Welcome to FACT’s weekly video round-up.
As we note at the end of every year, music videos have never been better. But too often, music videos — along with documentaries, live sets and interview clips — get lost in the shuffle of news and new music.
With that in mind, FACT is doing what it does for mixes, mixtapes, vinyl and more: rounding up the internet’s best videos on a weekly basis. And to remove our bias, we won’t be including our own content — you’ll have to stay tuned to FACT TV for all your Against The Clock, FACT Freestyles and Confessions needs.
Read more: The 20 best music videos of 2015
Kanye turns contemporary, Renaissance-inspired art – Vincent Desiderio’s Sleep – into a comment on celebrity culture. Celebs in the West-Kardashian universe – from George W. Bush and Donald Trump to Rihanna and Chris Brown to Taylor Swift and Anna Wintour – are recreated as creepy, nude wax figures. A voyeuristic camera captures them sleeping, combining the titillation of a celebrity sex tape with the uneasiness of the video tapes in Michael Haneke’s Cache. Naturally, Kanye is the only “woke” one in the bunch.
‘CIRKLON3 [Колхозная mix]’
Dir: Ryan Wyer
For his first video for 17 years, re-teaming with the legendary Chris Cunningham would have been too predictable for Aphex Twin. Instead, he picked YouTuber Ryan Wyer, a 12-year-old from Dublin. Thankfully, the result is just as unsettling – if much more lo-fi – than those Cunningham videos. Wyer and his pre-teen siblings and friends wear masks, try Vine-ready dances and generally freak the fuck out as the palette alternates between bleached out and super-saturated. The best part? It’s “to be continued.”
Dir: Jenny Berger Myhre
In this slow motion, strobe-lit video, Jenny Hval leads a coven of ‘Female Vampires’ as they literally press the flesh, pulling off the masks that cleanse but obscure their faces in a communal cereony.
‘Song For The Dead’
Dir: Ryan McShane
21-year-old Ryan McShane teams with Thundercat for the animated video for ‘Song For The Dead’. As its title suggests, the psychedelic video is a meditation on death, loss and memory, following the soul of Thundercat’s lupine companion as it ascends to the next plane of existence.
What So Not x George Maple feat. Rome Fortune
Dir: Leticia Dare
Leticia Dare’s gorgeous footage gradually unveils its surprising narrative: those aren’t two lovers trapped in an underwater ballet, and Rome Fortune – running through puddles armed with a crowbar – isn’t a menace, he’s a savior.
Dir: Emilia Kurylowicz
In the same way that Nite Jewel revisits ‘80s darkwave, the ‘Boo Hoo’ video flips the script on the “girl on a car” tropes of ‘80s hair metal videos. Built on repetition and second-long loops of movement, Nite Jewel chugs champagne out of a Big Gulp and ‘Boo Hoos’ a relationship, her clothes sheer and her face streaked with tears.
Maxo Kream pays tribute to Big Worm, the Friday villain who drove an ice cream truck, in the video for this Wiley-sampling banger. As expected, the colorful, childlike joy of the ice cream truck is subverted by gunplay, gang signs and a twerk team doing lawn work.
Obey City feat. Kelela
‘Airy’ (Jensen Sportag Alt. Take)
Dir: Peter Marsden
Jensen Sportag’s delicate remix of Obey City’s Kelela-featuring ‘Airy’ receives its own video, focusing on the personal moments of self-reflection before and in-between the equally-delicate movements of ballet dancer Sonoya Mizuno.
Dir: The 90s
Antwon hangs out in the heavily-Hispanic Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park and connects with El Electrico, a neon-light covered dancer who performs at quinceañeras and brings his cowboy dance crew along for the ride.
Space Dimension Controller
‘The Bad People’
Dir: Jacob Chabeaux
Bookended by the eyes of a mysterious hooded figure, ‘The Bad People’ follows a neon dreamscape comprised of peaks and valleys and a geometric superhighway.
‘Come and See Me’
Dir: Adrian Martinez
‘Come and See Me’ is so over-the-top that it borders on self-parody: PND plays piano and hangs out with his major label friends while Kyle Jenner (in what might be her non-reality TV acting debut) applies her (branded) makeup and looks despondent while following him on social media. But fear not, Kardishi-fans: they end up kissing in the fakest rainstorm of all time. Like most Kardashian-Jenner projects, this is all sizzle and no steak.