It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2018 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 another crazy year of highs and lows- it’s the releases that have pulled a lot of people through the year. Now in it’s 8th year, Circuit Sweet will be hosting takeovers from the featured artists/musicians/labels and promoters of the site with their personal top releases of the year.
As we near the end of 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. Telling us their favourite events/gigs and what we can look forward to from them next year.
The next label
Top 5 releases of the year
Globally an excellent year for heavier music, and although we could have spoken about Listener, Sister Iodine, Svalbard or Daughters, we’ll go for:
GOUGE AWAY – Burnt Sugar (Deathwish)
A highly addictive album, somewhere between screamo hardcore and Fugazi. A case of love at first listen.
FIDDLEHEAD – Springtime and Blind (Run for Cover Records)
Simply because it contains the best track released in 2018: Lay Low
KULTIST – Aurora (self-released)
This one literally came out of nowhere in early November. A Munich band litteraly dropping this little jewel on Bandcamp. No physical release, no digital distribution, no promotion, yet it has been on repeat at BBR towers for quite a few weeks now!
INGRINA – Etter Lys (A Tant Rêver du Roi / Vox Project / Ideal Crash)
Probably one of the best albums to come from France this year. It’s always better with two drummers, isn’t it?
CONJURER – Mire (Holy Roar Records)
An album that manages to mix more or less everything we like about heavier music in general.
The best gig you have attended and why
That’s a tricky one. For pure quality, it’s quite easy: SIROM at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels for the BDRCST festival. I was simply magical. No video available but this one should give you a good idea of what to expect if you are lucky enough to have them visiting your neck of the woods : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f0oSj4iiNU
As far as the “one of those lucky moments” factor is concerned: THE PHYSICS HOUSE BAND playing the Antistatic, the local youth centre in the small town of Tubize. 30 people in attendance on a Monday night, with the band stopping by on their way back to the UK. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XePeusKRzvs
Label Highlights of your year
We only released one album this year: Froidepierre by JEAN JEAN. But what an album that was! It has seen the band or Download festival touring the U.S. with Carpenter Brut and playing big stages such as Arctangent or Dowload France. Oh, and the first vinyl pressing is already sold out. Quite happy with that. Favourite track: Aozora
Our second release was probably a very different one, for various reasons: a two-tracks collaboration between our very own BILLIONS OF COMRADES and CHOOLERS DIVISION, an experimental collective between rock and hip hop gathering 3 musicians, a turntablist and 2 down syndrome MCs. It was recorded in one hot summer day at Rockerill in Charleroi, one of our favourite venues and the result was nothing we expected. The year has been good to both acts too, with BOC touring extensively in Belgium, France and Spain, and Choolers Division hitting major stages such as Les Eurockéennes, Dour Music Festival, Les Transmusicales de Rennes or Pop-Kultur Festival in Berlin.
We also had second pressings for both LA JUNGLE releases, I and II. It was good to see them return to the UK for Arctangent and they keep touring like madmen all over Europe. Switzerland, Croatia, Austria, Slovenia, Germany, Holland, you name it, they’ve played there! And it is not likely to stop any time soon.
Artist/Band to watch for 2019
We are looking forward to the first ALL CAPS show. Although their first EP is recorded and already available, they will only play their first show in February. And our friends from ENDLESS DIVE have an album coming out in January on Luik Records and Voice of the Unheard, so that should be a good shoot of quality post rock early in the year!
Plans for the New Year
We have already quite a few releases lined-up for early 2019, so the new year should prove much busier than 2018. LA JUNGLE is putting the finishing touch to its third album, to be released in April. We will start the year with the release of All’s Well That Ends Well by ALL CAPS, a new duo featuring Rémy from LA JUNGLE and Pierre from MONT-DORE. CHOOLERS DIVISION is currently in the studio working on its first album and we will welcome one great addition to our roster with PEDIGREE, the first album of whom we will release in collaboration with Rockerill Records. Their first demo is on Bandcamp if you want to have an idea of what to expect.
As per we cannot thank and recommend Black Basset Records enough, an honest and valuable label with the best DIY ethos about.