Packed with high-quality independent releases from hundreds of noteworthy artists from all around the world, 2017 has been a prolific period for new music and many alternate takes on various styles and moods we had been used to. From numerous powerful hardcore records, through countless experimental, post rock, and post metal offerings, to numerous indie and emo gems, the ongoing, multi-faceted list of our guests’ favorite records of the year turned out to be an eclectic one, and so is the newest addition below, brought to you by the tasteful mind of Marcus, founder of lifeisafunnything, a small, but prolific and well-tasted emotive hardcore punk vinyl label from Hof, Germany. Here’s what he delivered.
Hmm…2017!? It is over now. And I’m late. As always.
Karol asked for some kind of resume of the last year and my top records. Those things are always hard for me, but let’s give it a try! First and foremost i want to congrulate Karol and his Wife and wish them all luck, fun, power, love and patience with their new family member! And i hope Karol still got enough time to support all this little Bands and Labels the way he did it before…we can’t thank you enough for that Karol!
Personal, hmm, how can I say? It was just another year. Good things happen, bad things happen. People come, people go. By getting older you slowly learn to accept things like this. Enjoy the good times and try to not get drifted off course too much by the bad things (or at least not too long). Things that sucked happened, like other labels just being the totally opposite from what they are try to represent to the rest of the world in the media world. But there are highlights too of course: Get to know good people, nights of dancing around, discover great music and as every year: those good good days at Fluff Fest!
If it comes to lifeisafunnything, the past year was the one with the fewest releases since i started this label. That was definitely a good choice, way less pressure, stress and thoughts. I won’t do a ranking releases, cause they are all my Babys and, that’s a great side effect of slowing things a bit down, i’m really fully proud of every single release i did in 2017: Started with the THIS TOO WILL PASS 12″, continued with the SHAKERS 7″, the ARROWHEAD / FOREVER LOSING SLEEP 12″, the KISHOTE 12″, another ARROWHEAD 12″, the SORE EYELIDS / Факел 7″, through the ERAI 12″ which was the final release in 2017. All that Bands fit nicely together, even they got their very own style. Hmm…yes..im very proud of those records! A little look into the future: next up are the new BONEFLOWER 12″ as well as the debut 12″ by NEVASCA! I also might the reach the catalogue-number 50….my head is already in heavy rotation for what special thing i could do then!
Now comes the cool thing. My personal 2017 Charts. I couldn’t limit myself on five records, so i did the Magic-Top-Ten! Here we go:
10. CITYCOP – THE SAME STORIES THAT NEVER GET OLD 12″ (Small Mammal Records)
I bought their first EP (felt) ages ago without knowing anything about them. And it was a blast. They are so different and i love the way they are gone since then. Sadly the Emo/Screamo-Scene does not honor musical diversitiy…so CityCop is slept on by the most since years!
9. SEE THROUGH DRESSES – HORSE OF THE OTHER WORLD 12″ (Tiny Engines)
Sweet sweet Indie-Rock, Post-Punk, Shoegaze or whatsoever. This record feels so timeless, you couldn’t tell if it is 25 years old or the newest shit. “Pretty Police” is one of my Top 3 Songs of the last year! So melancholic…and it reminds me so much of “2late”, one of my favourite The Cure Tracks!
8. RANK / XEROX – M.Y.T.H. EP 12″ (Adagio830)
Give me 5 Beers, Cigarettes and a place to dance to this kind of music. Dark, challenging and impulsive Post-Punk.
7. CITIZEN – AS YOU PLEASE 12″ (Run for Cover Records)
A grower. My first impression was, that this is the usual Emo-Pop-Punk-Stuff i listened to much 15 years ago. But with every spin this record shows more deepness and finesse…especially the second side is outstanding!
6. GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR – LUCIFERIAN TOWERS 12″ (Constellation)
I got a big problem with every new record by GY!BE: They are simply not “Lift your skinny fists…” or “Yanqui U.X.O.”! And i guess this band will never reach the quality of those masterpieces again. And i always feel a bit disappointed…just discover weeks later that it is still pretty good. Not “Lift your skinny fists…”, not “Yanqui U.X.O.”…but pretty good.
5. TAPESTRY & COMA REGALIA – OUR LAUGHTER UNDER CERULEAN SKIES 9″ (Dingleberry / Middle-Man / Canopus Distro / Pointless Forever)
Tapestry is just pure Emo-Gold. I love everything they recorded so far so much! If they read this: I will a do a split 7″ with you and Nevasca :D That would be an Emo-Monument! On the Flipside is Coma Regalia and honestly i did not like anything they did so far. Too chaotic, too erratic. But they surprise me on this one with an interesting Mix of Ebullition-Style-Screamo and a noisy edge that reminds me a bit of old Sonic Youth.
4. PROTOMATYR – RELATIVES IN DESCENT 12″ (Domino)
It took me a lot of time to get into this one. It’s like this music is hiding itself, doesn’t want to be with you. Dark, diverse and, yes, bulky and exhausting. But then there are those moments of light…when suddenly everything becomes so warm, so melodic…just for a moment. Great record.
3. TRACHIMBROD – LEDA 12″ (Zegema Beach / Through Love)
They play in their own league from the beginning! It is scary how perfect they are and that they are so outstanding in what they are doing. You feel where their roots are, but they seem to ignore every single scene-limitation.
2. MAKTHAVERSKAN – Ill 12″ (Luxury / Run for Cover)
How much i love Makthaverskan. Not only the music. The whole thing. Their Artwork, their attitude…it all seems to go hand in hand totally natural. They could start a Riot with a Lovesong. They are political in a Song about a broken hearted girl. It might sound a bit overpraised, but the only other Band which painted such a picture in my head was The Smiths!
1. CIGARETTES AFTER SEX – S/T 12″ (Partisan Records)
First of all: Listen to this on Vinyl! Really! This record is total escapism. A beautiful dream. In cotton packed melancholy. So stripped-down, so bittersweet, so perfect. If i ever smoke pot again in my life…i will do it with this record!