It’s been a big year for music videos. A decade ago this industry was close to dying an undignified death—but not only because of YouTube’s huge success. Video’s had become bereft of inspiration, formulaic, they didn’t aspire to art because they knew they were just adverts. Adverts that weren’t even working. In fact, looking back, it’s actually YouTube which turned out to be the humble music clip’s saviour. In 2012 we saw the most clicked music video ever and an uncountable amount of the beloved unofficial DIY joy. Below are your top videos of the year, based on your feedback. Have fun while browsing through your picks and see you next year.
1. MIA – Bad Girls, directed by Romain Gavras
Romain Gavras’ promo for M.I.A’s “Bad Girls” is part slick-ass car advert, part Saudi drag race—we like. It’s M.I.A. so of course there’s more than burning rubber and ghostridin’ the whip, though—the video stands shoulder to shoulder with the women to drive movement. You voted the video the top of the list of this years’s music video and although M.I.A. failed to releases her awaited full-length this year, this video ensured she was never far from our screens. This has much to do with M.I.A’s go-to director Romain Gavras. After his success with music videos for the likes of Justice, DJ Mehdi or Simian Mobile Disco he turned ginger for “Born Free”, directed a full feature entitled Notre Jour Viendra (German distribution anyone?) and, yup, succeeded with this hell of a music video above.
Track: Bad Girls
Label: XL Recordings
Director: Romain Gavras
DoP: André Chémétoff
Editor: Walter Mauriot
Production Company: Iconoclast
2. Grimes – Genesis, directed by Claire Boucher
It’s been a hell of a year for Grimes… The weird-haired artpop weirdo went from the hipster fringes (sorry… ) to being profiled in The New York Times and Vogue. This video, more of the former than the latter, comes in at #2. The track comes from Claire Boucher’s 2012 record Visions, and the video features the cast of Mortal Kombat strutting down various landscapes—conjuring the imagery of films like Mad Max, Blade Runner or The Fifth Element.
Director: Claire Boucher
DoP: Drew Bienemann
Editor: Walter Mauriot
Production Company:Sebastian Pardo & Lana Kim
3. Flying Lotus – Tiny Tortures, directed by David Lewandowski
Imaginative and unique. Just as we acclimatise to FlyLo’s music here’s the astonishing video. If for some reason you have been under a rock and haven’t listened to his latest LP, Until The Quiet Comes, get to it. Check the director’s homepage for an detailed music video production analysis. We haven’t heard from David Lewandowski before, but I am more than sure that pretty soon he’ll be signed at one of the major (still existing) production companies.
Artist: Flying Lotus
Track: Tiny Tortures
Director: David Lewandowski
DoP: Christian Sprenger
Production Company: –
Album: Until The Quiet Comes
4. Le1f – Wut, directed by Sam Jones
Shortly after Frank Ocean’s letter, everybody was abuzz because apparently we all had no idea queer artists existed </end sarcasm>
Speaking of Hip-hop and queerness Here’s Le1f ‘s dope video for “Wut”. Wow. Wut. And what a nice surprise seeing Khalif Diouf aka Le1f with this Sam Jones-crafted music video above, voted #4 on eb.net top videos.
Director: Sam Jones
DoP: Sam Jones
Editor: Sam Jones & Josh Koenig
Production Company: Josh Koenig
Album: Dark York
Label: Greedhead Entertainment, Camp & Street
5. Scuba – ne1butu, directed by James Harford
I wanna dress like this and party like it’s 1989. Scuba‘s “Ne1butu” is a standout gem from his album Personality and something of an instant classic. You were certainly digging this colorful 90’s-style music video. Watch the homage to 1990’s BBC 2 show Dance Energy above.
Director: James Harford
Production Company: –
Label: Hotflush Recordings
We can’t stop here:
6. Woodkid – Iron, directed by Yoann Lemoine
7. Björk – Mutual Core, Andrew Thomas Huang
8. Die Antwoord – I fink u freeky, directed by Roger Ballen & NINJA
9. Nosaj Thing – Eclipse/Blue, directed by Jason Chung & Dominic Tiberio
10. Mykki Blanco – Wavvy, directed by Francesco Carrozzini
The 6th prize—a bag of New Order goodies—goes to Jason Warren, Mannheim, Germany.
Your most outstanding record label of 2012 will be following on Thursday, December 27. Find all poll results in here.
Published December 25, 2012. Words by moritz.schmall.