Berlin Music Video Roundup #4

We’re back with new optic nerve-tickling pleasures and wide-ranging sounds

Words By Jake Kelly
Photos By Main image: Kabreet by Thomas McMillan

You never know when a song or a video might take you down an internet wormhole and lead you to new discoveries and connections. Maybe one of these discoveries starts a butterfly effect that then determines the entire outcome of your life, forever shaping who you are as an individual. So it’s probably the best for you to just watch them all, to be on the safe side.

LSDXOXO – Sick Bitch [XL Records]
Creative Director: Limitrofe Television

Long-awaited and much anticipated, LSDXOXO’s ‘Sick Bitch’ is here. An anthem in every sense of the word, the track melds ballroom, ghetto house, and industrial techno into an erotic celebration of freaky sex. The producer’s first release on XL Records, he trades in his usual collage of sampled vocals for his own voice, a provocative interlay over pounding drums. For the accompanying video, Limitrofe Television provides DIY footage of LSDXOXO and friends inside a sensual world of grimy VHS, velvet curtains, and poles.

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Scotch Rolex – Omuzira (ft. MC Yallah) [Hakuna Kulala]
Creative Director: Hiroo Tanaka

Great collaborations shred boundaries and borders. Scotch Rolex is the new moniker of DJ Scotch Egg, the Japanese noise-making pro who has been producing genre-twisting music for close to two decades. MC Yallah is the Kenyan rapper with blazing, breakneck raps. Nyege Nyege, alongside their imprint Hakuna Kulala, is the Ugandan label opening new worlds for electronic music. The result is the earth-shaking bass and verbal cascade of ‘Omuzira’. Check out the video from filmmaker Hiroo Tanaka to see MC Yallah officially rip it up on the S-Bahn.

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Magic Island – Closer [Mansions & Millions]
Creative Director: Inez M. K.

Magic Island’s latest is another smoky, late-night pop song built on minimal, bass-heavy production. The track explores the surprise comradeship you find in the trails of a party. Magic Island’s vocals coil over the murky production, which builds into a climatic whirl of mournful horns creeping out of the fog. Video director Inez M. K. takes a close look at this nightlife intimacy, allowing us to glimpse into lost moments between strangers inside the vague labyrinth of the club.

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BSÍ – Vesturbæjar Beach [Tomatenplatten]
Creative Director: Snæfríður Sól Gunnarsdóttir

BSÍ’s new video captures the best kind of perseverance in the face of endless lockdown. The band’s lowkey and charming indie pop-punk is definitely a summer sound, and as their ‘Vesturbæjar Beach’ video shows, if they can’t get to the beach, they’ll bring the beach to them, no matter how grey and cold the weather. With the kind of breezy, effortless hook that won’t leave your head and a propulsive rhythm, the single and video are both heartwarming bursts of positivity when you need them most. 

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Tóke – The Sun Has Died [Munggu Tribe Records]
Creative Directors: Alex Kleis and Tóke

Music has the ability to share aspects of humanity in a way that is unique from other mediums, and Tóke’s new single is a moving example of this. On the track, the reggae singer delves into the routinely ignored and maligned experiences of refugees, exploring the reality of what it means to be displaced from your home and forced to live so far away. The video features actor Majd Saad, who came to Germany after fleeing Syria, expressing his experiences and feelings through movement and interpretation. The track is a moving manifestation of the stories that we rarely reflect on, with an accompanying video that helps bring this message to the forefront.

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Kabreet – Atari [Independent]
Music & Video collage: Kabreet
Camera Work: Dana Engfer 

With ‘Atari’, Kabreet folds their fondness for 80’s video games into a yearning love song. The video flips and reimagines the orientalist tropes present in many of the classic games they’re reimaginging. The Yemeni-German duo expand their usual buoyant electro-pop by toying with chiptune motifs reminiscent of classic game soundtracks, making use of nostalgia to add extra layers to the song’s emotional depth.

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Hanna & Kerttu – December [Independent]
Creative Director: Julia Zanin de Paula

Emerging with a haunted whisper, Hanna & Kerttu’s latest single is a dreamlike spell of hushed folk. Conjuring a chilling atmosphere using delicate finger picked guitar and emotive vocals, ‘December’ seems to invoke the lingering feeling of pandemic paranoia. The video, directed by Julia Zanin de Paula, explores this further, featuring plague masks, chain link fences, and the sleepy repetition of actions and visuals.

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John Moods – Talk To Me [Mansions and Millions]
Creative Director: John Moods

A little pocket of positivity can go a long way these days, and when John Moods’ guitar twangs, it’s like a little ray of sunshine just hit your window. ‘Talk To Me’ is the third single from his upcoming EP, and continues down the lane of blissful, earnest indie pop. The self-directed video offers some soothing escapism, as John jumps right onto 80s Wall Street, making use of found footage and some serious method acting. 

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Freddie Dickson – Night People [Independent]
Creative Directors: Dickson and FRUIT SALAT 

‘Night People’ is a big, spacious ode to finding liberty in nightlife, and of being inspired by other people’s freedom and confidence. The welcoming feeling of walking into a party full of people who couldn’t care less about what others think is massively relatable, and Dickson’s soaring, but danceable instrumentation, reminiscent of War on Drugs, builds to a moving climax. The video, from Dickson and FRUIT SALAT, captures the slow loosening of boundaries.

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Angela Chambers – The Illusion
Cinematography: Stephan Vens 

Simple and striking sums up ‘The Illusion’ perfectly. The track’s minimal production allows Angela’s powerful voice to dominate gracefully, building into a fierce crescendo. The video similarly allows Angela to shine, or more accurately, sparkle, as she strides back and forth between dark trees, flipping dramatically across a simple, but effective mirror effect. Angela’s personality is central to the video, but it’s her bold songwriting that leaves an impression.

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Follow LOLA on Spotify for more Berlin music and playlists.

BSI by Maria-Carmela Raso