28-12-2012 | 17.11
European musicians who want to give their own take on African music usualy tend to ruin it. Their own take often means: straightforward and clean, after their own rules. This year Mark Ernestus (Maurizio, Rhythm and Sound, Basis Channel) did something I considered impossible: he produced two EP's together with musicians from Senegal, as exciting and wild and as beautifully sounding as music can be.
Talabot really proved himself this year; he did a splendid pop album, his remixes were standout hits, his deejay sets got better and better and together with Pional he brought live pop-to-dance-to, to this summer's festivals
Juju & Jordash
A few weeks ago, I found myself sitting next to Juju & Jordash in the train to Amsterdam. I told them I felt their album was one of the most exciting of the year, so now I feel kinda obliged to put it in this list. But truly, it is really good. They told me their record is almost sold out and that Rush Hour has only a few copies left. Just so you know.
At the end of spring I saw Julia Holter perform at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. At sunset she played her wonderful pop and it was exactly as good as her album Ekstasis. Songs in perfect shape, fragile as porcelain.
The moment I saw Legowelt was missing in the Top 20 best live acts of Resident Advisor, I stopped reading. Maybe the RA guys didn't see him perform, that would be the only proper excuse.
I did see him play, this summer in Trouw, after a night of Koze and Lawrence in Trouw and a day of Joy O. and Ben UFO at the Lentekabinet. Legowelt's set was like a far out dream and when I heard The Paranormal Soul for the first time some weeks ago, I started to remember bits of it.
In a way 2012 was Pachanga Boys' year. I found their album rather dissapointing, but their fully Pachanga styled deejaysets were epic. Time, Legs, Poem for the Youth, the soundtrack of a bright and happy summer.
936 by Peaking Lights was my favourite album of 2011. It sounded like an everlasting sun, tubes full of echo and songs in the key of love, and in 2012 Peaking Lights still exactly sound like this. I could say 2012's Lucifer, isn't as magical as 936, but that already would be moaning. Above all things I hope Peaking Lights' Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis stay in love forever.
I didn't listen to the radio a lot this year, but I this year's mainstream pop seemed rather rubbish to me. Because of guys like Timabaland and Pharrel, watching MTV was nice sometimes, a couple of years ago. Nowadays MTV doesn't play videos anymore, and if they would, it would probably be terrible. I like pop and I like dance music, but their modern combination is awful. EDM, it sounds like nothing.
I'm not sure whether Disparate Youth was a big hit this year, but it was my hit of the year. If we go, we go together, is the motto, a line that fitted 2012 perfectly.
Maybe it was because of certain stores or maybe it was because of my image of underground pop, however: I was sure Seth Troxler was not my kind of deejay. Until I actually heard him play, at Melt festival. Troxler played precisely zero bassline-pop records; instead he played excellent techno drowned in melody.
I'd like to be a rebel, but here the mass is right: Seth's crazy. He plays excellent tracks, in a even more excellent way. At Melt he achieved something that I held impossible before, he continued Mathew Jonson's (who played before him) exctasy and made Laurent Garnier look like a long departed chagrin.
Sinkane is Yeasayer's drummer and at very special days he's part of the Caribou Vibration Ensemble. This year he released his third album Mars on DFA, a care-free pop record. You can dance to every track, and for the deejays Daphni did an edit of Runnin'.
This sounds a lot like The Beatles was my first reaction, the moment I listend Tame Impala's Lonerism. Right now I couldn't care less about this similarity in sound. Earler this year Alex Scally of Beach House made the following statement in an interview.:
“Writing about us, people have said: "Do we need another album by this band?" What the fuck is that? That only matters if you're just listening to sound. It's this pathetic era we're in where people are like, "I'm done with them, I need a new sound; I'm a baby, I need something every five minutes." A lot of people listening to music now don't listen to the songs at all. They just go, "Good tones…" and that's it. But we're obsessed with songs.”
He's right. Anyhow, Tame Impala's Feel like we're only going backwards is my favorite song of past year.
Text: Luc Mastenbroek