As the countdown to the end of 2014 quickly approaches we take a personal look back on familiar names, features and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. Circuit Sweet will be featuring the featured artists of the site with their personal top 5 releases of the year.
In our end of year special we let our favorites take over the site to tell us the records that have made their end of year lists, their favorite events/gigs and what we can look forward to from them next year.
Continuing our annual tradition, the lovely Didier Gosset of Brussels-based and Brussels-focused DIY record label Black Basset Records let us into his favourite releases of the past 12 months and the last year working hard with such a truly inspirational DIY label. Black Basset Records are a label we urge you to discover, the releases and acts they push are up there with the best.
Top 5 releases of the year
For once, I am very grateful for my short memory. As I am not narcissistic enough to list our own releases (I should, they are definitely worth checking!), I”ll go for:
Mantar – Death By Burning (Svart Records)
Now that one litteraly came out of nowhere and what a shock it was. I received the vinyl record from a German friend who was staying at mine but I had never heard of the band before. His only comment was that these guys were local to him and that I might like the music. A first look at the cover made me fearful of yet another average black metal outfit with a terrible (German in this case) accent. But what I got was one of the most addictive record in recent years. I can remember listening to “White Nights” 12 times in a row, it’s that good. These two guys are so powerful they make quality racket for five!
Theo – “Theo/Loom” (Barely Regal Records)
That one was scheduled to be one of the best debut albums of 2013, it was so badly delayed it was only released in the summer this year. But it was 100% worth the wait. Theo is the solo-project of Sam Knight. A video is better than any other kind of explanation – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMElwTzf4KU
Acres – “Solace” (Small Town Records)
If you only need one reason to love this EP, go and check Peninsula: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5TgilwKfCo
. Once you are convinced (and you will be), just go and see them live to prove yourself how right you are.
Sleep Beggar – “Me Leaving Me” (Moshtache Records)
A project discovered by accident at Arctangent festival. I still do not know exactly what hit me that day. I just wish there were more than 4 tracks on this record, because listening that much to four tracks only is becoming a bit ridiculous now. Oh, the guy singing is Bastions’ frontman by the way.
Fall of Messiah – How To see Beyond Fields (Uproar for Veneration Records)
A jewel of an album, if only because of the idea behing it: to put in music what growing up in a small rural village meant to the band’s members. A brilliant piece of instrumental music ranging from atmospheric tracks to chaotic spurts. That’s album of the year material in our book!
The best gig you have attended and why
Listener + The Tidal Sleep + Atlas + Depths in Aarschot: I list all the bands because it’s the whole line-up that made it such a brilliant night. U.S. talk-rock Listener were their usual magnificent self, even turning technical problems into a memorable moment, The Tidal Sleep delivered a demonstration in sheer intensity while the funny “black mass” approach of Atlas proved an instant hit. A sunny day, a decent crowd, a cool venue, and four cool shows all in a row, could you really ask for more?
Label Highlights of the year
2014 was our first full year in existence (the label was launched over the summer of 2013).
It goes without saying we did not really know where or what we were heading for with seven releases under our belt. With the end of the year now in sight, suffice to say we are delighted with how 2014 went: more than 160 shows in 14 countries for the Black Basset Records bands and some very memorable nights indeed, from Castles’ UK tour to Mont-Doré playing atFluff Fest in the Czech Republic or Thot crazy tours in Central Europe including a show in a disused railway station in Slovenia, it’s been a crazy and busy year.
There have been so many things happening that we would not have dared to dream of when we started: Billions of Comrades on national TV, our label nights being hosted by very established venues in our hometown in Brussels, lots of interest from all over Europe and even one of our bands (Castles) being nominated as Belgian pop/rock act of the year for a national, awards ceremony. It’s so much more than expected, especially for a tiny DIY operation like ours.
Artist/Band to watch for 2015
If we are only allowed to name one, it has to be Quadrupède, the French electro/math rock/post rock / you name it duo whose upcoming EP we will release in early December. T O G O B A N was mixed by Matt Calvert of Three Trapped Tigers fame and is, simply put, a fantastic album. The band will tour extensively accross France, Belgium and Germany in December but you should hear about them even more in 2015.
Plans for the New Year
Well, new releases of course! There’s the Quadrupède EP coming out in December, as I said. We also have an announcement coming soon about the release of the new EP of an established French band coming out somewhere in March, which should please fans of Quadrupède, Jean Jean and the likes. It’s also a very badly kept secret that we hope to work in 2015 with Eletric)Noise(Machine.
With Billions of Comrades, Mont-Doré and Castles all currently working on new material, it should be another busy year.
We also would like to put a focus on bringing music where it is less expected, with projects such as concerts in prison or around art exhibitions and happenings. There are more ideas in the pipeline in this regard, which should materialise soon enough!
Thank you so much Didier- we cannot thank and recommend Black Basset Records enough, such a great year for the label it can only get better.