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To commemorate the first 200 vids posted on my Animated Music Videos blog in the first month, here's a pick of some of my favorite discoveries.
I'm particularly impressed by what's being done with digital imagery by artists like Lucio Arese, Aubo Lessi and Alex Rutterford. Aubo Lessi's video for Thomas Feiner & Anywhen's Siren Songs creates a beautiful blur of digital dots and blends the abstract with the human figure in a gorgeous way. It's familiar in technique but the end result is like nothing I've quite seen before. All of his other videos are extremely inventive visually, showing a mind constantly devising new visual schemes. Lucio Arese on the other hand uses digital environments to send you on an exciting roller-coaster ride brilliantly matched to the complex rhythms of the IDM, as in his video for Autechre's PlyPhon. Lucio Arese also did a video for a section of Bach's Goldberg Variations that is an effective use of animation to translate the various lines of polyphony at play in the score into the visual dimension. Alex Rutterford's video for Autechre's Gantz Graf, a bracing song of mind-blowing programming complexity and sonic richness, comes quite close to doing the song justice, and is interesting from a technical point of view, as he created the video partly by feeding an image of the sound file for the song into the animation program, so that the video stands at the intersection between animation in the conventional sense of each frame or movement being devised by the animator, and computer-derived animation. These videos all explode the music video genre and are consummate audiovisual creations.
Otherwise, the rest of the pieces I picked are all wildly varied in style, but are all creations that IMO exhibit the highest level of craftsmanship and creativity. Or to put it more simply: These are the ones that really wowed me, or I just found to be delightful creations. That's not to put down the quality of the other films in there. It's all worth going through, as honestly everything is interesting regardless of its caliber, and there are plenty of other videos of very high artistic caliber. Special Problems' video for Tame Impala is quite nice, for example, as is Marc Reisbig & Hanne Berkaak's video for Of Montreal, Josh Logue's delightful video for Architecture in Helsinki made entirely of animated stitchings, all of Sean Pecknold's videos, Yanni Kronenberg and Lucinda Schreiber's chalk animation video for Firekites, Pharrell Williams' video for Santogold et al, Laurent Gillot's video for Amadou et Mariam, and plenty of other videos that are great but probably more familiar because they've been publicized pretty widely on the internet lately, like the video for Oren Lavie's Her Morning Elegance, or the amazing new Shynola vid for Coldplay, etc etc....