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[SKOA Presents] Top Artists of 2012 So Far... Part 2

Tomorrow 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. 6Music has reached out to  number of blogs and asked them to cast their opinions in the build up and we were happy to oblige, after all this year is half way done already. Crazy, huh! Yesterday we dropped some honorable mentions and today we'll present our top three artists prior to the full show tomorrow. We'd love you guys to get involved too so to be part of it all head on over to the official 6Music show Facebook page and hit us up on Twitter @SKoABlog not forgetting to use the hashtag #Blog6Music. Make the jump to see our top three. You might be surprised. Then again, you might not!

3. Teen Daze

Here at SKOA we like to champion artists we really love. Heck, that's why you start out writing about music to cast your opinion and hopefully turn some other people onto an artist you truly admire. Sometimes we don't all feel the same way here in the SKOA family but this artist was one that we all had a mutual appreciation for. Vancouver native Jamison's musical project goes by the moniker Teen Daze and back at the start of the year we featured the young talent in what would be our first in the series of monthly SKOA Mixtapes. We simply couldn't get enough. Lucky for us at the start of June he released the LP, All Of Us, Together and we've had it on heavy repeat ever since. The album is the result of years of experimentation and is a great step towards whatever the future holds. We look forward to that future very much indeed and for that reason we've stuck Teen Daze in our top 3 for the year so far. Check out the video for "Treton" below.

2. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

Every artist would like to say they have a USP but many miss the mark. 26 year old Orlando Higginbottom not only has a pretty awesome name for his musical outlet, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, but he has the goods and this year has been offering up some of the best uk electronic dance music around. TEED was part of Damon Albarn's DRC Music project earlier in the year and we've long awaited a full length release from the talent. He's stated that in making a to make a record that "felt free from the frequent short-lived trends in dance music" and the result came out earlier this month in the shape of Trouble. Did he succeed? Time will tell, but as a package right here and right now, the record plays like a project that's been in the making for years and ha been carefully put together. Each piece of synth carefully placed to complement one another. The project also sees TEED tell a story of heartfelt loss and the woes of life yet the way it's delivered makes you want to go dance away your troubles. For that we are placing TEED at number two for shaping our listening, and our dance moves this year. Thanks, Orlando.

1. El-P

Well, well, well, look what we have here. A drum roll isn't necessary for this artist but got-damn has this man shaped our year's listening. Back in 2010, El-P announced that Def Jux would be put on hiatus and that he'd be stepping down as artistic director to focus on producing and being a full time artist. This year, we've seen this move result in El-P becoming our front-runner for artist of the year. In our honourable mentioned yesterday we slipped in Killer Mike, who's R.A.P. Music is up there in the front running for the best rap album of the year. Seriously, it's that good. That album was the joint effort of Mike and the man we are onto now, El-P. The clean cut production and big beats that pushed and pulled with Mike's word play made for one of the best packaged album this year. That was until last month when EL-P unleashed his first solo record since 2007's I'll Sleep When You're Dead. A re-invention that sees the Brooklyn native come at us all guns blazing and ready to take on the world and take on the world he is.

We saw him run through a rip-roaring rendition of "Stay Down" on Letterman last month and now that the LP has had some time to soak in its production, delivery and just crazy slick futuristic sound will keep us going back for more month after month. The usual suspects don't make guest spots on the release and instead we see Killer Mike, Danny Brown and Mr. Muthafukin' eXquire drop fierce bars. Comical lines from Brown on "Oh Hail No" will stick with you while Mike delivers an angry few in "Tougher Colder Killer". 

Tracks like "Drones Over BKLYN" which we actually first heard last year as part of Adult Swim Singles Series feel as fresh as they did back then. New single "The Full Retard" delivers changes of pace and a bassline paired up with laser noises to have your senses tingling like Spiderman. El-P is having a year to conquer all and we for one at SKOA wish it to continue. Check out the video for the aforementioned single below and doff your cap to our top artist of 2012 so far. We will certainly continue to pump this shit like they do in the future.