BEST OF 2012 – SWEDISH ARTISTS CHOICES (PART 1)

 

My “best of 2012″ is coming to its end. Last words to some Swedish artists I love. All of them answered three questions from mine about:

:-) What they liked in music this year, especially within Sweden.
:-( What they did not like in music this year, especially within Sweden.
N.) Their favourite Swedish newcomer.

Let’s start today with Mattias Alkberg and Calle Olsson, two members of the-still-alive-I-guess glorious band the Bear Quartet (even if the adress of their official website links now to a Chinese website…). All the members of Riddarna give us also their feelings about this year. And to end this first part, Avi Roig, who is not Swedish but knows more about Swedish music than most of Swedes: He stopped his blog It’s a trap in 2012 (aften ten years of hard work blogging) ; I thought it was fun to have him in the Absolut Noise best of as well.

Tomorrow, part 2, with some other great Swedish artists…

 

Mattias Alkberg (MATTIAS ALKBERGS BEGRAVNING and THE BEAR QUARTET)

:-)  7 Svåra år - “Storma varje hjärta”
Skator - “Vita Kalla”
Dispose/Kranium - “Distort The North”
Utbrott - “Det kalla halvåret”
Neneh Cherry & The Thing - “The Cherry Thing”
Anna von Hausswolff - “Ceremony”.

:-( Any artist who participates in reality shows in TV4 of Sweden automatically degrades themselves to filth and deserve no respect whatsoever, no matter how good they were prior to that. No one mentioned, but, well, you know.

N.) Records by KönsförrädarePaperDet sönderslagna örat, a lot of punk rock and myself.


Calle Olsson (PADDINGTON DCPAPER and THE BEAR QUARTET)

:-) Best of 2012:
1. Music Box (me and Christian Gabel having a club and making music together)
2. Framtid ”Cellkontroll”
3. I started to build myself an EMS VCS 3-clone called Phutney.
4. My friend Daniel Araya finally got himself some Buchla modules.
5. I expanded my System 100M.
6. I recorded 20+ songs with Paddington DC, two cassettes were released.
7. We recorded some new Vernichtung material. Split with one of Johan Öhman Sollins band.
8. Rumpeln played an excellent show in Munich and I had the opportunity to attend it.
9. Paper on a short german tour.
10. Paper’s new song titles.
11. The music Elsa plays on the synths/piano or sings. especially the lyrics. Very strange lyrics indeed.
12. Bob Hund: “Det regnar och brinner” from their latest album “Låter som miljarder”, their best album so far, especially side B.
13. På månen, label
14. Periferin, label
15. Zeon Light, label

:-( Worst of 2012: All the dumb Swedish rightwingers. I suppose some of them own musical instruments so everything they played.

N.) Framtid ”Cellkontroll” (from the label På månen).

 

RIDDARNA

:-) The Gothenburg music scene. Still going strong. Meeting some new friends on the road. Vånna Inget and Knivderby, to mention two of them, are great bands that we’ve played with and who’s music we’re listening to more and more. Our friends Odyssey released their furious debut album this year. Good stuff. Refused playing live again. They did some really good shows this year.

Three sweet non Swedish albums off the top of our heads: Tame Impala – “Lonerism”, Baroness – “Yellow & Green” and Jeff The Brotherhood – “Hypnotic Nights”.

:-( In Sweden: almost any song being played mid day on any of the national popular radio stations.

N.) Then Comes SilenceThe Last TendrilsÌxtahuele.

 

Avi Roig (IT’S A TRAP)

:-) I liked a lot of new music in 2012, but there was far, far less that I loved. Aside from a small handful of standouts, I think I spent the majority of the year listening to 2011 releases I wasn’t yet sick of (see: Grande RosesMatti Bye & Mattias OlssonRisingKite) and/or exploring older stuff like The Klinik, The Chameleons and For Against and also all the awesome old Finnish postpunk LPs that Svart Records has been reissuing. But, like I said, I did love a few albums and here they are in alphabetical order:
Agent Side Grinder - Hardware
Diskoteket - Det ska se ut som slutet
Nitad - Rastlös och vild
Norra Kust - s/t
Susanne Sundfør - The Silicone Veil (from Norway, but by far one of the year’s best albums)
Tvärvägen - Staring Directly Into the Sun

EPs/singles:
Beastmilk – Use Your Deluge (from Finland, but like Susanne above, this is another standout favorite)
Henric de la Cour - Grenade (best video of 2012 too)
Magnus Ekelund & Stålet - Supernova
Rättens Krater - Stora stöten
Vånna Inget - Jag sky fly tills jag hittar hem (one of the best live acts I saw too)
Westkust - Junk EP

Other good stuff, from elsewhere in Scandinavia and beyond: Arktau Eos, Burning Hearts, Cairo Pythian, Christian Mistress (RIP!), Ekman, Linea Aspera, Naomi Punk, Tamaryn, White Lung, Wreathes, Vatican Shadow + local punx Crude Thought and Vex, neither of which have proper releases out yet but are both totally ruling Lastly, two excellent 2011 releases I didn’t hear until 2012: Rome – Die Æsthetik der Herrschaftsfreiheit The Present Moment – Loyal to a Fault

For a Spotify playlist with all of my available Scandinavian picks and various runners-up, go here.

:-( Besides the fact that a number of great labels and blogs decided to pack it in this year (myself included), my biggest complaint for 2012 is how overwhelmingly mediocre so-called indie music has become. There’s far too many boring bands grasping at wider audiences when they should be concentrating on becoming a solid local act first. Needless to say, I spent far too many hours this year listening to the most tepid, uninspired bullshit.

N.) Alina Devecerski, by a longshot. “Maraton” is my favorite pop record of the year.

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