Best of 2012 according to Release Magazine
Feb 2013 15

You have hopefully noticed that we have published the Release writers’ Best of 2012 lists (individually this year). Now, all the lists are on line.

Music journalists are usually eager to do Best of-lists like these (which doesn’t necessarily mean that they deliver them in time). After all, spreading the word about the music they like is one of the main reasons they are here. I am not sure all you readers are that eager to read the lists. But I know some of you are, and we hope they serve as a guide to good music, a way of filtering the massive quantities of music. Which is, of course, what music magazines are about.

Many media outlets publish their lists before the year ends; sometimes weeks before. Obviously, the writers have to send in their lists even earlier. This means that anything released in December gets left out, more or less. We want to include the whole year (after all it is called a 2012 list), which means we are probably last in the line but that doesn’t matter.

There is no special order within the lists. It is difficult enough to sort out who’s going be in there without considering if a particular EBM album is number 6 or 7 and should be put in before or after a particular ethereal album. Speaking of EBM, we would have loved to see more hard music in the lists, but to be honest, few really strong EBM/industrial/etc records were released in 2012.

Furthermore, we don’t build a Release Magazine list – one single list. The writers’ tastes are different, as they should be. If you browse through the lists you’ll get the picture anyway. Albums from Grimes, Ultravox, Spark, Dead Can Dance, Orbital, Retronic Voice, Susanne Sundfør and The Birthday Massacre obviously made an impression. Remember that we have to look if the albums are solid from start to end; it’s not enough to have a few strong songs.

Röyksopp’s ”Ice Machine” cover and Henric de la Cour’s ”Grenade” were in several song lists. Newcomers Legend and Trust were all over the place but the artist category was quite empty. The artist category is a difficult one, one we might drop even. In this case we look at the whole picture: record releases, live shows, artistic integrity, choices made and to some extent also record covers, music videos, image and statements. To summarize: everything. With the music as the main ingredient of course. It is always about the music.

We did not see many artists that had a year strong enough for making the artist category. Which of course says something about the current music climate. There are many artists out there and a lot of good music is released but we don’t see as many artists that impress us anymore that go all in and deliver on all fronts.

Which are your 2012 favorites?

Click here for the lists