A Note From The Editor
So, that was 2013 then? I think the general consensus, both for us as a site and for music in general, is that it was a pretty stellar year.
As you can see elsewhere on these pages, we’ve seen a massive growth in the amount we’ve been posting these last 12 months and consequently huge growth in the number of readers coming to the site. In a year where it seems more music sites than ever have gone dark for good it’s most reassuring to find that there’s still an audience for good quality, regular content and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody involved; from the writers and the readers to the PRs, labels and bands: none of what we do would be possible without you.
Enough of the sentimentality, though, and on to the music. What a year 2013 was for great music. I struggle to recall a 12 month period in my music listening career where I have been so regularly floored by the quality of the music I’ve been hearing. It has been genuinely outstanding and inspiring that at a time when the ‘industry’ is struggling people are still finding ways to make incredible, life changing music.
Here you can see our top 40 records of the year. These represent the most voted-for releases from an incredible list of 472 records that the 38 writers who took part felt were good enough to be included as their best of the year. That’s an unbelievable number and reflects both the diversity of our contributors and the quality of music that is being released right now. You can explore all 472 nominations, including finding out who voted for what, by going here.
Before you rush off to see what’s there, we’d just like to take the time to give a few shout outs to some people who don’t normally get a lot of recognition. Namely, those shadowy folk who sit in the background and actually make sure that the music gets from those who make it to those who want to hear it.
On the label side it’s hard to look beyond Sargent House if you’re asking me for a label of the year. Not only have they released slab after slab of greatness this year but you also have to admire and respect the way they go about what they do, from buying a farm in the desert to convert to a studio / retreat to sending their bands out on the road together in carefully co-ordinated tour bundles, they foster a sense of cohesive identity and belonging which extends to their fanbase. They are simply doing it right.
That said, honourable mentions also go to Thrill Jockey, Rocket Recordings, Gringo Records, KScope, Field Records and Bird’s Robe Records in Australia; who have had great years and all deserve props for the quality of their output in the last 12 months.
From my side of the fence I’d like to say a big thanks the following PR people: Ken at Thrill Jockey, Joe at Division, Nita at Goldstar, Rachel at Silver PR and Lauren at Rarely Unable; all folk who consistently go above and beyond to help us out.
On the metal side I know Sander would like to give shout outs to Freddy at InsideOut, Si at iLikePress, David at ViralPropaganda, Dave and Liz at Earsplit PR, Becky at Pioneer Music Press and Stephanie at Deathwish/Bridge Nine on the PR front. Label-wise, Profound Lore Records, ConSouling Records,Deathwish Inc., Indie Recordings, Napalm Records & Burning World Records are all deserving of a mention.
Live music is a key component to the ecosystem we live in and is becoming harder and harder to stage at the real grassroots level, as more and more small venues shut up shop or become gastropubs. So finally, a few promoters who have been defying the odds and have been doing amazing things this year.
In London we’ve had some fantastic nights courtesy of Anthony at Baba Yaga’s Hut, Chris & Mike at Goodsoul and Kunal at Chaos Theory. Looking farther afield Stew & Kerry at Bad Owl in Leeds, Ewen at Pisschrist Promotions in Edinburgh / Glasgow and Marty at Buttonpusher in Nottingham / Derby are doing great things. And of course an extra special mention has to go to James, Simon, Goc & the rest of the Arctangent crew for producing not just the best new festival of the year but one of the best festivals any of us have ever been to.
Anyway, that’s quite enough from us. I’ll leave you be to explore our super-cool, fully interactive Record of the Year list now: click here to get started. Here’s to 2014 being just as good!