Tag Archives: music videos

Best Music Video of 2016: Jamie XX’s “Gosh”

From the moment I first watched it, Jamie XX’s “Gosh” video directed by Romain Gavras grabbed me. It successfully depicted a world I never knew existed, but wanted to know everything about when the video came to a close. Watch the video and read my entry for Paste Magazine’s 20 Best Music Videos of 2016 feature from 12/15/16 below. 

Romain Gavras never takes the easy way out. The Greek-French music video director, who is most well-known for directing M.I.A.’s provocative “Born Free; and flamboyant “Bad Girls; videos, doesn’t just make music videos as much as he makes musical short films for his signature stamp on the video he conceptualizes and directs. Gavras often creates post-apocalyptic worlds like with “Born Free” and Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “No Church In The Wild;” And on Jamie XX’s “Gosh”” video, Gavras’s setting is a utopian ghost city, which in fact, isn’t a utopia at all, but rather the Tianducheng development in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, which was built to look like Paris and house 10,000 residents, but is now is sparsely inhabited (The story of Tianducheng itself is one of the internet’s most glorious rabbit holes by the way. Feel free to start here.)

The world of “Gosh” sees Hassan Kone — an albino of African descent — as its focal point, traversing the city amidst hundreds upon hundreds of Chinese boys, whose soldier-like choreography and visual and mechanized uniformity is masterfully portrayed by the Xiaolong Martial Arts School. Kone comes across as the last hope for the decrepit cesspool of Tianducheng, as he races through the film in a Subaru and ends it standing beneath the 300 foot tall Eiffel Tower replica, while the Xiaolong boys circle him in patternized movement. It’s what Busby Berkeley choreography would look like in the year 2100.

All the while, Jamie XX’s opus founded on elements of ragga drum and bass, is hypnotically in sync with the movements of the characters. Mattias Rudh’s drone cinematography pans out to show the sullen buildings of Tianducheng, creating a CGI feel, which adds to the eerie, futuristic feel of the video.

Gavras tosses out his usual violent themes in favor of a different type of fear. The fear that this utopian city from the future is actually from the present. Kim Chapiron and Iconoclast’s “Behind The Scenes” mini-doc (watch it below) is a welcome companion to Gavras’s “Gosh” video and a look into the method behind the artistic madness of one of the most intriguing music video directors in the business and one of the best videos of the year.

The Top 10 Music Videos of 2014 – Pt 1

You are now in tune to Everything Ecstatic’s annual “Best of The Year” project. The 8th year highlighting albums of the year and this is the inaugural EE Best Music Videos of the Year list. These videos are a combination of artistic production, artists that hit, engagement and cool concepts. Breaking this up into two editions and this post begins the countdown starting at number 10 through number 6. Enjoy!

10. King Tuff – “Black Moon Spell” 

The black and white component here really reminded me of one of my favorite videos from 2012, Cloud Nothings’ “Fall In,” with the Busby Berkeley theme. The “Black Moon Spell” vid sees Tuff spinning around on a Marshall stack, with the wind blowing his long hair behind his cap. The spinning motion seemingly moves with the epic guitar riff that plays throughout the song. It’s like a scene out of a fucked up road side biker bar. Love it:

9. FKA Twigs – “Two Weeks”

Everything about FKA Twigs is visually stunning. The “Two Weeks” vid feels like that old Michael Jackson video for “Remember The Time” with Magic Johnson, Eddie Murphy and Iman. It’s the kind of extravagance that we’ve come to expect from Twigs as she’s dressed like an Egyptian queen with dancers flanking her from all sides. The beautiful irony here, is that she herself was a prominent video girl before her solo stardom.

8. Sinkane – “How We Be”

A video about dance, in all it’s many global forms. Hip-hop, krump, African, pop-lock, break and ballet with Sinkane’s Ahmed Gallab, looking cool as fuck walkin’ through different parts of NYC. It’s a dope anthology of dance, much like Sinkane’s new record, Mean Love is an anthology of his many global musical influences.

7. Vic Mensa – “Down On My Luck”

Ok…let’s get one thing out there: I fucking LOVE Vic Mensa. Dude is part of the bright future of hip-hop and he works his ass off. He’s tireless, straight up…All day, all night, he’s working on his music. Now “Down On My Luck” is a bit of a depart from Vic’s usual style. It’s a club banger and that’s new ground for him, but the video is solid gold. It reminds me of Kylie Minogue’s classic “Come Into My World” video directed by Michel Gondry, where Kylie goes around town 4 times over and the video just builds visually and conceptually, much like Vic re-creates his potentially disastrous night on the town over and over until it comes out roses. It’s an incredibly clever video and shouts to Vic for experimenting with new styles and creative shit.

6. Ibeyi – “River”

I stumbled onto these French/Cuban twins randomly on a late night and I’ve been enamored ever since. They sing beautifully in their unique tribal style, taking turns holding their breath under water as they harmonize in and out of the track. The detail of the air bubbles when one of them is submerged and then quickly rises above water to sing the verse is mesmerizing. As far as debut singles and videos go, this one is as good as any and no surprise, they’re signed to XL Recordings, who’ve been masters of artistically marketing their artists with a perfect balance of releases.

Check in later this week for the Top 5!