Best electronic music videos of all time | Features | MN2S

We look at the best electronic music videos of all time.

The music video emerged as a cultural force right around the same time that electronic music started taking off. As Chicago-based DJs like Marshall Jefferson developed a new sound in the 1980s, MTV was beaming song visuals into millions of living rooms worldwide. With this shared origin in mind, it’s no surprise that more than a few classic electronic music videos have graced our screens over the years. Here are our picks of the bunch.

1. Masters At Work featuring India – To Be In Love (MAW Records, 1997)

Kenny Dope Gonzalez and Little Louie Vega are uncontested masters of the musical form. But they’ve also proven themselves to have a keen visual sense. The video for ‘To Be In Love’ is a simple affair, but it manages to capture the freewheeling spirit of New York City in the summer time, just as the track does on record. Starring the always-inimitable India giving a shoreside live vocal performance, the video is as enlivening and optimistic as the song itself.

2. Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners featuring Kylie Auldist – This Girl (House of Barclay, 2016)

The song of the summer 2016 has an appropriately summery video. The DJs and featured vocalist Kylie Auldist are nowhere in sight, allowing the video instead to create a tableau of an idyllic summer holiday. A young woman and man spend their days exploring landscapes and ruins, and their nights dancing away around a campfire. It’s the kind of holiday that would be difficult to get out of your head—just like the song.

3. Quentin Harris & Ultra Nate – Give It 2 U (D:vision Records, 2010)

The most abstract video we’ve listed so far, ‘Give It 2 U’ was the incredibly successful collaboration between soulful house DJ-producer Quentin Harris and soulful R&B singer Ultra Nate. The visuals are colourful and singular, intercutting footage of a DJ set with clips of a car journey and dancers dressed in elaborate costumes (or no costumes at all). The effect is hypnotic, tapping into the moody rhythms of the song. This collaboration was so successful that Harris and Nate reunited earlier this year to create the Black Stereo Faith project. There have been no videos from Black Stereo Faith so far, but there’s no doubt they’d be stunning if there were.

4. Chicane – Stoned in Love (Globe, 2006)

When you get the legendary Tom Jones to perform vocals for your track, there are two ways you can make the video: 1) Get Sir Tom to star in it himself. 2) Make it a crime caper in which the criminal wears a rubber Tom Jones mask. Chicane opted for the latter. Or did he? This thrilling video sees our masked man embarking on a crime spree and running from the police with his girlfriend. A last-minute twist secures the clip’s place in music video history.

5. Daft Punk – Da Funk (Virgin, 1996)

How do you make a music video that’s not a music video? Hire Spike Jonze, the director who would go on to make mind-bending films such as Being John Malkovich. The visuals for Da Funk star an anthropomorphic dog going about his business on a New York City night. His activities are often encumbered by a blaring boombox he is seemingly compelled to carry wherever he goes. Thanks to this burden, and a broken leg, our hero’s life seems sad. Thankfully, Daft Punk released a follow-up video (for the song ‘Fresh’) depicting our canine friend’s subsequent career as a successful actor.

6. Fatboy Slim – Praise You (Skint, 1999)

Another Spike Jonze joint, this time directed with friend Roman Coppola, the ‘Praise You’ video serves up a suitably lo-fi aesthetic to complement the raw elements of the song’s production. A group of amateur dancers, apparently in some kind of cinema lobby or shopping mall, perform a crazed routine, led by Jonze himself. The group’s dance moves embody the free spirit of the song, which almost begs listeners to go wild and strike similarly ridiculous poses.

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