It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2016 quickly approaches we take a personal look back on familiar names, features and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. In what has been a crazy year of highs and lows it’s the releases that have pulled a lot of people through the year. Now in it’s 6th year, Circuit Sweet will be hosting takeovers from the featured artists/musicians/labels and promoters of the site with their personal top 5 releases of the year.
Our annual end of year tradition is where we let our favourites take over the site to tell us the records that have made their end of year lists, their favourite events/gigs and what we can look forward to from them next year.
The next label take over comes from the lovely Didier and Clo of Brussels-based and Brussels-focused DIY record label Black Basset Records. We adore this label, we truly believe they are one of the hardest working and inspirational DIY labels out there and they’ve had an incredible 2016 with release after release, including one you can find in the circuit sweet shop! We love their mentalities and we hand the site over to the pair to find out more about their year in music…
RAD RELEASES – BLACK BASSET RECORDS
It took us ages to compile this “Top 10” (ie our two Top 5s) and we were quite surprised to see how dark it is. Not done on purpose, but it looks like 2016 might have been missing a bit of colour.
Clo – Top 5
Abul Mogard – Works (Ecstatic Recs)
A strangely addictive record, by a Serbian pensioner. After spending his whole life working in the steel industry, this venerable man is trying (and succeeding) in building his very own type of industrial electronic music.
Fall of Messiah – Empty Colours (Holy Roar / Lonely Voyage) –
Saint-Jans-Cappel’s finest ! They have managed to deliver a new album that is as good as « How To See Beyond Fields », 7 instantly likeable tracks. It was a delight to have them in Brussels for the (messy) Mont-Doré release party back in April. And Pierre also bags the « best moustache » award for 2016 – well done!
Aluk Todolo – Voix (Ajna Offensive) –
A French instrumental trio, which manages to be heavy and meditative at the same time.
Oathbreaker – Reah (Deathwish) –
This one is an absolute masterpiece. Just think of it: A Belgian band, playing abrasive and aggressive kind of music has even managed to get reviewed by Pichtfork.
Noyades – Go Fast (SK Records)
A case of love at first sight/ear. Noise-math-punk-trance-you name it!
Didier – Top 5
Bad Breeding – S/T (self-released)
There is nothing new here. Nothing you’ve never heard before. Yet, you will keep coming back it, over and over again. Those (friendly) lads also deliver the goods live. Favourite track: Age of Nothing
Planes Mistaken for Stars – Prey (Deathwish)
It could have been Wovenhand (another quality album) but PMFS (or part of the Wovenhand live band) is back with a jewel of al album.
Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos (Fiction Records)
2016 hip-hop at its very best?
Batushka – Litourgiya (Witching Hour Productions) –
Hailing from Poland, Batushka is a secretive act, mixing black metal, doom and death metal with choirs and other influences from the Eastern European orthodox church. While this might sound absolutely terrible described that way, Litourgiya has hardly left our record player since we discovered it.
Fall of Efrafa (Hallo of Flies Records / Alerta Antifascista)
Not a record from this year, but a big event happening this month nevertheless: Alerta Antifascista is repressing the complete discography of Fall of Efrafa. At last! There is no need to introduce the band from Brighton and its work around the Watership Down novel, and it is good to see that the stupid prices charged for their records on Discogs are now a thing of the past.
The best gig you have attended and why/ or hosted
Didier: The Wild Classical Music Ensemble at Le Vecteur, Charleroi. The Wild Classical Ensemble is a band led by Damien Magnette (also known for his work with noise rock act ZOFT) and made of special needs musicians. Far from all the clichés that might accompany this type of description, the “Wild” delivers its very own tribal transient music. It reached unexpected heights that February night in Charleroi and had me close to tears. Emotional indeed.
Clo: Lysistrata at Festival Beautés Soniques, Belvédère, Namur. A festival. A band you’ve never really paid attention to is going to play before one of your record label’s acts (Mont-Doré). And then a blast: LYSISTRATA. Young, unexpected, incredibly efficient math rock meets classic indie rock. A must-have album and three (very) young men you’ll probably hear a lot about in the future.
Label Highlights of your year
it’s been a busy year for BBR, with 4 full-length releases, all of which we are convinced are top notch quality: Mont-Doré, Billions of Comrades, La Jungle and Atlas. And it’s a delight for such a small entity as ours to see our acts playing more and more shows all over Europe, getting a bit of press attention and enjoying themselves quite a lot. Thinking of it, these 4 releases, all in quite different music genres, are really showing what Black Basset Records is all about: a messy affair but a lot of fun.
Artist/Band to watch for 2017
Didier: La Petite Mort / Little Death – https://lapetitemortlittledeath.bandcamp.com/
A young German band from the Offenbach area. I’ve not seen them live yet but have had incredible feedbacks from the lads in Atlas and Mont-Doré who have both shared bills with them in Germany.
The quality of their EP speaks for itself, and I cannot wait for them to tour this side of Europe.
Clo: Monolithe Noir – https://soundcloud.com/monolithenoir
The electronic solo project of Antoine Pasqualini, based in Brussels (and also known to run the pretty cool Balades Sonores record shop). A new EP will be released in 2017 and we expect it to be really good.