Posts Tagged ‘year-end lists’

Some of the threads from 2012’s web of music

I can’t do a straight-up standard best-of ranking, that’s beyond my capacity, if not entirely against my principles.  What I can do (have done) is to review the year’s shows and indicate a few broad categories that appear to have been important to my sense of the music last year.  (I hope it goes w/o saying that there’s not exclusively 2012 releases on this list, because the show was already running long before 2012 had any releases to its name….)

A Face in the Crowd – These artists seemed to be on everyone’s must-hear list for at least part of the year, and I just joined in the chorus:

Lana del Rey, Poliça, Emeli Sande, Alice Russell (a perennial favorite), Stereo Alchemy, Feist, The Walkmen, Maceo Plex, Andreya Triana, Maya Jane Coles, Chromatics, Nicholas Jaar, Mikky Ekko, Pretty Lights (I tend to like their tracks with a soul/R&B/downtempo tilt.)

Am I All Alone?  These artists didn’t pop up as often, but I found their stuff compelling:

The Weather Station, Sea of Vapours, Blondes, Silent Rider, Antler, I Was Totally Destroying It, Stray Theories, Need a Name, Gelka, Esbe, Stac, Groove Cereal (a number of these I know about thanks to the unceasing good work of Dusted Wax Kingdom.)

Independents — well, that’s a pretty broad stroke these days, isn’t it?  These are just a few I categorize as independents because I know they are self-releasing their material, and they do a great job:

All India Radio, The Warheads, Jeremy Latham/Frequency Storm, Joe Sizzlax, Clive Button (a few names on the lists above probably would qualify here as well.)

Remixers of Distinction – I live for these alternate takes, they provided many of this year’s top highlights:

Soundhog’s RMX of Steve Miller’s Fly Like an Eagle; Jozif’s RMX of INXS; Chromatics reroll of Neil Young’s Into the Black; JBoogie’s moombahsoul touch applied to Gotye’s Someone That I Used to Know and Miguel’s Adorn; Gramatic vs The Beatles for a brand new look at Don’t Let Me Down.

And then, of course, the classic tracks that sound good whenever I pull them out and dust them off — this year brought these treasures back onto the set-lists: Natalie Merchant’s Carnival; Malcolm McLaren’s 12″ extended Madame Butterfly; Massive Attack’s Protection from the 2006 remastered set; if I’m mixing deep ambient, I’m mixing Carbon Based Lifeforms and The Emancipator, count on it; the beautiful New Order tracks like Your Shining Face; Spain’s Dreaming of Love;  Blodwyn Pig, David + David … I could just go on …

I could just go on, but you get the idea, and if you want all the details, the entire year’s worth of set-lists for all 27 shows is available here (most recent shows can be found at the bottom of the page):