In the last year, Kannibalen has been the source of some of the most merciless dance music to find its way onto the pages of Metrojolt. Founded at the very end of 2011 by Montreal’s Black Tiger Sex Machine, Kannibalen started the last year off killing it. The entire post-apocalyptic theme of the label is something few could do without becoming gimmicky, but under the direction of the guys from BTSM, they seem to have pulled it off. Kannibalen put together a roster of some of the hardest up and comers in Canada. Dabin, Apashe, Karluv Klub, Dooze Jackers and Kai Waichi are just a few of the members of the Kannibalen team that caught my ear in 2012.
GND is another of the handful of labels releasing music which commonly gets called future techno. Future Techno, Techno Nouveau, Electro-Tech — whatever you want to call it, GND release it and they do a bad ass job at it. In 2012 we heard some undoubtedly future grooves from The Sneekers, Turbo Turbo, Hoshina Anniversary, Shadow Dancer, Jagerverb and GND’s founder, S-File.
Sharooz’s label, La Bombe, is another you can’t miss if you regularly poked around on Metrojolt in 2012. From Indie Dance to pounding techno, La Bombe had us covered this year. Their releases from Vails, Surrender!, and Les Tronchiennes were some of my most played this year. We also can’t forget the stunning guest mix we received from Sharooz in November.
In the last year I’ve probably posted more tracks that came from Bad Life than any other label. Bad Life was formed by autoKratz after leaving the French label, Kitsune. When I first encountered Bad Life at the beginning of the year, they seemed to be a label all about future techno. Following in the footsteps of the great English labels that came before them, Bad Life is now about the simple idea of releasing really good tracks. While they’re still one of the labels providing the backbone of the future techno sound, their releases like Swim’s ‘Ride’, ‘Saturday Night Ate Our Lives’ by Whitey and all of the brilliance coming out of Petite Noir, prove they’ve got a lot more to offer the world than future techno. In the last year Bad Life gave us two unforgettable guest mixes from artists Blatta & Inesha and Attaque. From a conversation I had this morning with autoKrat, Russell Crank, I can assure you Bad Life is only going to get bigger in 2013. Check back soon for the full chat!
Brainfeeder might straight up be one of the most important record labels of all time, and they haven’t even hit their peak yet. I have seen only brilliance and innovation from them since their inception, and 2012 has been a particularly productive year for the whole Brainfeeder crew. They have proved time and time again that they know what real music is and can be, and strive to provide it to the public in the most personal and meaningful way possible. With The Gaslamp Killer explosion, Until The Quiet Comes, Jeremiah Jae’s take on hip-hop, Beeple’s video art, and a whole slew of other accomplishments, it would simply be incorrect not to mention Brainfeeder in any list of labels.
For more info on dirtybird, check out our HARD summer spotlight.
Electronic music has gotten really wacky since it’s meteoric rise in popularity. The amount of tools available to producers now is staggering, and something I personally value very highly is a label that can tame the vast wildness and collect a wonderfully eclectic group of innovative, unique, and accessible artists. That’s exactly what Proximal did in 2012. They took in both Wake and Sahy Uhns among others this year – both hugely unique, accessible, weird, and phenomenal. Tastemaking is an important part of the new face of electronic music, and we’re very lucky to have labels like Proximal at the helm.
The Metropolitan Jolt has a special thing for Belgian techno. There is no way we couldn’t include our favorite source for our Belgian techno fix — Lektroluv Records. In the last year we heard the conclusion of Mumbai Science’s stunning trilogy Unified Theory, ‘Cycle’ from Boris Dlugosch, and huge EPs from Modek, Mightyfools, John Roman, Jagerverb and Sounds of Stereo. We also grabbed a nifty guest mix and interview from Modek.
If you’ve spent much time on this website in the last year, you know there is no way we could conclude this list without a substantial mention of Boys Noize’s label Boysnoize Recs/BNR TRAX. Their discography from the last year spans most every niche of dance music that doesn’t blow. Strip Steve’s ‘Astral Projection’ was one of the catchiest indie dance numbers of the year. On the other end of the spectrum, Asykan’s debut EP, Late Night Jemz, was brilliant techno too future for all but those born in a spacesuit. 2012 was a big year for Metrojolt and Boysnoize Records. They were the source of our latest guest mix from Mixhell and we even got in two interviews with the man himself.
What a great year for techno. It’s been really exciting to see all the new brands of techno coming out a la Bad Life/BNR/Lektroluv, but it warms my heart every time I hear a hugely classic yet modern sound come out of Desolat. They pretty much own the most innovative people in techno/house, from label head Loco Dice to tINI to Carl Craig to DJ Sneak. All of these people are pretty much masters of groove – and in a world of increasingly static dance music it’s always nice to be reminded of the infinite, all-powerful groove that attracted people to house music in Chicago and techno in Detroit back in the day. Another major thing I love about Desolat is their consistency. I can click on just about any Desolat release on Beatport and know that I won’t be disappointed – while I know the type of sound I’ll be getting, I am always surprised by how modern all of the 2012 releases have been. While a bunch of the artists on the label have paid their dues and been hailed as legends of their genre, they continue to innovate at a surprising rate. Big ups to the whole crew – looking forward to another groundbreaking year.