It’s hard to believe it’s already been 10 years since Paris’ Ed Banger label was born. Founder Pedro Winter (aka Busy P, Daft Punk’s former manager) used to place modest personals ads in newspapers to find his artists, and now it’s become a worldwide force to be reckoned with. To help them celebrate—which they’re doing with a series of events in different cities over the next few months—we’ve assembled our favorite 10 cheeky, slice-of-life music videos from the label, which eke out a unique place in the dance-music world thanks to a crème de la crème list of directors like Romain Gavras, Canada, So Me (EB’s in-house graphic designer), and more.
10. Justice Vs. Simian – “We Are Your Friends”
A 10-year commemoration would not be possible without crediting one of the songs that started it all. Shot in the Surface2Air Paris boutique studio in an afternoon, Justice Vs. Simian’s “We Are Your Friends” was written on a whim, and was a smash hit that won an MTV Best Video award in 2006. The collapsing-dominoes couch-gag finale is just epic. We can’t imagine what the clean-up was like…
9. Uffie – “Pop the Glock”
First out in 2006 and re-released in 2009, “Pop the Glock” was one of Uffie’s breakout hits, which featured her nursery-rhyming party-rap style over a riff on Audio Two’s ’80s hit “Top Billin.” Check the Nathalie Canguilhem-directed video for a brief Aoki cameo and plenty more nubile indie-kid hijinks.
8. DJ Mehdi – “Signatune”
The tragically departed DJ Mehdi will forever be remembered for high-keyed, emotionally charged anthems like “Signatune.” The video, directed by longtime Ed Banger collaborator Romain Gavras, is a snapshot of small-town French life and dB drag-racing culture.
7. SebastiAn – “Embody”
The So Me-directed clip for “Embody” follows the dancing exploits of a young teen who just can’t stop himself from invading people’s personal space—from body shops to bathtubs—with his relentless strut.
6. Carte Blanche – “Gare Du Nord”
The funky urgency of this rump-bumpin’ tune is a perfect fit for the vintage found footage from Detroit’s The New Dance Show that was assembled by Marco Dos Santos. Sadly, Carte Blanche is no more as member DJ Mehdi passed a way a couple years back, but his partner Riton hustles on.
5. Laurent Garnier feat. LBS Crew – “Jacques In a Box”
Atmospheric house and techno godfather Laurent Garnier signed on to Ed Banger to release the Jacques In A Box EP, possibly for easy access to their stable of remix artists. The video’s creepy floating eyeballs making their way through a 1970s Vegas is reminiscent of TV’s The Prisoner, and eerily reminds me of a low-budget ’80s horror movie that I once watched as a teen, hoping for some offbeat titillation.
4. Krazy Baldhead – “Empty Boy”
A collaboration between music-video-directing superpowers High5Collective and Bo Mirosseni, Krazy Baldhead’s “Empty Boy” tells the tale of an internet creep whose late-night surfing fantasies come true. An electrode-strapped Buddhist monk steals the show with wish-granting powers delivering a boob reduction, pregnancies, and morphing a down-and-out rasta into a suave Arsenio Hall lookalike.
3. Justice – “DVNO”
“DVNO” is So Me’s (with help from Yorgo Tloupas and Machine Molle) tribute to big, bold, and glossy neon typography-based logos of the ’80s. The tune is also a tribute to underground multi-instrumentalist and industry do-it-aller Mehdi Pinson (aka DVNO), of the post-punk band Scenario Rock, who’s collaborated with artists like DJ Pone from Birdy Nam Nam and Punks Jump Up.
2. Justice – “New Lands”
Directed by Canada, a Barcelona-based video-production team, the “New Lands” clip pays homage to ’70s sci-fi films and ’80s visual effects. It features a mash-up of various sports being played in a single game, ranging from lacrosse to football to roller derby, complete with robot-lazer-targeting systems and pink glowing electrified balls.
1. Breakbot – “Fantasy feat. Ruckazoid”
“Fantasy,” directed by Tony Frontal, takes us into the mind of a young male art student who can’t seem to handle his crush on the nude model in his life-drawing class. Breakbot’s ’70s disco twang keeps you hooked while corny (and horny) fantasies fuel the visual arousal. Watch all the way through for the A-ha cameo. And if you’re still reading at this point, be forewarned that your company brass might consider this one inappropriate for work computers.