Recap of 2011

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Happy new Year!

Well since the flood of Top-of-2011 is nearly over now, here is our little recap of the Year 2011. Since it has been a year filled with tons of good releases and new discoveries it has been difficult to compile a compact or fair top10 list. So we provide a fast forward recap of this Year’s posts and our own record purchases.

The year started with Machina Muerte introducing itself to us with Isaiah Toothtaker’s Release and Awkward added another entry later on. Sims from Doomtree made a strong point with Bad Time Zoo for being included in our 2011 toplist. Doomtree Member Dessa with Castor, The Twin(full stream – check it out!) and the whole Collective added another great release with No Kings.

Anticon released the new album Rising from Son Lux. He is one of my favorite artists and did the complete album in a single month. Antipop Consortium Member Beans with End it All and 13 & God with Own Your Ghost made it also into the record bag for Anticon.

Son Lux – Rising by Son Lux

A little bit unexpected were the releases of Shabazz Palaces outstanding LP Black Up on Subpop and Aesthethica from the Brooklyn based Metal outfit Liturgy on Thrilljockey.

Baltimore seems to be a good place for making music. Wye Oak with Civilian and Future Islands with On the Water made top entries in many rankings.

Haven’t been much in touch with the Chicago based Kranky Label since As Good as gone by Nudge. This year was characterized by a lot of late night work in different time zones. I guess that were perfect conditions for reconnecting with Kranky’s dense and textured ambient sound. Common Era by the New Orleans Duo Belong and Tim Hecker’s Ravedeath 1972 really blew my mind these days.

belong ‘perfect life’ by kranky

In the very vaguely defined electronica, synthwave ,darkwave, chillwave ,retro- genre  Keep Shelly in Athens really stood out. Together with John Maus’s We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves,  Gold Zebra and Com Truise.

Keep Shelly in Athens – Hauntin’ Me by Keep Shelly in Athens

Fake Four
/ Circle into Square have become leading labels for progressive forward-thinking Hip Hop and I guess you can’t call them “underground” anymore with that artist rooster and a couple of really awesome releases this year. It has the same status Anticon had in it’s early days and it is no coincidence that Anticon co-founder MC Sole works closely with them after he left Anticon. Right now I could simply auto-publish their RSS feed because they release so much good stuff.

Sole & The Skyrider Band – Hello Cruel World is a very good and diverse album in terms of MCs as well as sound.

Astronautalis – This is our Science, is a great live Rapper and also delivers on Vinyl. One of the best Albums of 2011.

In the “stuck in my head” category the  7″ of AanSomewhere’s Sunshine , Laminate Pet Animal by Snowmine and Lofticries by Purity Ring should not be left unmentioned.

Vienna based Comfort Zone Label hat a great output this year with Mika Vainio, Cherry Sunkist and Crazy Bitch in a Cave. And many other Austrian bands made critically highly acclaimed releases like Ja Panik, Kreisky or Deckchair Orange just to name a few.


Life is Live

Of course we saw a ton of great live shows too. Highlights were Astronautalis in Tarbor,CZ, The Cave Singers at Chelsea and Welle Erdball at Szene. Welle Erdball split their show, playing 60mins of new Material and you could vote with a ballot card which songs they should play in the second half. Democratic setlist ftw. And last but not least the superhot and sweaty workout with Future Islands at Arena.

An incomplete list of other bands we enjoyed:

The Twillight Singers,  Wooden Shjips, Laibach, Wye OakAngelspitBrasstronauts, Cherry Sunkist, Dr. JohnPip SkidTrombone ShortySpeed Dial 7 , Patrick WolfMy JerusalemBondage Fairies, Phantom GhostThe ThermalsDum Dum Girls …

and 2012?

First in line are two Austrian releases by Squalloscope and Soap & Skin. We strongly recommend Astronautalis & Bleubird’s European Tour starting in January (Linz Feb 5th, Vienna Feb 6th, Graz Feb 7th, IBK Feb 8th).
Most of the major streaming services like Spotify also started in Austria and most countries of Europe. We will see if the all-time access to music will lead people to discover more artists and labels and invest in them. I guess we will see in 2012 if small labels can survive or even live healthy from streaming revenues and convert those “streamers”  into customers buying music and tickets.

We will also do a little site relaunch but we will simply continue to listen, see and buy good music.

And of course THANK YOU dear readers. At the moment we have a nice 50/50 split between USA/CAN and Europe and we hope we can keep it that way and promote good music in both directions across the Atlantic.

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