2012 has been the strongest year in memory for Canadian electronic pop. Established artists started new electronic projects, amazing new talents appeared seemingly out of nowhere, and one of our shining stars became a superstar recognized the world over. Canada is clearly at the epicenter of the zeitgeist – it’s a testament to the unbelievable talent in this country that we have 100 songs to present to you as the best of the year, and STILL had to exclude so many excellent tracks.
Montreal and Toronto may still have the most representatives of any Canadian city, but dark electro is thriving everywhere, from Halifax to Calgary, Ottawa to Vancouver, and exciting new hotbeds appearing in London, Ontario, and Grande Prairie, Alberta. We’re not too exclusively nationalist here at Silent Shout, so border states (minus NYC) appear too, with artists from Minneapolis, Seattle, and Brattleboro, Vermont making our list.
A huge thank you to all our readers, the folks who attend our events, and the bands that make brilliant music across this land for making 2012 an unforgettable year for us. Here’s to an even bigger 2013 for Canadian electronic music.
50. Kashka – Vichada
44. DKMD – Androide
37. Grapes Godly – I Can’t Remember
There has been so much amazing music made this year. Most of these albums have been on constant repeat at the Silent Shout office since we heard them. If you’ve been following the blog all year our love for these records won’t surprise you. If you haven’t, we can’t wait for you to hear them! There shouldn’t be so much damn agreement in the critical world. We don’t need multiple lists of the same 50 albums in a slightly different order.
11. Hot & Cold – Border Area – Bandcamp
3. Blanche Blanche Blanche – Wink with Both Eyes – Stream
Femminielli – A Que Quieres Jugar
Montréal producer Bernardino Femminielli had already left a significant mark on the Canadian music scene before releasing his third album Double Invitation, having toured as a live member of Dirty Beaches and producing some tracks for Montreal pop-star-in-waiting Jef Barbara. But on Double Invititation, Femminielli has made it clear that he is possibly the best current Italo songwriter/producer in the world. Drawing equally from the camps of Moroder and Gainsbourg, Double Invitation is divided between creepy synthpop singles like “Chauffeur” and “A Que Quieres Jugar” and epic long-form dark disco. Carefully constructed down to the last detail, it sounds so authentic it’s difficult to believe it isn’t from the late 1970s. POBA hereby bestowed!
Stream the whole album by clicking “play” above. Double Invitation is available for sale from Desire Records.
We’ve started highlighting some of our favourite Canadian artists on Berlin’s No Fear of Pop, and this review first appeared there.
No time for a full review yet, but the new Femminielli album Double Invitation is an incredible piece of work, and we’re so pleased that we can share this stream with you.
Femminielli – A Que Quieres Jugar
Chevalier Avant Garde – For Phaedra
Pink Playground – She’s a Mask of You
Automelodi – Ikabe
We’ve been late in writing about this, but the amazing Electric Voice Records released a compilation back in April and it’s well well worth your purchase. You can buy it digitally, or on LP here. Here are a few of our favourites, but really you’ve got to check out the whole compilation, which also includes tracks from Ariel Pink, R. Stevie Moore, D’eon, and Jef Barbara.
Good god. Femminielli, bringing back the purest form of Italo disco. That does it: we’re crowning you Canada’s Italo King. We will henceforth refer to you by your title. The 7″ is coming out at the end of September.
Gold Zebra – Back In The Dust
Montreal minimal electronic pop standard-bearers Visage Musique have released their first compilation, including many unreleased tracks from their impressive roster of artists. Gold Zebra offers up a remixed version of “Back in the Dust,” one of our favourite songs of last year, and it’s sounding fuller and even better than before. Brusque Twins‘ “What Else Is There To Say?” is another obvious highlight, along with “Stone Communcation,” an immaculately produced minimal piece featuring an especially haunting delayed fake flute refrain. We covered that track a month back.
Tony Cops brings a couple of great driving instrumentals to the compilation, the virtuosic Femminielli gives us a breathy narrative over the 10-minute “Hotel Suite” and Police des Moeurs contribute two badass French minimal synthpop tracks. The best track on the release, and an absolute must-hear, is Gold Zebra‘s masterful “Love, French, Better” which we wrote about back in July.
They’re out of free Bandcamp downloads, but they’ve made it available for free download on this other site. A limited run of 100 CDs is also available for purchase, you can contact them through their page.