It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2019 rapidly approaches and we somehow end this decade- 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 filled with plenty of highs and lows- it’s the releases that have once again pulled a lot of people through the year.
Now in it’s 9th year, we let our favourites take over the site to tell us the records that have made their end of year lists. Telling us their most loved events/gigs and what we can look forward to from them next year.
The next label take over comes from the incredible Charleroi-based DIY record label Black Basset Records. This label keep us well stocked with the best releases and we just love everything about this outlet. This year they also released another one of our personal top album of the year- La Jungle ‘Past // Middle Age // Future’. We’ve seen the label teasing about some returns and having listened to some of their latest additions to their home- we know you are in for a treat. In our final label take-over we hand the site to Didier to find out more about BBR and their year in music….
Top 5 releases of the year
SHIN GUARD – “2020”
I guess a great album is even more enjoyable when you don’t see it coming? I had never heard of this Pittsburgh band before their album was released by Dog Knights Productions and it was an instant hit at home. Probably the most-played album of the year at BBR towers. “Kennedy” is such an instant hit….
MESSTHETICS – “Anthropocosmic Nest”
I have always been a huge fan of FUGAZI and have always kept an eye on anything their former members might be up to. Messthetics features Fugazi’s bass player Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty, which was a good enough reason to give their two albums – released in quick succession – a try. The music does the rest really. And the band is even better live.
LIGHTNING BOLT – “Sonic Citadel”
I guess this band is a bit like a cult. You’re part of it or you simply aren’t. Let’s stay this one was eagerly awaited and did not disappoint!
GATTACA – Monumenty Selhani
I can’t even remember how I ended up on the Bandcamp page of this smashing Czech act, but I can confirm I went back to visit it quite often. There’s that little bit that makes it addictive while out of the ordinary. Music with a message.
GLASSING – Spotted Horse
You have to thank your friends sometimes. This album went totally unnoticed on my end, but a good mate told me to try their Audiotree session. A perfect mix of hardcore and post-rock. I am not sure if it’s what you would call groundbreaking but it definitely ticks all the right boxes!
The best gig you have attended
In terms of set-up and general atmosphere, our best day of the year was definitely the Post In Paris festival at Le Petit Bain in, you guessed it, Paris. A very strong niche line-up featuring the likes of Wang Wen from China, Piscine, Shy Low and Winter Dust, and an absolutely magnificent show by OVTRENOIR. They are one of our favourite bands on record and it was so great to finally get to see them live.
But, when it comes to the pure power of the show, Danish act HEXIS stole it this year. Their show in Charleroi might have been a small affair with only 30 people in attendance on an August week night, I was left flabbergasted!
Label Highlights of your year
I think we keep promising ourselves every year to have a “quiet one” for once, while in fact it is simply more of the same. We had five releases this year by La Jungle, ALL CAPS (two EPS), Pedigree and Choolers Division. A very Belgian year indeed, as all these acts are from Belgium.
We have been astonished by the reception the Choolers Division album got, as it sold out within a couple of weeks of being released, which was quite unexpected as this is a very out-of-the ordinary project indeed (Choolers Division is an experimental hip-hop project with two down-syndrome kids as MCs).
And then, of course: La Jungle. The biggest physical release we have ever done in the history of the label. The band has hit the road hard to support it with 101 shows in 2019. And I guess THAT live show for ARTE TV was the ultimate highlight of the year, together with having their own beer released. A professional multi-cam shooting in one of Paris’s most renowned venue broadcasted lived, that was something. It’s just been uploaded on YouTube by the way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qR995J9SCw
Best discovery this year
I guess it has to be SHIN GUARD, as listed above. Or LYNCH, a very young act Slovenian act that’s definitely worth a try.
Artist/Band to watch for 2020
Probably ITALIA 90 from London, a late-addition to the Rockerill festival in our hometown of Charleroi and an incredible ability to turn a venue upside down in a few minutes. They will be back by popular demand in a few weeks (no joke) and are the ultimate proof you don’t need to be renowned as a band to be the ones everyone will remember.
Plans for the New Year
Once again, this won’t be a quiet one. We are currently working on re-pressing records by La Jungle and Choolers Division. Mont-Doré is back in action and will hit the studio in 2020, just like Jean Jean. And we will be working on a joint release of the new album by French post-rockers L’Effondras.
We will also host our very first label in Paris, with more to take place all over Belgium. It should be a good one.
SO excited to see where 2020 takes Black Basset Records, you’ve released some of our most loved records over the last few years and excited to see what you captivate us with next year…