Regis, Silent Servant and Shifted all remix The KVB for a forthcoming Immaterial Visions Remixes 12″ from Cititrax.
Minimal Wave’s next release has them presenting two tracks from Sandra Plays Electronics, the primitive DIY project of Karl O’Connor.
As befitting a month where record companies applied the brakes on their release schedules, December saw a marked downturn in records worthy of inclusion in our monthly feature.
London duo The KVB will release an album on Minimal Wave offshoot Cititrax in late February – with a rather illustrious looking remix EP to follow.
The best compilations act as gateways into a world of music unknown to the listener, perhaps encouraged to investigate thanks to one stray familiar name or some eye-catching artwork. It’s possible that the art of a finely curated compilation might be in danger of being lost on a current generation brought up on the endless musical possibilities of the mix and match download culture, though 2012 showed that there are still plenty of labels willing to invest the time and knowledge neccesary.
Our list of the top ten compilations looks to capture that, drawing on a selection of established labels celebrated for their ongoing efforts in the realm alongside imprint who’ve made impressive fresh steps in this direction, with an overall diversity of musical styles that hopefully reflects our own divergent tastes. It should also be noted that the drastic decline in quality of commercially released mix CDs, no doubt caused by the over abundance of online podcasts and mixes, reached a tipping point whereby we decided to leave the format out of this year’s “best of” coverage.
Next month Minimal Wave will release La Piscine, a 12″ of unreleased material from the Lyon based In Aeternam Vale.
Anyone with a firm grasp of the law of averages would understand that in a month where there was far too many good records, a fair proportion also came wrapped in excellent sleeve art.
Brooklyn imprint Minimal Wave are seemingly in the midst of a flurry of releases, the latest being The Potato Farm Tapes, an album of early material from Canadian producer Ohama.
Minimal Wave will release an EP by the French band Deux next month entitled Golden Dreams.
Minimal Wave will cast their focus over another artist featured on the second Minimal Wave Tapes compilation, with the imminent release of a Felix Kubin retrospective featuring tracks the Hamburg based musician made between the age of 11 and 15.
Minimal Wave sister label Cititrax have just announced details of a 7″ release from ex-Crystal Castles drummer Cam Findlay’s Kontravoid project.
“There are bands that have been acting ruthlessly in the shadow for years, in a completely confidential manner, then one day chance (but does chance exist?) makes you find one of their recordings, listen to it, and at that moment you could kick yourself for not having discovered these soundscapes earlier and you try to find all of them.”
Stones Throw have invited long term artist J Rocc to dig through tracks from the two compilations the Los Angeles label has released in conjunction with Veronica Vasicka’s Minimal Wave imprint for two edit 12″s.
Judging the best record labels in any given year is not an easy task. The necessary combination of established labels reaching their peak and fresh imprints flourishing in their infancy is not an easy one to reach; inevitable comprises in the age old quantity vs quality debate are liable to be discussed ad nauseum. This year’s list came together slowly but surely, and we believe it provides a neat snapshot of all that is good about electronic music right now.
The aforementioned upstarts are visible in force (Hivern, Long Island Electrical Systems) as are their more established counterparts (Clone, Planet Mu, Honest Jon’s). Their combined reach is truly global, with our selected labels based in cities as diverse as Barcelona, New York, London, Glasgow, L.A. and Bristol – their respective rosters have an even broader reach and they collectively touch on too many genres to mention.
Anyone with a finger on or someone near the pulse of electronic music right now won’t need us to tell you the importance of record labels these days. They serve as what Andrew Weatherall describes as a “cultural filter”; the best labels wade through oceans of sameness to illuminate the interesting corners of music, earning our trust and admiration in the process. There are, of course, many, many more labels worthy of end-of-year coverage, but here is the Juno Plus selection of the labels that impressed us most in 2011.