Electronic music is often associated with altered states of consciousness. Distortion, surrealism, full-on abstraction, or psychedelic animation describe the variations of creative characteristics for the trippiest electronic music videos. Each of the characteristics take inspiration from electronic music's roots, from the mystical dance floors of raves. Lasers, fog, and light shows interact with ravers alternative state of conscious to create surreal experiences. Many of the artists and directors listed below likely experienced something similar and created these videos to capture that state-of-mind, bringing it the world. However, watching these videos alone is not enough to properly prepare you, so make sure to know these things before your first rave.
"Acid Arab" by the29nov Films
Ten years ago, Sebastian Kökow and Kevin Paschold created the29nov films in a small village in Southern Germany. Today, they are some of the most sought after video producers, compiling thousands and millions of views on Youtube and other video platforms. They mostly produce for industrial techno artists, but work with anyone looking for their apocalyptic and surrealist themes.
"The Music Scene" by Blockhead
Easily one of the most classic trippy music videos of all time, animator and director Anthony F. Shepperd entrances his audience from start to finish. The completely incoherent story line is not a drawback, it's one of the main attractions—along with its full array of fluorescent colors that grace the screen.
"Frontier Psychiatrist" by The Avalanches
Produced to mimic the style of a mid-century American TV show, its actors and style is utterly surrealistic—this video is a trip. Directed by Kuntz and Macquire, the creative geniuses are responsible for other abstract content like advertisements featuring "Skittles Beard" and FedEx's "Carrier Pigeons." If your day needs a monkey drummer, a midget dressed as a baby, a hypnotist, and a old man's head on a turtle—look no further.
"Niton (The Reason)" by Eric Prydz
A faceless and genderless mannequin drifting through an entirely animated and abstract universe—this video shows how it feels to be fully immersed. Hopefully, one virtual reality can give us the same experience this anonymous blue humanoid had.
"Cirrus" by Bonobo
Been a internet lurker in the past 10 years? If so, you have probably seen "Baa" and "cows & cows & cows." Well the same creator for those psychedelic nightmares crafted this video for Bonobo. Strap in your seat belt because Cyriak's signature style of fractals and living organism morphing into mechanical parts will take you for a ride.
"Big Bad Wolf" by Duck Sauce
This video is weird. Very weird. Which is exactly what makes it so enjoyable. Every video on this list has a defining characteristic that makes it unique, and the video for "Big Bad Wolf" is no exception. I won't spoil the surprise; let's let you decide whether this video is the right side or wrong side of the internet.
"Pursuit" by Gesaffelstein
The product of directorial duo Fleur & Manu, this music video channels the aggressive and surrealist elements of Gesaffelstein's dance music style. In an interview, the duo explains that the video is, “a trip through the quest for power, showing the bad aspects of it. Power, money, success should never be the goal otherwise you lose your soul." Make sure to check out the creative duo's other work for musicians, such as Tricky, M83, Etienne de Crecy, Canyons, and Bag Raiders.
"Teardrop" by Massive Attack
Massive Attack's album Mezzanine is filled with ethereal gems like this track and "Exchange." This video tries to give a visualization of what it feels like to be floating in an abstract environment without any perception of time. It was quite controversial at the time of its release due to feature of a singing fetus.
"Around the World" by Daft Punk
Harnessing the style of classic music videos with choreographed dancing, Daft Punk twists making music videos with many features that one might find at a rave or disco. A disco floor up on the wall and people in spacesuit themed outfits—Daft Punk made music to transcend the 90s and the next century.
"Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim
The thought of Christopher Walken dancing around an empty hotel lobby never seemed enjoyable until I saw this video. This song peaked in the UK charts in the early 2000s, but the legacy of this music video lives on today.
"Let Forever Be" by Chemical Brothers
Director Michel Gondry and the Chemical Brothers nailed their execution of making one of the trippiest electronic music videos to dazzle their audience. A classic that first aired in 1999, the video explored philosophical and abstract concepts such as parallel universes and time, space, and shape shifting. The kaleidoscopic abstracts are sure to make your brain question its existence in this dimension.
"Come to Daddy" by Aphex Twin
Aphex Twin helped to build the foundation for modern electronic music with his impressive musical innovation. The director's, Chris Cunningham, work is positively terrifying; barking dogs, fuzzy TVs, children causing a ruckus—don't watch this video late at night. Little girls skipping around to strange songs is more of trip gone bad rather than psychedelic.
"Tiny Anthem" by The M Machine
In a span of just under four minutes, director Chet Knebel & Hal Lee manage to tell a compelling story about space travel, invading aliens, and triumph. The intriguing animation style makes this a must watch for anyone looking for an alternative reality.
Trippy visuals have been associated with electronic music since its birth on the dance floors of Chicago, Detroit, and the UK. The trippiest electronic music videos pay homage to the classics, but still infuse the latest techniques in computer programs and animation to give audiences top notch visual and audio stimulation. If these videos aren't enough for your trippy fix though, be sure to check out these modern trippy psychedelic artists that will melt your face off.