As we mentioned earlier in the week, this Sunday BBC 6 Music and The Hype Machine will join forces to announce their top 25 artists of the year so far in the 2012 Music Blog Zeitgeist. In build up to the show we thought we'd cast out opinions on artists we think have been influential so far this year and there's a lot to choose from. We won't go ahead and list an expansive list of artists 'cos that's what "End of Year" lists are for. Over the coming days we'll give a few honourable mentions and a top 3 of who, as a blog we all have love for and feel have shaped our listening in 2012. Whether it's an album we can't get enough of thus making us all doughy eyed for said creator or the shear work ethic of an artist, if we love it they most likely made this is it. Make the jump to see our first few honourable mentions.
Check back later and tomorrow to see our top picks.
Early in the year the news broke that Death Grips were setting up to release not one but two albums in 2012 after signing to Epic Records. The first of which was titled The Money Store and followed up the well received album Exmilitary from the previous year. The energy and combination of live band and electronic beats intertwining with Stefan Burnett rip roaring vocal delivery are a real treat. The wall of noise hits you like a brick to the face and you can't help but go back for seconds. With this being the first of two releases from the band this year we can't help but be excited for what else they're going to have us listening to by the end of the year. Check out the video for "The Fever (Aye Aye)" below.
Following up his 2011 album PL3DGE, Killer Mike released his ridiculously good album R.A.P. Music in May. The album was a collaboration between Mike and Brooklyn's El-P who handled production. The album is a beast, seriously. Pardon the pun there but opening track "Big Beast" not only showcases Mike's wordplay but T.I., Bun B and Trouble all shine too. The album from front to back is a push pull of creation between El-P and Mike.. There's not a wasted second or filler on here. If the beats don't draw you in the lyrics and flow will. The end result is a well oiled machine sounds just as good on the hundredth play, if not better, than the first. Mike is currently touring the states with El-P and he's sure to continue dominating your web feed for quite some time to come. Check out the epic video for "Big Beast" below.
After a string of solid EPs and remixes, London five-piece Breton took the plunge with Fat Cat Records and released their debut full-length Other People's Problems. The album is a solidly executed first effort that encompasses a wide range of emotional responses and sounds, ranging from more upbeat tracks like "Oxides", "Ghost Note", and "Interference" to spine tingling songs like "2 Years" or "The Commission". You can clearly hear the progression that the band has mad from their EPs to this full length, which makes it all the more clear that the only direction that Breton can head from this direction is up. Additionally, the visual/live element to what they have brought to the table adds even more depth to the music, which dare I say may be the best way to experience the band for first timers. For now, have a listen to "Interference".