As 2010 draws to an close, Altered Zones brings you its collective year-end re-cap of its favorite albums, songs, and music videos. Stay tuned for our top tracks on Monday, top albums on Tuesday, and daily mix-tapes from a handful of surprise guests.


El Guincho: "Bombay"

Marc Gomez del Moral's video for El Guincho's "Bombay" is a self-sourced film collage, stitching together dozens of weird happenings into a deftly edited stream. There doesn't seem to be any method behind the director's choice of images, though they all seem to fall into one of two categories, or both: "sexy" and "uncomfortable". There's the nude women, the licking, the toe-sucking, the statue-seducing, the woman cutting off her underwear with scissors. And then there's the woman smashing eggs on her face, smoking a cigarette with laundry piled on one shoulder, the urgency lurking behind everything we see. With its hazy, archival-footage-projected-in-a-classroom feel, this schizophrenic sexploitation throwback makes for a stellar accompaniment to a fantastic song. --Ian Nelson


Gil Scott-Heron: "New York Is Killing Me"

Successful collaborations in any endeavor are a rare thing, let alone in music videos. And it's even more special when a director truly immerses himself in a piece of music, internalizes it, and returns with a new work of art that functions as a sincere companion piece to its source. English video artist Chris Cunningham, known for his work with Aphex Twin and Björk, puts a disturbing spin on the 61-year old proto-rap prophet Gil Scott-Heron's "New York Is Killing Me", transforming the original from a bizarro electro-schoolyard clap-jam to a hauntingly poignant portrait of urban decay. --Ric Leichtung


Outer Limits Recordings: "$20 Bill"

Over the past few years, music videos have enjoyed a resurgence in the underground thanks to YouTube et al. DIY filmmakers can produce and share clips that are technically accomplished and aesthetically "nice" (that’s a technical term!), but their efforts seem to have lagged behind mainstream music videos in humour. That’s one of the many endearing things about this clip from Outer Limits Recordings; its charmingly goofy story arc takes us through moments of legitimate slapstick hilarity, with a few “celebrity” cameos thrown in the mix (keep an eye out for James Ferraro!). On top of that, it’s one of the year’s finest h-pop bangers. What else do you need? --Shea Bermingham

Stellar Om Source: "Island Best"

When visual artist Christian Megazord Oldham takes to Final Cut Pro, he unravels years of commercial abuse, dental ads, fragrances, and other idiosyncratic graphics and images in a concentrated mess of visual revelry. His work on Stellar Om Source's "Island's Best" does just this, while also channeling Christelle Gualdi's Argento-influenced aesthetic. The first time I saw this video, I wondered how he could have possibly concocted so many magnetic graphics. Then I realized that Megazord is the ultimate child of the digital era. Like the web, he sees all, absorbs all, and spits it out in whatever manner seems most fitting. --Michael McGregor


Sun Araw: "Deep Cover"

Summing up Sun Araw’s midnight dub séance “Deep Cover” is no easy task, but who could be more ripe for the challenge than Cameron Stallones himself?  Shot by Brian Davila, Cameron's highly Lynchian interpretation of Track Five from psycho stakeout soundtrack On Patrol comes as close as anyone could hope. A 4 AM dance when you think no one is watching, a desperate intruder in the shadows, the skeletal remains of a party-- and, at the helm, Cameron Stallones, driving the farfisa like a bus through your consciousness. --Andy French

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