It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2017 rapidly 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 7th 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.
Continuing our annual end of year tradition 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 incredible duo Didier and Clo of Brussels-based and Brussels-focused DIY record label Black Basset Records. We absolutely LOVE this label, we stand by our previous comments of believing that this is one of the hardest working and inspirational DIY labels out there. 2017 has proved to be a great progression for the label and they’ve had a mighty 12 months filled with must hear releases. We admire their mentalities and we hand the site over to the pair to find out more about their year in music
Top 5 releases of the year
Idles – Brutalism (Balley Records)
This album is probably not reinventing the wheel, but is incredibly efficient and addictive.
Mario Batkovic – s/t (Invada Records)
So, there’s an accordeon player in this list. How unexpected is that? Incredibly beautiful music, it’s as simple as that.
Brutus – Burst (Hassle Records)
This album took its time to come (I think Brutus was listed in my « artists to folllow » list back in 2014 !) but, in the end, proved to be completely worth the wait.
Gnod – Just Say No to the Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine” (Rocket)
How’s this for an artwork ? How’s that for an album name? And I won’t even start with the album contents. Simply brilliant.
Dawn Ray’d – The Unlawful Assembly (Halo of Flies Records)
This one is probably my album of the year. I was already a massive fan of We Came Out Like Tigers but this effort is simply something else. Hard to describe, gripping music, something important happens on this record. It will probably take some time to understand what exactly.
L’Effondras – Les Flavescences (Noise Parade)
A second album for L’Effondras and it just gets better and better. A must watch video : Le Serpentaire
Why The Eye – Why The Eye? (Plynth Records)
An experimental project from Brussels. A must-see live and a strange record indeed.
Monolithe Noir – Le son grave (Luik Records)
If there should be one track to remember from 2017, it surely has to be this one : Profondeville
Gouge Away – Swallow/Sweat (Eighty-Sixed Records)
An epic 7’ by this female-fronted hardcore band from Florida. Which allowed us to discover Dies, their 2016 album which we had missed on last year, but proved an instant hit at BBR towers.
Lysistrata – The Thread (Vicious Circle / Luik Records)
The year started with a La Jungle/Lysistrata split which was released for Record Store Day in both Belgium and France. And it ended with Lysistrata’s long awaited first effort : The Thread.
The best gig you have attended and why
Didier: MONOLITHE NOIR closing the Panorama festival in Marcinelle. A set played completely in the dark, on top of a heap, with an incredible view on Charleroi by night. Magical. Think this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11G0mFJ0r6c – taking place in the dark there:
Clo: CITY OF CATERPILLAR at Kavka in Antwerpen. A band back in action after 15 years, that has never ever played in Europe. You have absolutely no idea what to expect. And yet, an intensity live no one else could match this year!
No video trace of that one show, but here’s a taste of what it looked like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfOoyAQiW_g
Label Highlights of the year
2017 saw our very first participation in Record Store Day, with the release of the LA JUNGLE / LYSISTRATA split, which proved to be an interesting challenge indeed.
We also finally got the chance to work with one of our favorite bands, LISTENER, releasing the first two volumes of the Being Empty : Being Filled 7’ vinyl record series. Watch one of the featured tracks on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6LBIjjxPBo
The Home Electrical, by ED WOOD JR, is actually the only (yet very classy) album we released this year. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuWrOLXyGY8
Artist/Band to watch for 2018
We have probably not heard the end of CASSELS, following the release of their excellent first album in October on Big Scary Monsters, but THE expected big blast should come from SISTER IODINE, a Paris-based noise act which wil release its new album in February on Nashazphone Records. And it’s going to include two tracks featuring Stephen Bessac of Kickback. Not one for the faint hearted!
Plans for the New Year
Well, you have read it here first, we are delighted to confirm that, together with HEAD Records from France, we will release the new album of JEAN JEAN, one of our favourite French acts. Remember them? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUXG9FOe-P0
There is also work in the pipeline with LISTENER and both MONT-DORE and QUADRUPEDE are expected to hit the studio during the year to work on their new albums.