Help me find fast songs with slow videos
January 9, 2012 5:04 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for examples of music videos in which the tempo of the song is totally different to the tempo of the visual edit. Any suggestions?

Specifically I am interested in videos for uptempo songs which are generally much slower on a visual level (i.e.: fewer edits; longer shots; slow motion; basically less kinetic in general) but I would be happy to hear about slow songs with fast videos.

I'm not necessarily interested in only getting examples of videos which manage successfully to contrast the speeds of the music and visuals, I want to see any where this has been attempted. Extra points, though, if you can offer an opinion as to whether the video works or not, and why.

posted by Del Chimney to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Elektrobank by The Chemical Brothers comes immediately to mind. Directed by Spike Jonze; the gymnastic performer is Sofia Coppola.

It is "kinetic," but I'd argue that the contrast between the rhythmic gymnastics and the electronic beats/sounds builds dramatic tension very effectively.
posted by BobbyVan at 5:43 AM on January 9, 2012

This video by Blue Boy comes to mind. The song isn't particularly fast, but it is a dance song, and most of the video is in slow motion. I don't particularly love the video (love the song though!) but I still think it works pretty well because the music has such a sensual feel to it.
posted by seriousmoonlight at 5:45 AM on January 9, 2012

A bit different from EXACTLY what you're looking for, but Pharcyde's video for The Drop takes place backwards and a bit slower than the pace of the song.
posted by kuanes at 6:24 AM on January 9, 2012

Not exactly what you're looking for, but a good example of a willful mismatch between song and video is the Pixies' single-shot video for "Velouria." It's pretty much the antithesis of a music video -- even the clip for "Bastards of Young" has more going on.


I remember when it premiered on MTV's 120 Minutes, and the host (Dave Kendall) made a point of describing it as the first and last time the video would be shown. It was the band's first actual hit, so the non-video release was double perverse.
posted by Joey Bagels at 6:49 AM on January 9, 2012

It's kind of my go-to for "best music video ever" but I'd also suggest a look at Jonathan Demme's full-length video for "The Perfect Kiss" by New Order, if you can find it. It runs close to 10 minutes long, and a lot of the smartest editorial decisions Demme makes have to do simply with not cutting away -- it's breathtaking to realize how much more you can learn about the way a band performs when you don't have some hyperactive Final Cut jockey riding the keyboard in multicam mode all the way through the edit.

OK, here it is. This looks like it's ripped from an old videotape, but it's almost better that way.

The Perfect Kiss

On pre-digital video, there's a ghostly figure who shows up in the back of the room as Peter Hook is playing bass. On the DVD, he's just some dude gently rockin out, but on videotape he looks like a phantom. For comparison's sake the short version is here.

The Perfect Kiss (edit)

Why, yes, I am in my 40s. How could you tell?
posted by Joey Bagels at 7:06 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I immediately thought of the first version video for Benny Benassi's "Satisfaction".
posted by neushoorn at 7:31 AM on January 9, 2012

E-40 - "Tell Me When To Go"
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 7:40 AM on January 9, 2012

Harmony Korine's video for Sonic Youth's "Sunday" plays with this a bit.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 9:02 AM on January 9, 2012

Vitalic - Poney Part 1 is actually a favorite song of mine.
posted by lizbunny at 10:31 AM on January 9, 2012

Might not be exactly what you're looking for but the video for Steal The Blueprints by +/- plays with time in an interesting way (basically they filmed the video with the guys in the band doing everything in slow-mo, and then sped it up so that they were performing in "normal" speed while everything else in the background is now the sped up part).
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 10:31 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

IIRC (I can't check for sure because I'm At Work) Nirvana's Lithium has the faster parts of the song playing during more static imagery and vice versa.

Isn't that clever?
posted by Fister Roboto at 10:59 AM on January 9, 2012

It took me a while to re-find "Two Cousins", by Slow Club.
posted by cardioid at 12:57 PM on January 14, 2012

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