Do end-of-the-year and best-of lists matter? Aren’t they subjective? Of course they are (!) and while we’re not biggest fans of rankings, we definitely enjoy finding out about others’ perspectives and ultimately immersing ourselves in a year’s worth of new music, unearthing new gems and worthy artists, and assembling it all into a handy list. For this year’s End Of The Year series, we once again asked a number of labels and artists to contribute and share their best noteworthy releases of 2018. With Serbian DIY emoviolence / screamo / ambient / experimental / noise label Confusion Specialist Records led by Filip Stojiljkovic, who we encountered in 2016 via his project EVA RAS, we didn’t make it last year, so I’m really pleased to give you his fresh ‘best of’ roundup, filled by 19 different releases that are surely capable of holding weight and leaving you intrigued and emotional.
2018 was quite busy, actually. I’ve had to keep myself balanced between my school and my involvement with punk rock music. I’ve also gone through several hardships in my personal life, which would shape me of who I’ll be in the future. There are tons of releases that i find really interesting, as well as films and stuff, so i’ll include that right now.
2019 will mark my last year’s involvement in school so, I am both excited and nervous on what i should do next. I am also looking forward to working with people as much i can, put out many releases as possible and maybe leave out some special surprise in that year. I am also hoping that 2019 will be the year of further improvements in society, the discovery of new ideas, and most importantly, for everyone in this world to be happy.
Eva Ras – Proliferation of Broken Dreams
This full length, that is out not long ago, is exactly what i wanted it to be. Made specifically under the DIY ethics, with Placenta Recordings (USA) and Aural Onslaught (UK) taking part in co-releasing. This album is the pure rawness of emoviolence with an experimental twist, with lyrics ranging from personal, philosophical to political topics. Personally, it’s probably the best album i’ve ever done in Eva Ras, yet i am currently working on a few materials under that name, so stay tuned!
sueisntfine – descent from ever giving a fuck
This thing from another project of mine, which also came out this year, is also something that i would be really proud of. With upgraded equipment, it gave me a great deal of access to invent a monstrosity that is this album. A further step away from lo-fi acoustic noisecore to feedback-worshipping cybernoisecore. An epitome of “fuck your rules, let’s fuck shit up”. Dingleberry records (Germany) and Cult Love Sound Tapes (USA) also helped co-release this album. See my music video below.
Stevo Žigon / Chikara – Split
A split composed of my solo PV project Stevo Zigon and a multinational raw crust punk Chikara. Dario contacted me, asking me to join a split and i happily accepted the offer. My contribution with these wonderful people is something that i can *never* forget, especially the fact that they are really hyperactive putting out many many things. You can also read my interview with them on DIY Conspiracy.
An Obsession – no/peace
This brutal excellence by a one-man lo-fi sludgeviolence from Indonesia. 11 tracks of audible assaults consisting only drums and bass. It is so punishing, it is stupidly good. If you are more into the sludgy mess of a sound, then you sure as hell would enjoy this!
Tales About Digits – The United States of Orange Julius
Imagine John Oswald made another Plexure album and amped them up as loud as he could in order to achieve a ‘wall’. Well, this particular piece by Tales About Digits is what i call a piece of art. What this project does is take existing recordings, particularly from pop music, movies and youtube clips. The result is unbelievable. Definitely a more unique HNW artist out there.
This is beautiful. A mix of Godspeed and Twin Peaks might be a bit silly for y’all, but it definitely works. If you get to listen to Inner Space, you’d get the point. Either way, i’d suggest that you wouldn’t sit this one out!
Piet Onthel – demo(lomi)taksupo(mulo)
This new project by the wonderful Mashi Mierul of Singular, Hell is for Sinister, Dizguzted, and Cantilever is a giant fucking earthquake waiting to happen. It rumbles so hard that you’d rather sit and enjoy this beautiful apocalypse. Lomas and Beaus will definitely dig this.
GO HERE to see the full track by track feature for this record.
Floating Woods – Equilibration
What was once used to be an anti-folk has now transitioned into a terrifying emoviolence force from Munster, Germany. Seriously, these guys rip so hard. Even their cover alone had me got into them, it’s obviously an homage to Jeromes Dream. Definitely worth checking out.
de l’orme – de l’orme
The painfully passionate debut by an upcoming screamy hardcore from St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Such high screams are too painful to listen for some, even if its done with a passion. I am looking forward to hearing from this band.
Lost Boys – fun
Holy fucking shit. Loud, unpredictable, chaotic and unsettling. Those are the words that i would like to describe this LP. It is also one of my recent orders from my pal Dingleberry Records and i would gladly say that it remains in my vinyl collection. Even the cover choice is clever enough to trick you into thinking it’s a “typical hipster shit” band, only to get fucking decimated and devastated. A must have in 2018.
Virtue of the Vicious – Oneirophobia
This blackened hardcore quartet from Belgrade, Serbia is unbelievable. I have seen them live at least twice, especially the latter where i get to perform as WAAS, along with Smet and Radost-stradanje (The Joy of Dying) to help promote their latest EP. They are incredible. ‘Oneirophobia’ had me in every way. Dark, heavy, hard and downright evil. 4 brutal blackened hardcore assaults and an interlude close the EP together with a sinister dark ambient piano closure. Never forget.
KLS – Powerviolence
An experimental punk trio from Benicarlo have released their 7″ last spring. And let me tell you, this release is so fucking lit. A powerviolence-influenced noise rock, a la old Health, The Locust, The Kinetic Crash Cooperation and Trencher come to mind. Shit’s crazy, short and off-the-wall. I definitely think this stuff deserves to be mentioned in this list.
Ground Zero – Levitations in Suffering
A long-awaited material of Novi Sad’s crustcore is heavier than ever before. I honestly have never heard of something this hellish. Even this artwork is disturbingly beautiful. Definitely an AOTY. Make sure you check this out, share it and support the band. They deserve it!
Yotskry – S/T
The Bremen style hardcore with the likes of Carol and Orchid was brought in Eastern Europe. This 7″ is tight as fuck! And to have so little supporters on their Bandcamp page is not only downright criminal but really sad! They definitely deserve to be recognized.
The Voices – Light and Weirdness
An avant-garde a capella solo project of Paolo Ferrante. He records about 10 or more tracks of different layers of voices (hence the project name) in order to create his own arrangements in various styles such as classical music, heavy metal, hip-hop, techno, yadayadayada. With that being said, it’s extraordinary, it’s unpredictable, it’s weird and most of all, very well thought out avant-garde music.
Mrtvi – Negative Atonal Dissonance
Wow, what a fucking game changer! Two tracks of pure metallic dissonance and a third track that will shatter your delusions forever if you pay enough attention. This album will shut down any naysayers that doubt its creative efforts. Damjan is a genius, i tell y’all!
A Forest of Stars – Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes
This fine fellow from the UK plays black metal… Victorian style! Honestly, it’s so wonderful it’s ridiculous. Honestly, i thought the first band that approached this style was Aspenshire (definitely the most difficult fucking name to remember), but they were not authentic enough to impress me, until these guys came out with their new album, which definitely blew me away. The biggest reason why this album is AOTY.
Dosis Letalis – Scales of Justice
Another awesome release by an equally awesome HNW artist from Serbia, Dosis Letalis. Last year, I have put out his work ‘Beneath the Surface’, which have been sold out quickly and i am proud of that! Needless to stay, this release is easily my favorite. Especially with that rad artwork. Dosis Letalis is so prolific it’s lit. Plus, shoutout to an amazing label Librarion for helping make this release come true!
Pop Tektonism – Noisy Poppy (Lost Recordings 2009-2011)
This particular project based in Oslo, Norway contains 7 tracks that were recorded around 2009 to 2011, later compiled together in one album. Weird, psychedelic, hypnotic, glitchy experimental pop music. The lyrics themselves are pretty personal, concerning about pansexuality, putting heteronormative love to the test, male identity and so on. This is rather an enigmatic experience. I dare you to try it.
Phew – Voice Hardcore
Seriously, you better not miss this album. A real fine piece of avant-garde by the most legendary icon herself. It consists only her voice manipulations, let alone falling under the “Voice is the original instrument” movement. If you like Diamanda Galas, Anne Gillis, Joan La Barbara, you might *love* this!
I would like to thank Karol for having me in this write-up. I couldn’t be happier to be here. And shoutout to all the people who have worked with me all the best and wish you the best for 2019! Y’all are awesome!