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.
Our next take-over comes from such a promising label, Obi Records. We reached out to this incredibly hardworking label earlier this year as we joined forces to stock some special Cassette Store Day 2017 releases put out by Obi. The UK based independent record label are ones to watch, they’re a mysterious entity but driven and dedicated to getting their artists heard on tape. We hand over to Peter and Sean of Obi Records to find out more about their year in music…
Top 5 Releases
Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone – Virgin EMI – 20/01/17
It’s always great when such a wonderful album comes out at the beginning of the year. This is the best UK Hip-Hop I have heard since Hawk House came out with ‘A Little More Elbow Room’. The melodies are chilled, the beats make your head nod and the whole production is smart. Loyle is a very talented rapper and this is a standout album for UK Hip-Hop, with ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed’, ‘The Seamstress’ and ‘No Worries’ being our favourites.
Tinariwen – Elwan – Anti- – 10/02/17
I first saw Tinariwen on Jools Holland in 2004 when they would have been promoting their album ‘Amassakoul’, and they were not like any other music we had heard, we were gripped. We were lucky enough to see them at Glastonbury 2009 and have followed them through their new albums and I think this is one of their finest. They make truly beautiful and captivating music, with pulsating rhythms, searing guitars and chanted lyrics, our standout tracks are ‘Hayati’, ‘Assawt’ and ‘Nannuflay’.
Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog – Captured Tracks – 05/05/17
A beautiful album from an incredibly talented artist, this would probably be our album of the year. Some pretty high standards were set with 2015’s ‘Another One’, and this lives up to all the hype that surrounded its release. It has some gentle acoustic numbers, but for me the smooth, synth driven numbers ‘For The First Time’ and ‘One More Love Song’ really stand out, along with the epic, tender jam that is ‘Moonlight On The River’, this is a must have album.
Action Bronson – Blue Chips 7000 – Vice/Atlantic – 25/08/17
So many tunes, so many shows, so many appearances. Action Bronson has been killing it since we first saw him at the Camden Barfly (RIP) back in 2012. This years ‘Blue Chips 7000’ did not disappoint. Eclectic samples, even more eclectic rapping and the usual suspects on production (The Alchemist, Harry Fraud, Party Supplies) this is a great effort from Action Bronson. He raps ‘I got the world in my hand right now’ on ‘The Choreographer’, and I thoroughly believe him. Choice jams are ‘The Choreographer’, ‘My Right Lung’ and ‘Chairman’s Intent’.
Ty Segal – My Lady’s On Fire – Drag City Records – 07/11/17
Wow. Latecomers to the Ty Segal party, only picking up on him after 2014’s ‘Manipulator’, We were blown away on the first listen. This is one hell of a tune, with a very beautiful, acoustic and vocal only opening section, the some really comes to life at the first chorus. By the time the sax solo has faded out, I’m hard pressed to fine a better crafted and executed single tune this year.
Haze w/ Birthday Card, Milk, Father Demo – o2 Academy Oxford – 18/08/2017
Local boys Birthday Card, Milk and Father Demo supported the fledgling rockers Haze at their headline show at the o2 Academy Oxford. Father Demo opened with their smooth and jazzy Hip-Hop, showcasing some sublime saxophone skills from frontman Will, whilst Milk whipped everyone into a trance, playing some old favourites as well as some new tunes. Birthday Card got the crowd moving, and the rooms was positively buzzing by the time Haze tore the house down with their set. Expect more from all of these guys in the near future and their frequent collaborator, Harvey Frost.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rfbHJdNT7M – Birthday Card
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2nFqmG_M2U – Father Demo
Label Highlights of the year
Our highlight of the year was certainly Cassette Store Day. It played such an important part is getting us on our feet and we got to meet some great people through it. The releases we put out were so close to our hearts and we were really happy with how they were received, and with the final product so a huge thank you to all involved in the music, design, production, the stores that stocked them and the people that purchased them!
One to watch for 2018
We think that things are really gonna start popping off for Old Swing in 2018. They have made great movements this year with the release of two singles (Dark, Someone Else) and played some great shows (The Good Ship, o2 Academy Oxford, AKA), it won’t be long before you start hearing the name everywhere. A new single is lined up and more new music to follow, it won’t be long before you start hearing more and more about Old Swing.
Plans for 2018
It looks like it could be a busy year ahead, but we will try and take it nice and relaxed as we always do. We are really looking forward taking part in next years Cassette Store Day, this year was an absolute blast and 2018 should be even bigger! We have a couple of releases lined up already, including a new single from Milk and new music from Old Swing for people to look forward to and we hope to continue working with some of the outlets (such as Circuit Sweet ) for our future projects. Keep an eye on our social media channels and our website for anything new in the world of Obi Records.
A huge thank you Peter and Sean of Obi Records for such a great feature. It was a pleasure crossing paths this year for Cassette Store Day, your attentiveness to detail blew us away. One of our own labels to watch for 2018, nothing but good things.