Top 10 Netaudio Releases of 2012: Part 2

5 / Woodspider – In The Thick Of It

Woodspider - In The Thick Of It

Is it anarcho-folk, freak country or acoustic punk? I don’t know, but Woodspider make a glorious racket. It features bellowed vocals, scraped violins, and acoustic guitars strummed apparently by scissors. Underneath all the racket though is a delightful sense of song-writing, mischief and rock and roll excess.

Download: Bandcamp

4 / Ohsaurus – Unendlichen Himmel

Ohsaurus - Unendlichen Himmel

You may have guessed by now that we like a bit of Ohsaurus around these parts. This release, from the prolific artist, is one of about 19 he’s released in 2012. Obviously, it’s difficult to pick one as the best, so I went with the “pin the tail on the donkey” technique! This release is totally what you’d expect from The Big Oh – it’s funky, instrumental hip-hop that’s so cool it could freeze a T-1000.

Download: Bandcamp

3 / Kadasarva – Steamagination

Kadasarva – Steamagination

Okay, I’ve just realised this was released in December 2011… but it doesn’t matter. This is an awesome release of pounding trancey synths and beats. This is old school analogue trance-house given a 21st century digital makeover. The whole thing throbs with sexy, e-powered, unrelenting energy.

Download: Ektoplazm Netlabel

2 / Corrupt Autopilot – Oh No!

Corrupt Autopilot - Oh No!

I love Corrupt Autopilot. This is pure garage rock and roll, filtered through with hints of gothic Americana. More boisterous than their previous (also excellent) EP, this is chock full of great riffs, fuzzed guitars and drawled lyrics. It rocks. Go listen.

Download: Bandcamp

1 / Talk Less, Say More – England Without Rain

Talk Less, Say More - England Without Rain

There was only one contender for this position – a netlabel release without parrallel anywhere. In fact this is the best record of the year, period. It hasn’t been off my MP3 player since it was released.

This album doesn’t contain a duff track, a bum note or a single foot wrong. It’s perfect.

It redefines and reclaims pop music as a genre – begone you Simon Cowell generated karaoke-bots, begone you factory assembled hit machine girl bands! This is original, electro-pop music as a work of art, something that is lovingly created, rather than cynically, synthetically packaged.

This album absolute pings with imagination, creativity, wit and it’s impossible not to get excited by that. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, read all the other reviews on the webpage.

Download: Records On Ribs Netlabel

Top 10 Netaudio Releases of 2012: Part 1

So December is here, 2013 is almost upon us. First we have the Season of Good Will and Obligatory List Making!

I’d like to begin by saying, there is no way that this list is comprehensive or objective. There have been thousands of netlabel and netaudio in 2012, and I’ve listened to a couple of hundred. Also, the list is purely based on my own musical preferences.

Anyway, the point is I heartily recommend these to you all. They are all free to download, all great listens, and if you haven’t got them already, go and get them and listen to them!

We’ll be back next Friday with the Top 5!

10 / VA – FWONK*100

VA - FWONK*100

Okay, you’re probably thinking this is a bit biased, and you’d be right. FWONK*100 represented our 100th release, and was a summation of the talent and creativity that has accrued within Fwonk* over the past four-and-a-half years. It had everything from industrial metal, to ambient drones, to synth pop and our first classical contribution from Eivind and his room-filling, home built MIDI pipe organ.

Download: Fwonk* Netlabel

9 / The Ghost Of 3.13 – The World Isn’t Here

The Ghost Of 3.13 - The World Isn't Here

The Ghost Of 3.13 originally burst onto Sociopath Recordings with this album, now available on Bandcamp. This is ambient, electronic glitch-hop from Romania. As the name suggests, there is a ghostly, ethereal glow throughout the album, even on the low down and dirty glitchy, crackly hip-hop numbers. It sends shivers down the spine, even in the heat of summer.

Download: Bandcamp

8 / Muhr – Hantises

Muhr - Hantises

In a similar vein, this is spooky European glitch-hop at it’s best. Throbbing saw-basses glower menacingly, guitar loops echo and fade. Distinctly melancholy and threatening, this is a downbeat trip into the dark-side of an upbeat musical style.

Download: Camomille Music

7 / Electrocado – The Shepard Tone

Electrocado - The Shepard Tone

This is a huge, pounding EP of sparkling synths, throbbing dubstep, rock, glitch, hip-hop. Pretty much every musical style of 2012 is present in this album, and it makes for a non-stop adrenaline rush. Only one word of warning – this would be far higher up this list without the guitar solos.

Download: Ektoplazm Netlabel

6 / Snailking – Samsara

Snailking - Samsara

Snailking are a stoner-doom-metal three piece. These three songs are smothered in the finest trappings of the genre – wreathed in a cloud of bongsmoke, down-tuned guitars, growling vocals and a tempo that’s so slow, it’s almost in reverse. This is like listening to Kyuss put through Paul Stretch. Love it!

Download: Bandcamp

Netaudio / 50

Büromaschinen- Welcome To Büromaschinen

Büromaschinen- Welcome To Büromaschinen

As the name Büromaschinen suggests, this is electronica with a distinctly early 80s, Kraftwerk inspired feel, though there are touches of funkier 80s Miami Vice style rhythms. It’s a great, fun listen, but it never moves out of it’s “80s cop-movie soundtrack” groove.

Download: Upitup Records

Cavalerra feat. Joaquin – Spectrum

Cavalerra feat. Joaquin – Spectrum

Everyone’s favourite German minimalist techno netlabel celebrates 2012 with another outstanding release from their long standing contributor Cavalerra. This is effortlessly cool – pads whoosh, beats pound and percussion clicks.

Download: Broque Netlabel

Ghryzly Atoms – Cassandra Complex: Episode 1

Ghryzly Atoms - Cassandra Complex: Episode 1

Quite an oddity this – it mixes almost Tool-esque post-rock guitar parts mixed with hip-hop beats, trip-hop samples and oceans of psychedelic delay. Unlike this weeks other two releases, this definitely ploughs its own furrow, but whether it is as successful an EP is more subjective.

Download: Archive.org

Netaudio / 49

Various Artists – Still CCycho After All These Years

Various Artists - Still CCycho After All These Years

This compilation celebrates the 5th birthday of the Rec72 netlabel (an anniversary we will be celebrating here at Fwonk* in the New Year!) with an LP crammed with new instrumental, electronic and ambient music, filled with bleeps, filter sweeps and crackles.

Download: Rec72 Netlabel

Georgina Brett – Breathe & Tease

Georgina Brett - Breathe & Tease

Breathe and Tease is one 26 minute long track by live-looping artist Georgina Brett. The looping of vocals adds an immediate organic quality, and the track owes as much to Gregorian Chant or Arvo Pärt as it does to electronically generated ambient music.

Download: Ethereal Live Netlabel

Ornitology – Drownedsun

Ornitology - Drownedsun

A welcome return to action from Italian master of the ambient drone Ornitology (aka Andrea Scevola). Drownedsun is a three track EP of ghostly ambient tunes coated with a crisp, wintery frost.

Download: Bandcamp

Netaudio / 48

Lost Twin – Birds

Lost Twin - Birds

Lost Twin is the work of Seville born, Brighton based beatmaker Carlos R Pinto and it’s mix of off the wall ambient weirdness and instrumental hip-hop is a delight to the ears. It manages to be relaxing and funky at the same time. Lovely stuff!

Download: Bandcamp

Fiction City – Here On Earth

Fiction City - Here On Earth

Fiction City brings us just a single track, but its a cracker. Here On Earth is an ambient track filled with great squelchy acid grooves and relaxed beats, and choir pads. It’s quite a retro affair, but if you imagine The Orb, Aphex Twin and Enigma having a jam session, it would probably sound like this.

Download: Circles & Lines Recordings

Bath Aide – Salts EP

Bath Aide - Salts EP

Subtle and melodic by Sociopath’s usual standards, this 4 track EP is a blast of classic-Warp infused IDM and drill and bass. Smooth pads, twisted beats and pulsing basslines give you everything you need.

Download: Sociopath Recordings

Netaudio / 47

Hello and welcome to our first netlabel – or as the title more accurately suggests, netaudio – round-up since our FWONK*100 blow out! Why the change to netaudio? Well I think it more accurately reflects our changing times – in the current era of Bandcamp and Soundcloud, an act or band can get their music on the internet without needing the resources of a label (i.e. web design, hosting etc.). Does that mean that netlabels serve no purpose in the modern era? I don’t think so… but this is the subject of an entire blogpost to itself. On with the music!

Corrupt Autopilot – Oh No!

Corrupt Autopilot - Oh No!

We featured Corrupt Autopilot’s previous album Inside The Crystal Palace back in May, and that’s album’s had a lot of rotation on my iPod since then. This new EP takes the fuzzed up Americana and gives it a garage rock and roll kick up the pants. Love it!

Download: Bandcamp

Chooko – Brain Dust EP

CChooko - Brain Dust EP

On the Kreislauf netlabel comes this squelchy, funky, drippy instrumental electronic hip and trip hop EP. Stunning production, funky beats and glorious melodies abound.

Download: Archive.org

Various Artists – Tiny Robots

Various Artists - Tiny Robots

From the Kahvi Collective comes this mammoth compilation – 29 tracks, 185 minutes – from a whole range of their artists, across multiple genres, from ambient, IDM, big-beat and more.

Download: Kahvi Collective

Netlabel Music / 46

Electrocado – The Shepard Tone

Electrocado – The Shepard Tone

A stunning mix of glitch, psy-trance, hip-hop, dubstep and more this album is simply extraordinary. Funky, sharp, full of analogue synths, it encapsulates pretty much every electronic genre you can think of and totally owns them. This thing sounds phatter than your maternal parent’s derriere – it’s an absolutely HUGE sounding record, and with an extraordinary 4,500 downloads and counting, get this one today.

Download: Ektoplazm Netlabel

mike.curtin – Indecisive Euphoria

mike.curtin - Indecisive Euphoria

Indecisive Euphoria is an instrumental, polyrhythmic, math-rock EP from multi-instrumentalist Mike Curtin. It often sounds like a mix of Mogwai, Dillenger Escape Plan and Primus, and to my mind, that’s a very good thing indeed.

Download: Bandcamp

The Barber – Last Rebel of Civil War

The Barber - Last Rebel of Civil War

The Barber burst onto Bandcamp with this stunning seven track EP of chaotic hardcore punk. Fast, brutal and with all the impact of a terminal velocity brick to the teeth.

Download: Bandcamp

Netlabel Music / 45

Almeeva – EP#2

Almeeva - EP#2

Owing a huge debt to the Gilmour/Bono guitar delay sound, and featuring minimal, almost hard-house stomping, percussion, this EP still manages to produce huge swathes of variety, tension, atmosphere and motion through it’s instrumental post-rock jams.

Download: Bandcamp

VA – Denmaaahhrk

VA - Denmaaahhrk

The wonderfully, and consistently wonderful netlabel aaahh records brings a compilation created by the label through the amazing process of renting a huge holiday cottage for the label and their artists and spending a week with the artists all together, jamming and creating. Sounds like an idyllic process, and the recording is every bit as delightful to listen to.

Download: aaahh records

The Lights Galaxia – Another Infinite City

The Lights Galaxia - Another Infinite City

The Lights Galaxia present us with a full length album of ambient electronica, featuring mellow vibes, and gentle, pulsing rhythms. I find that ambient music can reflect the seasons particularly well, and this release is a sun drenched day on a quiet beach with only the distant seagulls, gently lapping surf and your mind for company.

Download: Luxus-Arctica Netlabel

Netlabel Music / 44

Ophed & BroodingSideOfMadness – Passing Through Nature To Eternity

Ophed & BroodingSideOfMadness - Passing Through Nature To Eternity

The Etched Traumas netlabel is a new one on me, and this is their most recent release: a haunting, reflective split/collaborative EP from Ophed and BroodingSideOfMadness. Inspired by the sensation of loss, each artist develops their own themes which then gel together into a whole EP.

Download: Etched Traumas Netlabel

Galería Disco – Tenue EP

Galería Disco - Tenue EP

The excellent Columbian netlabel Monofónicos returns with another of their trademark blend of minimal-techno / deep-house EPs with a latin swing. There are three smooth yet hot dance floor numbers, and each has its own accompanying remix.

Download: Monofónicos Netlabel

Björn & Gorden – Autumnica

Björn & Gorden - Autumnica

Melodic and subdued, this lovely EP from Headphonica features electronically manipulated guitars and vocals, with clicky, glitchy beats. It’s almost twee enough to appear on an advert for a faceless, heartless multinational corporation, but remains eccentric enough to ensure that is never a possibility.

Download: Headphonica Netlabel

Netlabel Music / 43

Analogg – Scrap Head

Analogg - Scrap Head

The instant you hear Scrap Head, you immediately know that it’s German. That’s not meant as a criticism, as is bass heavy tech-house with elements of dark ambient music, dub and disco. And it’s all rather good.

Download: Hippocamp Netlabel

Sustainer – Cromosoma

Sustainer - Cromosoma

Sustainer brings four tricks of gorgeous low-key ambient glitchery, with all the requisite electronic clicks, hums and buzzes, but with a warm sumptuous melodic quality. This EP is nothing short of stunning.

Download: Archive.org

Charts & Maps – Dead Horses

Charts & Maps - Dead Horses

This was a completely random find, and I’m astonishingly glad I found it. Charts & Maps play a kind of jazz-fusion/math-rock that Frank Zappa used to make look easy. That’s not to say it is easy, but these guys and girls sound astonishingly good – all exceptional musicians capable of dealing with odd time signatures and bizarre tonal shifts without batting an eyelid.

Download: Archive.org