For me, 2012 will officially be known as Kontravoid-year. The sounds, the concept and the vocals – everything clicks right into place. This is a truly great album: daring and innovative; I have just kept on listening to it all year long.
What, even more great stuff from Canada? Must be something in the water. Is there any best of 2012-list out there without Grimes? There is something in her music that just make it appeal to such a wast mix of different people.
Portion Control: “Pure Form”
Ah yes, as always I turn to this band when I want new, hard, interesting electronics. “Pure Form” delivers, as always when it comes to new material from these guys. After 30+ active years, they still explore new landscapes.
Various Artists: “Dögrävardisko – En samling svensk elektronik 1980-2012”
At last someone started to release old rare Swedish electronic stuff on vinyl. The label is called Dödsdans and started off with a massive box: three cassettes, 72 songs (mostly unreleased tracks from both new and old acts) released in just 150 copies. Geeky as hell, but I love it.
Miami Nights 1984: ”Turbulence”
Outrunelectro also grabbed my attention in 2012. And in this world Miami Nights 1984 have grown to be my favorite. Just by always providing good songs, beats with just the right amount of laser, neon and wet streets in the night.
Who would have guessed that the small reunion tour some years ago would result in a new album that sounds like a natural follow-up on their classic album from the 80:s, without sounding old, but rather retuned to fit the sounds of today. Indeed brilliant.
Spark!: ”Hela din värld”
Spark! have gone from doing really catchy EBM into a more bodypop sound, adding a softer side in a genre where far too many just assumes that harder is better. Doing daring stuff often results in a more exciting result; this is no different. Party, dance and enjoy.
The Pain Machinery: ”Restart”
Doing EBM with a classic Belgian touch, this is a band that deserve a big audience. Adding a new touch into the world of EBM; it’s energetic, it’s hard and it’s catchy as hell.
Frida Hyvönen: “Terribly Dark”
Whoa. I have heard Frida Hyvönen before, but this song just has something that makes me listen to it over and over. It’s got dark lyrics, great vocals and as a bonus, a cool video.
The Magnetic Fields: “Andrew in Drag”
When it comes to writing smart lyrics, Stephen Merrit stands in a league of his own. This was a favorite from the start; a catchy pop tune clocking in a 2:13; but hey, that’s a whole 133 seconds with a smile on your face.
Anna von Hausswolff: “Mountains Crave”
I still listen to her first album so when this first single was released I knew that I soon would have another great album to indulge in. Her voice is great to begin with, combined with church organs just lifts it up another level.
Gotye feat. Kimbra: “Somebody That I Used To Know (Miami Nights 1984 Remix)”
This was a killer track from the start, but the first time I heard this (then unofficial) remix I got goose bumps. His Sting-sounding vocals combined with the 80:s tunes from Miami Nights 1984 just showed that sometimes 1 + 1 = 3.
25 000 hipsters. In a park in central Gothenburg. With 3D-glasses. And the 3D-stuff actually looks cool. Truly a show to remember.
The Kingdom of Evol
A church in the middle of the night turned out to be the perfect location for this suggestive, dark music. Tracks like “Demons” and “Machines” take over the space, demanding your total attention. We nod and obey.
Such professionals, never missing the small details, and playing all the hits, but managing to make room for the new material without the show slowing down. Just amazing.
A very nice post-punk act; keeping a firm grip on the classic soundscape, still allowing a new fresh touch. Released a double A-side single this year, followed by a live EP, and now we are all waiting for the album.
Electro-pop-indie-R&B-tronica. Dreamy, chilly and oh so very cool.
Great blend of chillwave and outrunelectro, and Swedish none the less. Impressive debut “Black Waves” is out now on Rosso Corsa Records.
A great album, ”Jag är inte rädd för mörkret” (just outside my top 10) and on the last day of the year a new strong single ”Inget kunde röra oss”. These guys just continue to grow, but keeping their fans on their toes, not knowing what will happen next.
The live shows, the new album, these guys are better than ever and still sounds fresh and vital. Another album please?
She pretty much owned this year, getting attention from everywhere, and deservedly so. An interesting trip into the mind of Claire Boucher that hopefully will continue in 2013, and 2014, and 2015…
15-track Spotify Playlist with tunes from the Album and Song categories