2. New Romance – »Miles Fisher«. Miles Fisher, cast member of »Final Destination 5« and viral video hit-maker extraordinaire, made this music clip called »New Romance«. The clip is a bloody parody of the american television sitcom »Saved By The Bell«. The short comes from American Psycho producer Jake Avnet and director Dave Green. Highschool is killer!

New Romance – Miles Fisher from Dave Green

1. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – »Ponponpon« directed by Jun Tamukai. As I wrote in July 2011: can not be topped! Flying eyes and toasted bread, a hat made of fruits, candy canes, tons of puppets, over-sized goose, skulls and a consistently charming singer. »Ponponpon« is by definition overloaded as nothing I have seen this year. A nice little trip through the gardens of kitsch. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a model, blogger, and, most recently, recording artist from Harajuku. »Ponponpon« is her psychedelic tribute to Kawaisa and Decora culture.

Top Music Videos 2011 – No. 10-6

10. Spoek Mathambo – »Control« directed by Pieter Hugo. Great video, every sequence and every frame is brought to the point. With a lot of wows and ohhhs. »Control« is a cover of the Joy Division classic »She’s Lost Control« of the 24 year-old South African producer and musician Spoek Mathambo. The video was shot in Langa (Cape Town) with the help of the local dance troupe, Happy Feet. The song itself is only medium.

Spoek Mathambo – Control from spoek mathambo

9. Fucked Up – »Queen of Hearts« directed by Scott Cudmore. A slightly confused teacher leads her class through a rendition of Fucked Up’s »Queen Of Hearts«. An epic battle of boys vs. girls, which ends with an ominous blurring of »reality« and artifice.

Fucked Up – Queen of Hearts from Scott Cudmore

8. St. Vincent – »Cruel« directed by directed by Terri Timely. »Cruel« is a comedy of horrors in which St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) is kidnapped by a mom-starved family, who proceed to torment the singer before sending her to an early grave. Literally. »Cruel« has got something disturbing and a great creepiness.

St. Vincent – Cruel from Arianna Tomasettig

7. Woodkids – »Iron« directed by Yoann Lemoine. Great shots, the stage-setting is clean and artificial, the atmosphere dramatic and the use of a super slow motion reveals even more detail of motion. Yoann Lemoine tends to exaggerate easily. The clip to Woodkids song »Iron« is highly confusing and leaves you speechless for a while. The only drawback is that the song itself is not so good.

Woodkid – Iron from WOODKID

6. Skrillex – First Of the Year (Equinox) directed by HK Corp. By now everyone must realise that 2011 was the year of the children. Remember Manchester Orchestras »Simple Math« (Winner Video of the Year 2011 UK Music Video Awards), Is Tropicals »The Greeks« or Modeselektors »Shipwreck«. Wherever you look: children play a key role, often in violent actions or, as in the case of Skrillex, in a very creepy story. This video did a million views in its first week of release (now more than 20 million) – not that bad for a dubstep artist.

Skrillex – First Of the Year from HK Corp

Top Music Videos 2011 – No. 15-11

In all respects, 2011 was another very successful year for music video directors who go against the current. Like 2010, an abundance of good ideas found their way to the public, particularly on YouTube, Vimeo and other social networks and video platforms. The revolution of the way we watch TV is still in full swing and definitely unstoppable. The slavery of the past few decades often based exclusively on the interests of big record companys and tv channels. That influence is still strong, but decreasing and it does not cause any harm if the balance of forces continuously changes. On a positive note, people with a special taste find more often the style they want. So enjoy the places 15 to 11, my personal impressions and highlights of the past year. The others will follow.

15. DJ Shadow – »Scale It Back« directed by Ewan Jones Morris & Casey Raymond. Ewan Jones Morris and Casey Raymond managed to put together an incredible video with a really low budget. The clip is about a memory sequence created by Ben Pridmore. Pridmore is the 2009 World Memory Champion, a title he also won in 2004 and 2008. Very unique concept.

DJ Shadow – Scale It Back from Ewan Jones Morris

14. Camo & Krooked – »Breezeblock« directed by Jack Pirie and Alex Hylands-White. Jack Pirie and Alex Hylands-White directed a somewhat loony music video for Camo & Krooked. The story is about an 80s game show presented with an extremely exaggerated dance battle. Machtdose video of the month july!

Camo & Krooked – Breezeblock from Wyld Stallyons

13a. Radiohead – »Lotus Flower« directed by Garth Jennings. How the hell did he do that? The year’s best dance moves part one comes from funky chicken Yorke boogieing, jigging and swaying to the song »Lotus Flower« like no other. Get yourself on the dance floor for some smooth swinging.

Radiohead – Lotus Flower from nn

13b. The Black Keys – »Lonely Boy« directed by Jesse Dylan. The year’s best dance moves part two. This single-shot video features the hot-stepping and lip-sycning of a man who is decidedly not the Black Keys. Nevertheless, this guy is pretty cool.

The Black Keys – Lonely Boy

12. M83 – »Midnight City« directed by Fleur & Manu. One of the most popoular songs of 2011 was visually lifted with this freaky and fantastic short film about some telekinesis kids who escape from a boarding school and freely use their powers in an abandoned warehouse.

M83 – Midnight City from DIVISION.

11. Beastie Boys – »Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win« directed by Spike Jonze. In case that anyone has missed Beastie Boys’ official full length, ultra HD and explicit director’s cut action-figure music video »Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win«. 2011 was not necessarily the successful musical revival of the Beastie Boys, but indeed a revival of excellent filmmaking (not forgetting »Fight For Your Right Revisited«).

Beastie Boys – Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win from Pousta

Die besten Alben und besten Tracks 2011

Gregors No. 1:

The Field – Looping State Of Mind
(Kompakt / Rough Trade, VÖ: 07.10.2011)

Erstaunlich: Der Blick auf Rolands Beschreibung aus 2007 (»Nimm den Loop, walke ihn in alle Richtungen zu dünnem Teig, grad so, dass er nicht reißt. Und lecker is’«) und meiner aus 2009 (»Um halb Fünf geht die Sonne auf. Selbstgemachte Marmelade auf frisch gebackenem Brot. The Field dazu. Auf der Veranda und leicht verdrogt.«), lässt ahnen: die Machtdose ist ein Familienbetrieb (oder mein Unterbewusstsein war aktiv). Warum ich zitiere? Prinzipiell wird die Musik von The Field immer noch aus Teig gemacht und das wird wohl auch so bleiben. Das, was man früher mal »repetitiv« nannte, heißt bei Axel Willner plötzlich Loop (als quasi-Genre und Alleinstellungsmerkmal durchaus okay), eine Tonsequenz, die man ohne Brüche mehrfach hintereinander abspielen kann. Das klingt eigentlich nach Langeweile, was da aber über acht, neun, zehn Minuten auf den restlichen Spuren so alles passiert ist wie immer: unschlagbar!

Sebastians No. 1:

01. Nicolas Jaar – Space is only noise
(Circus Company / Rough Trade, VÖ: 04.02.2011)

Auch das angenehmste und zeitüberdauernste Album ist für mich in diesem Jahr (wie das von Mogwai) ein vornehmlich instrumentales. Nahezu alle geschätzten Spielarten elektronischer Musik, Eric Satie und ein ganz kleines bisschen Jazz verbindend, bot es den idealen Soundtrack für meine diesjährigen Vergewisserungen, dass das Sein an sich – also ohne dass man etwas machen muss – doch etwas Schönes ist.

Rolands No. 1:

01. Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol.2: Judges
(Constellation / Cargo, VÖ: 25.02.2011)

Colin Stetson ist der Saxophonbegleiter von so ziemlich jedem derzeit. Hier widmet er sich seinem Instrument in einer Weise, dass man erstmal von Fetischismus sprechen kann. Jeder Track wurde in einem durchgängigen Take aufgenommen, mit nur einem Spielgerät, von dem der komplette (!) Sound stammt. Mag man kaum glauben und fassen. Dutzende Mikrofone standen bei der Aufnahme bereit, man sitzt praktisch im Bauch des Saxophons, hört jedes Ächzen und Seufzen, fast schon, wie die Spucke von den Innenwänden tropft. Ein Klangirrsinn, komplett außerirdisch. Trotzdem – und das ist wichtig – nie hat man dabei das Gefühl, irgendeinem masturbatorischen Gegniedel beizuwohnen, sondern alles ist durch ziemlich strikten Minimalismus in der Komposition bzw Struktur gebändigt. Extremst aufregend und meditativ zugleich. Kurzum: ein Monolith, ein Gigant von Platte.

Gregors Top 10: Tracks

  1. John Maus – Hey Moon (Upset! The Rhythm)
  2. Washed Out – Amor Fati (Sub Pop)
  3. Frank Ocean – Novacane (Frank Ocean Self-Released)
  4. Holy Ghost! – Do It Again (DFA, Cooperative Music)
  5. Black Lips – Modern Art (Vice Records)
  6. Iron & Wine – Glad Man Singing (4AD)
  7. Destroyer – Chinatown (Merge Records)
  8. FM Belfast – Stripes (Morr Music)
  9. Lamb – Rounds (Strata)
  10. PJ Harvey – The Glorious Land (Island Records)
  11. tUnE-yArDs – My Country
  12. Peaking Lights – All The Sun That Shines (Domino)

Sebastians Top 10: Tracks

  1. Ja, Panik – Nevermind
  2. Peter Licht – Begrabt mein I-Phone an der Biegung des Flusses
  3. James Blake – Lindesfarne I
  4. Death Cab for Cutie – Doors unlocked and open
  5. Peter Licht – Neue Idee
  6. Ada – The Jazz Singer
  7. Digitalism – Circles
  8. Ghost Of Tom Joad – Just like a dog
  9. Barbara Panther – Dizzy
  10. Michaela Meise – Preis dem Todesüberwinder

Rolands Top 10: Tracks

  1. Metronomy – The Bay
  2. The Crossfaders – Deep Drop
  3. Bombay Bicycle Club – Shuffle
  4. Elbow – With Love
  5. Dominik Eulberg – Das Neunauge
  6. tUnE-yArDs – My Country
  7. Yuck – The Wall
  8. Digitalism – 2 Hearts
  9. Battles feat. Matias Aguayo – Ice Cream
  10. PeterLicht – Sag mir, wo ich beginnen soll

NICHT VERGESSEN! Wir sind wirklich wahnsinnig neugierig auf Eure Nennungen – keine Scheu, wenn Euch nur 3 Alben einfallen, her damit. Wenn Ihr aus 30 Alben nicht auswählen könnte, her damit! Gleiches für Singles, Videos oder was Euch sonst einfallen mag. Danke. Also: Danke!

Die besten Alben 2011 – Plätze 2

Gregors No. 2:

Cut Copy – Zonoscope
(Modular Recordings / Rough Trade, VÖ: 11.02.2011)

Bin ich denn der einzige Mensch in diesem Land mit einer Cut-Copy-Feder im Hut und Bauchschmuck aus Glasperlen? Liegt es vielleicht daran, dass Australien mehr als eine Autostunde von Frankfurt entfernt liegt? Nein, Cut Copy ist nichts für uns Deutsche (in Australien war »Zonoscope« übrigens sieben Wochen auf Platz 1 der Albumcharts). Eigenartigerweise verbinde ich kaum ein Alltagserlebnis mit meiner 2, bestenfalls den gescheiterten Versuch, »Take Me Over« auf einer mäßig besuchten Tanzveranstaltung zu etablieren. Außerdem ist »Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat« auf Superfly, dem Pulshalbierer für Menschen mit Bluthochdruck. Ich: »groß!». Meine Umwelt schweigt zu dem Thema. Aber egal. Die Lehre, die ich aus all dem ziehe: Ab ins Land der Flaschenbäume, vielleicht nach Tasmanien?

Sebastians No. 2:

Mogwai – Hardcore will never die, but you will
(PIAS / Rough Trade, VÖ: 11.02.2011)

Dass Mogwai noch einmal in einem meiner Jahrespolls auftaucht, hätte ich nicht für möglich gehalten, erschienen sie mir doch als typischen Band, die man abgehakt hat. Eher zufällig führte ich mir dann – aufgrund unerbittlicher Musikzukommenlasser, vielleicht auch wegen des schlagkräftigen Titels – die neue Scheibe zu Gemüte und musste feststellen: Postrock will never die! Zehn starke Nummern, nie war Mogwai (samt Live-Act) so gut! Diese Platte steht außerhalb jeder musikalischen Trends und wird auch noch in zwanzig Jahren mein Gehör finden!

Rolands No. 2:

Feist – Metals
(Polydor / Universal, VÖ: 30.09.2011)

Feist war für mich bisher: okay. Wahnsinnig erfolgreich und ist einem häufig, in zig Kontexten begegnet – blieb trotzdem vollkommen unnervig. Musik für alle sozusagen. Aber Musik, die nahe dem eigenen Herzen wohnte? Das nun nicht. Hat sich geändert, kompletto. Mit anderen Worten: was für ein Album! oder auch: was für ein Album! Wie hat sie das nur gemacht? Wahnsinnig gut produziert, klar. Vielleicht wesentlicher: hier ist eine Nüchternheit oder Konzentriertheit eingezogen, die jedes Wenn und Aber beiseite legt. Unverstellter, direktester geht kaum. Haltbarkeitsdatum: lang. Sehr lang.