I don’t know if it’s some combination of Halloween sugar-hangover and Republican-Senate-takeover anxiety or what, but there are some dark and strange and intense visions on this week’s list. Every single one of the five videos below has the power to make you at least a tiny bit queasy. So take a deep breath and dive in below.
5. Arca – “Now You Know” (Dir. Jesse Kanda)
A kaleidoscopic fireworks orgy that becomes a psychedelic meditation on light and gravity. Watching it, you suddenly forget which way is up and let your eyes drift out of focus. And somehow, this is the least unsettling video on this week’s list.
4. Bryan Ferry – “Loop Di Li” (NSFW-ish) (Dir. Aoife McArdle)
The Bret Easton Ellis aesthetic, turned towards the British upper-crust. Ferry doesn’t appear in the video, but maybe it’s his origin story?
3. Flying Lotus – “Ready Err Not” (NSFW) (Dir. David Firth)
The disturbed body-horror imagery would be stomach-turning enough in any contest. Somehow, though, it’s the sound effects that put this one over the top. There is a legitimate chance that you will barf while watching this.
2. Die Antwoord – “Ugly Boy” (NSFW-ish) (Dir. Ninja)
Honestly, I probably should’ve disqualified this one contention just because of the inexcusable presence of Blackface Fake Aphex. Still, I couldn’t turn it off. Die Antwoord have honed their ridiculous and singular aesthetic so completely that they can pull a tired trick like the cameo-parade video and make it seem sick and fucked and wrong.
1. Ariel Pink – “Picture Me Gone” (NSFW-ish) (Dir. Grant Singer)
Well, Ariel Pink and Grant Singer have done it: They’ve managed to make a video more deeply uncomfortable than “Put Your Number In My Phone.” The two most fucked up things about this one: The camera that shoots all this like it’s unspeakably beautiful, and the bystanders who absolutely do not react to the horrifying latex masks. Maybe Los Angeles is just like that?