Best Music Videos of the Week — September 2, 2023

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Monday, September 4, 2023

…and then some.

Image from Take Five with Mondrian Aesthetics with tune by Dave Brubeck. Video by Dope Music Video

When this week started out I was very disappointed with the videos coming our way. They all started to look the same. There  is the big city theme — amazing that the city scenes used most seem to be Tokyo. Then there is the morphing people — usually morphing into something military or mechanical. OMG! Skulls! I can’t believe how often skulls and skeletons are used in AI music videos. They are everywhere and they seem to be morphing into more skulls — mechanical skulls, robotic skulls, military skulls, space skulls — the list seems to be endless. And the space themes — more on this below.

We don't see so much of the dedicated abstract anymore. I say "dedicated" because most of the time they are all mostly abstract.... In a good way! An abstract rarely has an obvious narrative, that is, elements of a story. Also gone, and not missed, seems to be the "infinite zoom." We still see a few but even thesebut producers are finally figuring out how to include elements of a narrative. Now it seems more like an "infinite pan." This type of video seems to be more organized, and allows for a narrative to develop more fluidly — making for a better video.

With all my notes going into the week I was amazed how many producers make their own music. Right off, it seems the thinking goes directly from their head to the video — by way of their own music. And what else drives these producers to make your own music video? Curiosity. Desire. Control. The idea that if you don't do it, no one will.

This is why the music video is being reborn. A renaissance if you will.

Image from Luke Tangerine new album "Interstellar Radio."

Which brings us back to the space-themed AI video. This is where we find Luke Tangerine Music with his new album "Interstellar Radio." Mr. Tangerine did what so many musicians want to do — that is, make a music video for every song on his album. Seven of them ended up in our queue this week. With 11 songs on his album I must have missed a few. They seem destined for a YouTube playlist all their own.

Now that Mr. Tangerine has taken the space themed AI music video to new heights maybe others will see what a waste of time it will be trying to do the same thing over again. It’s time to morph into something else. With all the amazing videos this week I think we have.

My disappointment in the AI videos we’ve seen lately can be tracked to the amazing quality of a handful of videos. It started when I interviewed Patrick Hanser about his AI music video he produced for his band Bacará to their song Cores. This is a groundbreaking video in that it puts aside all the preconceived expectations of what an AI music video can be. He likes Picasso and Kandinsky and programmed the AI to make his video to be transformed into their styles. He used existing video and didn’t rely on the AI to reinvent the moving parts.

We are starting to see more musicians follow this format. Another is Papas Fritas and their classic song “Way You Walk.” They are enjoying a much-deserved popularity of their music. To start off they worked again with Ross Shain to create a new version of the animation he created years ago to this same song. What the success of this video proved to us at TikiKiti is that the best AI music videos start with a classic video production that is already edited. Of course, the editing will happen again after the AI gets a hold on the video. But, it is with the editing that everything comes together. It’s where the vision of the artist comes into view.

The week in music videos

We just don’t look at AI videos. It’s just that this summer was all about the AI music video. Now that school is starting up again we look forward to seeing more student projects from schools around the world. Before anyone thinks of poo-pooing the students music video we see some of the best videos from the best schools. From L.A. to New York and all over Great Britain to the Asian far east. The music video format is cherished by teachers and producers all over the world — the short story set to popular music.

So this week we first saw K.A.D.E. (Keep A Dominant Energy), the lyricist and this beautiful R&B love song that sweep us off our feet. Here is "Heaven's Calling” — a song by Tiauna Ross and the video being produced by Ianima. On the song’s YouTube channel it says, “People determine the can only enable it.” In this age of AI these are powerful words to remember.

As I lamented the lack of distinction in the AI videos I was seeing I came across this video. Here is a "Philosopher to an uncertain degree,” as Skipper Solomatic says on his channel. This is that narrative video that we really like here. This is one intense narrative. With "100 Seconds until midnight" the music takes us into another world. An on-the-edge-of-your-seat world. Dark and foreboding, this video questions everything we know about our world. An absolutely brilliant, and frightening video.

It seems that this is AI-Bent's first AI video only because there are no other videos on his YouTube channel. I know, presumptuous. I hope we can see more of his work soon. Because we just took a strange detour on our trip in the Top-10. Set to "Mythologica" by Ofrin, this Beverly Hills Voyage is stunning animation. That's all I can say. Just see for yourself.

We've had the pleasure of seeing Branded Human in the Top-10 recently. This video to "It Ain't Over Yet" is something like the new "American Gothic." (The painting of course.) It's as compelling as it is unsettling — frightening and funny. The thing is, I know the faces but I can't quite put my finger on who they look like.

T.Diamond brings this  song from his EP “Days On Delaware” — a very personal work for him. And a very stylish one. This week is all about different music videos. Here is T.Diamond & Karmaa doing "Whole Fan.”

This video from KofolaK comes from a demented mind — and we couldn't take our eyes off it. This is what he calls  "Stormy Weather: A Stopmotion Music Journey." He continues saying, "Get ready to be captivated by the beauty and power of the Great Dane, the Alpha Dog of the canine realm,...." Huh. I watched a couple of his other videos. I liked "Hold My Bear" but it triggered my vertigo and I fell out of my chair.

Thinking once again about the infinite pan  I then see this video from Modularblack to his music "The Dreamer." Here is a meticulously sculpted video to his music. He doesn't wear us out with the panning — just setting up the narrative. The images evoke some kind of Animé but there's something more. I think it's the texture.

We've been watching Dope Music Video for some time and he has a very stylish sense in his productions. A sense he shows in this dramatic production to Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" with Mondrian Aesthetics. This video and the next were vying for the number one spot all week. The difference in how our panel rated this and the number one video was a only by a fraction.

Mylène Farmer is no stranger to the AI music video (we've seen her videos before), however, this video doesn't seem to be AI. Not quite sure what it is, except beautiful and mysterious. Directed by Alexander Wessely the quality of the VFX makes me doubt my own eyes. Is this what the AI music video has done to our perception — make every strange image seem normal in some way. Here is "Ne plus renaître."

Realizing this last video is out of order I ended up thinking it would be okay. What better way to end the Top-10 this week with this video. We haven't seen a performance like this in so long. This is from Hodge Podge Music Inspirations to David Guetta remix to "Family Affair" and the hit song by Mary J. Blige.

Just a few more items from this very excellent week.

Here is another video from Dope Music Video. He went to our website (that’s where you are now)  and on the home page he scrolled to the bottom where we have a submission form. He then sent us this video. If you submit a music video through this form there’s a good chance we will highlight it across our platforms, just as I am doing here.

Here is Cobra Commander Wants to Rule the World set to "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears For Fears. Sort of a rogues gallery of villains.

And finally,

This is from one our favorite new band PaulG & Invisible Twangonauts. They have new music and we are excited for a new video. Here is a link to their new music through various sources.

That’s it for this week. Come back in a week when we do another roundup of the best videos we see week. You can also see our Facebook and Instagram feeds for this info and more about music videos.

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