And here we are. Another year. Another list. Another reason to make gifs. This is one of the best parts of our job, to be able to sit back and celebrate the visionaries in our field. The videos on this list made us think, some made us cry, some made us mad, others made us nostalgic. They all moved us in some profound way to articulate something about art and in this at-times-awful world, that’s a beautiful thing.
So sit back and celebrate with us. Here are our collective picks for best videos of 2013, Remezcla style.
20. HELADO NEGRO / “DANCE GHOST” / DIR. DAVID W MERTEN [USA]
Roberto Carlos Lange is one busy and creative dude. The Florida-via-Ecuador native is one of those artists who keeps a finger in various paint jars (or however that metaphor goes). Our favorite of his alter egos is his work as musician Helado Negro. His video for “Dance Ghost” perfectly encapsulates what his latest album, Invisible Life, is all about. The electronic tune is a melancholic mix of El Guincho and Neon Indian that evokes an odd feeling of dissociation, of being somewhere physically but not there spiritually or mentally. The video’s protagonist brings this feeling to life when he makes his way to a large but empty home devoid of anything, even furniture, and dances alone. “There’s no one home, just the ghosts who dance alone…” – Afroxander
19. LOS WALTERS / “TOCA MADERA” / DIR. PAYOLA ISABEL [P.R.]
It’s a simple concept: get a group of objectively good-looking 20-somethings to swim naked and dance around deserted fields. But what allows “Toca Madera” to exceed its seemingly simple concept is its spirit. The video enacts a distinct sense of postmodern youth and euphoria, the kind that only comes alive when set against its antithesis: the rural outdoors. There’s a striking clash between the Urban Outfitters catalog clothing of the subjects and the untouched, unmanicured quality of the fields. It seems to want to articulate a new kind of Puerto Rican identity, one that’s beholden to both trend-based consumerism (a desire for a universal capitalist individuality) and environmental connection (desire for the anti-capitalist “authentic”). It’s where urban meets rural, city meets campo. – Paola Capó-García
18. LA YEGROS / “VIENE DE MI” / DIR. JAVIER LOURENCO & MARIANA YOUSSEF [ARG]
The first lady of Argentina’s ñu-cumbia debuted with a gorgeous first single and an amazing first video to go with it. Not much of a storyline here, just beautiful visuals in a simple but effective and highly original concept. The many hats La Yegros wears (literally) during the video are not necessarily related to the song’s theme either, she just looks super cute in all of them, and since the song doesn’t have an explicit topic, it works out great. Ever since I first watched it I’ve stared at the white walls of my room secretly hoping she’ll pop out (dressed as a nurse) and start singing for me. – Juan Data
17. BUSCABULLA / “SONO” / DIR. ROY DELGADO [P.R.]
If you were to apply a retro, tropicalia-tinged Instagram filter to contemporary ambient electronic music, you’d get something close to Buscabulla’s blissed-out sound. So it’s fitting that her debut video – shot on Super 8 film by director Roy Delgado – has the hazy wash of light, blurred edges and dreamy vibe that we could only hope to achieve when we throw that Earlybird filter on our photos. We’re living in a cultural moment infatuated with nostalgia, and Buscabulla manages to tap this trend while sidestepping its treaclier tendencies. Juxtaposing geometric shapes with natural landscapes, rays of sun with iridescent disco lights, and modern beats with a deliberate vintage aesthetic, “Sono” is a soothing, summer daydream of a video. Plus, let’s be real, the woman sure is easy on the eyes. – Andrea Gompf
16. LOS PUNSETES / “LOS TECNOCRATAS” / DIR. MAURO ENTRIALGO [ESP]
This video is full of shit. I don’t mean that metaphorically. I mean that quite literally. The animated video by director Mauro Entrialgo features a group of technocrats who arrive on a foreign planet. Tecnócratas are those dudes who think they know everything and should, therefore, be in charge of everything. Unfortunately, in this case, everything “needs” to be swapped out with hella turds as per their unsolicited expert opinions. The dog plays fetch with turds before being replaced by a turd itself, two dudes bathe in a pond that gets overtaken by a river of mierda, and it even starts raining shit at one point.
It sounds slightly juvenile in the “lol, he said poop” way but it’s actually pretty funny and poignant, plus the lyrics provide some fun social commentary as well. – Afroxander