I admit, I’m now probably going against an article that appeared on these very pages, but I’m a girl, so I can get away with it, right?:) I’m not a chauvinist or a feminist, I’m just glad that these days you can be a man, woman, dog or an alien and make whatever strange sounds you wish – as opposed to let’s say the heavily segregated nineties. From Maria Minerva‘s Estonian retro-dance, to Fatima Al Qadiri‘s oriental chants, to Laurel Halo‘s nod to Detroit and Chicago grooves or Stellar Om Source‘s esoteric electroid beats to Julia Holter and Motion Sickness of Time Travel outthere sounds.
I’ve been rediscovering Eastern Europe since 2010 with the Easterndaze project. Trawling the streets of Bucharest, discovering concerts at Skopje’s Baazar, talking to musicians in Poznan, Košice or Gdansk and realizing that the region I was born in actually is pretty exciting and the music that has been emerging from this part of the world definitely needs to be heard and seen. See for yourself here.
With the inevitable return of the nineties, it’s no wonder that voguing, an underground performance art practiced in New York’s dinghy dens, has experienced a comeback too. Azari&III have embraced the voguing heritage in music, in performance art it’s for instance Trajal Harrell’s jaw-dropping piece (M)imosa inspired by the ever-brilliant documentary – which I’ve re-watched several times this year – Paris Is Burning. Hell, there’s even a new book about the subject.
Tapes are no news in contemporary independent music scene. The format is cute and cheap and thus it’s no surprise it’s become a middle-ground between those who want a physical release but can’t afford a vinyl. This year, several tape labels have come to the forefront – at least mine. NNA Tapes is one and the Polish Sangoplasmo is another.
The comeback of techno has been inevitable. The interesting thing about the resurgence of house’s cooler sister is that this year it has been made by producers you would usually not associate with this dance-floor oriented genre (or is it only that it has just been finally discovered by hipsters?). And the semantics of techno have obviously changed too. What for me is now techno, might not sound like techno to you. Container, Vatican Shadow, Diamond Catalog, Innercity, Regis (one from the old school) have been making it for me this year.