In 2014’s best music video chart, we’ve selected a compendium of this year’s finest visual pieces and concepts. From delicate and hypnotic visuals to dark atmospheres, the videos we have selected give you a glimpse of the large range of audio-visual combinations we had the fortune to watch this year. On a final note, special credit to all video directors, helpers and designers that made these videos happen.
10. Efdemin ‘Some Kind Of Up And Down Yes’ [Dial]
“We started experimenting with found 16mm footage but realized the imagery had too much “content” and looked too retro. I had a roll of clear 16mm film, which seemed perfect to deal with the medium of film and its decay without having any specific images to add layers of additional meaning.” – Tony Cornish – Read Feature
9. Lukid ‘Nine’ [Liberation Technologies]
To illustrate the strident, sharp-edged ‘Nine’ off Lukid’s recent Crawlers EP released on Liberation Technologies, the camera leads the viewer through uninhabited atriums, illuminated by a vivid display of light projections awash with a lysergic display of hallucinations.
Video by Nic Hamilton
8. Objekt ‘Second Witness’ [PAN]
As always with PAN, the visual package is as gratifying as the musical content itself. Objekt’s ‘Second Witness’ doesn’t depart from that rule. Developing a 3D experiment a la Muybridge 2.0 in black and white backdrop, that little film subtly ornaments the AFX-like sound architecture of the track and definitely adds another interesting dimension to the ensemble.
7. Moire ‘Attitude’ [Werkdiscs]
This Werkhaus produced video displays the total osmosis between Moiré’s nocturnal beats and soundscapes. Filmed with ultra fine shots and viewpoints that weave in-between the hazed up darkness of a rimmed up VW Golf, the filtered image frames the atmosphere in an extra-sensuous hypnosis for the senses. Have a lookout for Werkdiscs label boss Actress’ cameo as the vehicles driver…pedal to the metal.
Video by Werkhaus
6. Disclosure ‘Grab Her’ [PMR Records]
Upside down, Disclosure’s ‘Grab Her’ knows no gravity. With David Brent styled sketches defying gravity, played out in a weird office landscape, Emile Sornin’s music video breathes in a good dose of insouciance and ridiculous scenarios to one of 2014’s biggest hits ‘Grab Her’.
Video by Emile Sornin
5. Simian Mobile Disco ‘Tangents’ [Anti-]
Starting from what seems to be a game of Pong, put in sync to Simian Mobile Disco’s track ‘Tangents’, the video directed by Jack Featherstone and Hans Lo does a lot more than just sticking to the beat. In fact, the video excels and outguns the original sound material at the same time, revealing it in its astonishing intricacy. The result is an inch-perfectly orchestrated visual display that definitely belongs somewhere between Brakhage and McLaren’s visual pieces, no less than that. Superb.
4. Clark ‘Winter Linn’ [Warp Records]
It’s about slices of life unfolding in flashes, from archaic depths to post-modern fringes, from embryo’s life to vanity’s remnants. It’s about shapes of clay mutating, shifting features over and over, driven by the infernal pace of Clark’s synth lines and sharp chords. Winter Linn’s as much of an intense visual poem as it’s a three-minute fragmentation time bomb.
Video by Christopher Hewitt
3. Flying lotus ‘Ready Err Not’ [Warp Records]
The sanguine visual universe of animator David Firth meets Flying Lotus’ twisted melodies of ‘Ready Err Not’. It’s fair to say that Firth hasn’t held back his imagination; the video is sick, deviant, disgustingly on point yet so blatantly outrageous that it’s really hard not to hold back a chuckling whilst watching it. Firth’s troubled imaginarium at its – awful – best.
Video by David Firth
2. Portable ‘Surrender’ [Live At Robert Johnson]
The softly-tempered, piano-laden melody of ‘Surrender’ finds a perfect similie in Alan Abrahams self-directed music video, the troglodyte landscapes in which Abrahams meanders making for a riveting, almost interstellar scenario whilst hot-air balloons float nearby. Let the balearic charm of Portable’s sun-soaked inflections and smooth vocals grow on you. It’s time to surrender.
Video by Alan Abrahams
1. Jamie XX ‘Sleep Sound’ [Young Turks]
It’s hard to ignore the intimacy emitted in Sofia Mattioli and Cherise Payne’s music video for Jamie XX’s ‘Sleep Sound’, our best video for 2014. Shot at the Manchester Deaf Centre, this video holds a special place in our hearts. The connection and transcendental vibe of ‘Sleep Sound’ couldn’t have been more honestly and directly translated into a beautifully composed video. As simple the idea is, it’s highly engaging and heart warming.