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Best Music Videos of 2011

While flipping through this year’s videos, there were obviously some intriguing ones that sparked our eyes. This was definitely the year of kaleidoscopes and mirror images (so stay tuned for that list!). On our featured Best Music Videos of the year, we chose a diverse selection from the best ’90s-esque video, best tour guide-to-your-city-hometown video, best conceptual S&M dance art video, best genuinely heartfelt video, best sociocultural reference video, best backwards-metaphorical-tasty-treat video, of course the best psychedelic, kaleidoscopic video.
So without further ado, here are the Best Music Videos of 2011. And from all of us here at Remezcla Música, happy watching…


javiera mena12. “Primera Estrella”
by Javiera Mena

An unapologetically catchy disco-pop tune that works out great for the warm voice of the Chilean chanteuse and a video that aims for the hypnotic. Following the success of last years single “Hasta La Verdad” and it numerous remixes, Javiera Mena made us fall for her all over again in 2011 with this new single of the same album, Mena, while we anxiously await any new release to cope with this addiction for Chilean songstresses we have been subjected to here at Remezcla for the last couple of years. -Juan Data

Primera Estrella - Mena


los violetas11. “Televisores”
by Los Violetas
[Dominican Republic]

Even in today’s world of Pixar and Pixar’s imitators, 2D animation holds a special charm. Nowadays 2D animated films are never 100% hand drawn and painted, but they’re still striving to look that way because the cartoons of our youth had that sense of painstakingly hard work behind them, of real art. Maybe that’s why Dominican band Las Violetas’ awesome video for their song “Televisores” grew on us. It takes cues from the likes of the Gorillaz with its lush colors and the infamous video for A-Ha’s “Take on Me” (complete with pained transformations between cartoon and flesh) with the combination of live action and animation, the video draws you into a bizarre fantasy world where television screens grow on trees and clothing can change with the weather or the surrounding, and the poor guitarist gets caught between dueling singers in a lovers’ spat. By the end, when TV flowers pop up to assault the band and the camera moves backward through screen after screen after screen, we get the sort of symbolic imagery (get it? we’re under a constant barrage of media!) that animation is great for. -Matt Barbot


poncho10. “Please Me”
by Poncho ft. Maxi Truso

Is this a music video, a guide promoting Buenos Aires’ hipster hot spots, or a short film depicting every young female hipster’s fantasy about getting up, going out, getting down and meeting Mr. Right (who also happens to be the best DJ in town)?! It’s all three! And it’s told via some cool camera work featuring split-screens, POV shots, snorricam and other cool visual techniques. It’s one of those rare cases where the song and video are a perfect match for each other in every sense. -Afroxander

Please me - Please me - Single


lost mapaches09. “Back To Basics”
by Lost Mapaches

“Back to Basics” varied electro low-fi, hums harmonic and buzzes synths that contrast well with the earthy amish girls in this strange, but by no means, surprising new video. As mystical floating rocks invading the quiet comfort of a bright country day and our lovely Guadalajara-based duo Lost Mapache boys stand stunned by the heavens, I almost expected them all to float up into the atmosphere in an alien abduction gone indie rock. This synth-pop calling card for green living and and its strange 90’s visuals, fresh with coy angles and even apples randomly falling from the sky, reminds of MTV in its fading glory. The sallow looking ladies in the video, spitting up gunk and flowers don’t seem out of the ordinary against the back drop of Lost Mapache’s swill howls and simple composition. The final shots of fish flapping in wet palms and blue hallowed ladies floating in bathtubs oddly placed in the middle of a field fit well with the etherial nature of the song and its lingering themes. The production team behind this video is the same Cinema de Gypsies behind the “Teen Spirit” – Nirvana pop-rock Gaga mixup on Belanova’s infectious “1,2,3, Gooo!!!” No wonder. -José Benavides


rita indiana08. “Da Pa Lo Do”
by Rita Indiana
[Dominican Republic]

We’re going to miss Rita Indiana now that she’s retired from performing. Alternative merengue’s not a very populous genre, and her over the top style made her the mistress of it. She also never shies away from taking a political issue and making it bailable. “Da Pa Lo Do” tackles the centuries old contention between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, saying to all her listeners that the island of Hispaniola is big enough and fruitful enough to “dar para los dos.” Rita appears like a Virgen de Guadalupe for Hispaniola, black with a halo of woven straw, to save two soldiers from mutually assured destruction. And she rolls up on a motorcycle, because she’s a boss. And at that point the video hasn’t even started to get weird. The final images – the two men, naked to the waist and stripped of anything that identifies them of different from one another – are as powerful as anything Calle 13 has ever put out on the state of Latin America. -Matt Barbot

Da Pa Lo Do - El Juidero


los master plus07. “Sexo en Fuego”
by Los Master Plus

When those cheesy dance moves, the curling of that sexy handlebar mustache, and gnarly green screen visuals of tropical fake beaches lay among your eyes, oh and that busty blonde chick, don’t tell me you ain’t smirking away, and on the verge of busting the loudest laugh evaaa. But a laugh full of delight and happiness, because you’re finally glad that these two Guadalajara-based suave electrocumbia boys clowned an entire old generation of bands taking themselves too seriously. “Sexo en Fuego” is a great track and the video is awesomely hilarious. These guys just don’t give a fuck, and this is why they get to be in our lucky #7. They’ll make your more conservative, uptight friends dance on top of any table on any random nightclub with a lamp shade on their heads. -Isabela Raygoza


les mentettes orquestra06. “Lazy Boy”
by Les Mentettes Orchestra

Following a marionette through the streets of NYC, Argentine band Les Mentettes Orchestra (sister band of Les Mentettes, if you couldn’t guess) captures the transplant experience so many of us face moving to New York. Like the Statue of Liberty says, they come tired, hungry, poor, massively yearning and looking for success…usually they just find bright lights, high rent, and cheap booze. This story of the drunk and disaffected – and possibly homeless – is especially poignant since #OccupyWallStreet, as the hero wanders listlessly around New York (even stopping into a Les Metettes Orchestra concert), taking in the excess but feeling left out, pulled by unseen strings and so unable to control his life. -Matt Barbot

Lazy Boy - Les Mentettes Orchestra


el columpio asesino05. “Toro”
by El Columpio Asesino

This video makes the list for it’s questionable queso factor. With all the sexual flower rubbin,’ hangin’ in and out of the car, sometimes color, sometimes black and white shots, the über goth loners walking around all over the place looking too cool for school, the wannabe wild and sexy, party strobe scene during the Cramps-y Lux Interior gothabilly bridge squeals, and this bizarre part at the end where a teddy bear with a diamond inside is cut open — BREATH — I almost thought this was going to turn into a Natural Born Killers type of scenario it was so goddamn cheeseball. This video is clearly trying way too hard which explains it’s ranking, but for being so serious, this is what you can put on every night before bed and have a good laugh at. It’s so bad it cancels itself out to greatness. -Stephen Christopher

Toro - Diamantes


fauna04. “Para Mi”
by Fauna

Psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, DMT, ayahuasca? Whatever is the psychotropic substance these guys have been taking, I gotta try some. Psychedelia aside, the video is a great achievement for the ZZK crew managing to successfully unite their love for cumbia’s inner-kitschness with their more avant-guard artsy aspirations without jeopardizing the party dance appeal of the music. Even though it’s a Fauna song, “Para mí” works great as a sample of the whole collective’s catalog and maybe that’s why the video includes cameos of ZZK associates El Remolón, El-G, Villa Diamante, Chancha Via Circuito (who produced the track) and more. It’s like a whole ZZK party synthesized in one track. Also, a great testament for the beloved Catar_Sys (a.k.a. Federico Rodríguez) who abandoned this plane of existence not too long after the video was done shooting and Fauna’s second album (Manshines) was recorded. -Juan Data



calle1303. “Latinoamérica”
by Calle 13
[Puerto Rico]

The most imaginative and outspoken duo of the Latin music scene crafted a magnificent and heartfelt video, and there’s no surprise about that. This was a great year for Calle 13 who were appropriately lauded by the most indie blogs to the pinnacle of this industry. They got mad skill, and there’s no denying it.  I mean just listen to Susana Baca and María Rita sing, “Tu no puedes comprar el viento/ tu no puedes comprar mi alegria.” “Latinoamérica” says so many things, it’s a plea for the plight on inequality, a sincere humane cry, a look within and a strife for consciousness. Shots take us to rural beaches, campesinos working in the fields, Quechua women crafting their artistries in the Peruvian islands of Lago Titicaca, and oscillates urban city shots of the working class hero. Meanwhile, Residente and Visitante perform an intimate setting in front of an Andean disc jockey. Calle 13’s heartfelt ode for “Latinoamérica” is an exquisite work of art that genuinely communicates about the conditions Latinoamérica continues to face. A song and a video that beautifully mixes sounds of bossa nova, salsa, cumbia, tango and of course urban, while shedding light via pop culture onto politics and social issues. Y yo soy Latino América! -Isabela Raygoza

Latinoamérica (feat. Totó la Momposina, Susana Baca & María Rita) - Entren los Que Quieran (Deluxe Version)


denver02. “Los Bikers (Segundas Destrezas)”
by Dënver

We applaud Chilean duo Dënver for their virtuoso presentation in this video. The 70’s trumpet solos and jive-turkey elegance on their latest video installment might be the performance of the year. In collaboration with Cristobal Portaluppi the video kicks off with an adequate quote by the queer suicide prince, Yukio Mishima stating in Forbidden Colors, (pardon my rough translation from Spanish, but I assure you I couldn’t find the original or an english version), “Beauty always intimidates me. And that’s not all, because at times it degrades me.” What an apt expression for a song and video that explores homoerotic and other counterculture realities in their most picturesque and debasing splendor. Superb realization on all parts, from the exquisite dancers, seductive cinematography and all the flexing grace of our bound and gagged human condition, I salute these artists on their collaboration and audacity. -José Benavides

Los Bikers - Música, Gramática, Gimnasia


lorelle01. “These Days”
by Lorelle Meets The Obsolete

I’m just going to be completely honest. This is one of the most moving music videos I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing. “These Days” gets #1 on the list for being genuine — the music in sync with the film footage, her facial expressions, and to think she did this all walking backwards. While life may appear to be moving backwards, all she can do is look forward to smile and enjoy her ice cream cone. She hardly looks away. It’s pretty impressive. May sound lame, but it makes me want to laugh, cry, scream and fuck… all at the same time. The longing, the guilt, the teary eyed happiness. It’s almost embarrassing to talk about. Never has such a stupid piece of film mind-fucked me in a good way so much as an adult, in a way that whispers life to me. Maybe I’m insane. Maybe I’m just being a sappy pussy. Maybe I’m slightly biased because she looks very similar to the girlfriend I lost my virginity to, (I took hers too) but NO, I know this video is amazing. Lorelle Meets the Obsolete didn’t need tons of fancy camera shots, a billion paid actors/actresses in costumes, or day-glo psychedelic imagery (which was big this year), they just needed a camera, an ice cream cone, and a simple, brilliant idea. I’m glad this video exists. It could really make you think about what life and experience really IS. -Stephen Christopher

These Days - On Welfare


illya kuryaki and the valderramasHonorable Mention: “IKV”
by Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas

If Conan The Barbarian was able to make a comeback what’s stopping the South American duo with the longest, most random name ever to reunite and bring the funk back? Dante and Emanuel had been making music together since before they grew their own pubes and as expected, they reached a point where they were probably sick of each other and needed to experiment on their own. During the first decade of the millennium they both kept themselves active with their successful solo careers, albeit taking quite different stylistic paths (Emanuel almost abandoned rap completely to go into a more alternative rock direction, while Dante aimed toward pure hip-hop; coincidentally, however, they both experimented with cumbia too). Finally, rumors of a reunion after a decade-long hiatus got officially confirmed when four month ago they released this video announcing a new IKV release for 2012. Going back to the retro exploitation cinema aesthetics that made them MTV favorites during the ’90s, the video and its music suggest a return to their funkiest stage. Hopefully it won’t suck like Conan’s revival. -Juan Data