2012 has been an interesting year for me, your friendly internet pal Chris Big Money. A real learning experience for me, and I believe I have finally started to come into my own with my musical identity. I have always liked to take in a deep variety of musical observations and left winged musical expedition, even if I may contrast certain groups of people, it’s always observation I take in stride. I realize more and more each year how involved of a choice it is to make music in today’s day and age. I am also thankful to have discovered each of you through chance encounters with others. It’s nice to see our paths cross.
What you have here is a highly eclectic group of electronic musicians that I know in person or online, that I have associated with throughout the year. Some of you I have partied with, some of you I have gotten to know better through our online interactions, and some of you I have known for while and watched you grow over your years of making music. Presented together, we have a varied cast of varying electronic music styles/genres, which is how I like it. You’ll find all kinds of music ranging from well calculated house music, warped anime inspired hip hop, ambient music, EDM, witty nerd core hip hop, ominous and sometimes forboding night time sound excursions, deeply thought out concept music, highly focused progressive-house, and a couple fun party music tracks.
I hope each of you mentioned in this post will take honor in being showcased in my year end review, I take inspiration from each of you. Feel free to connect with one another too, each of you offer something to the table that I wish bring you much deserved recognition. Whether you’re involved in a specific music scene or if you’re just simply trying to leave something for people to know you by, you’re in my best graces. Cheers to all your hard work. Let’s begin.
-Chris Big Money
In alphabetical order:
Appletrack is a character I know through Dior Sentai, whom resides in Canada. She makes very colorful and often avant grade flavored hip hop beats, which often intentionally don’t make sense directly. I am paying attention to my buddies whom have released music in a body/album, and I think her effort “Thunderdome” deserves recognition. I wish I would have done a review on this earlier, but late is better than never. Each track being named thunder “something” really throws your head around wondering what’s to come next in a highly unpredictable whirlwind of thunder. I hope miss track keeps releasing such joys like Thunderdome, it’s an honor to be a part of Dior Sentai with such talent around. Keep up the babble rap. :D
Benjamin Bear- Wizard
I have been an acquaintance of the nerd core hip hop scene for a few years thanks to the introduction from Quartz Relic of Magitek, whom I have worked a day job with for several years. BBear is a witting and charming fellow who has profound wizard powers and is a sorcerer in Ableton Live amongst the arcane magicks subjected in his wizard raps. BBear discovered me through some of my work I posted online and shared with Dior Sentai, I soon learn that BBear has been releasing various albums and tapes for years, either solo or as a part of the Emergency Pizza Party crew. I’ve been enjoying your wizardry BBear, we aint got no time for no bitch azz magic right? P.S. Rammstein concerts rule.
Damian Daviid- Towers of the Apocalypse Soundtrack
Damian has had an eventful 2012 year, being a DJ spinning the darker side of electronic music ranging from deep house/techno, witch house, and tastefully picked disco/electro. Damian is also an accomplished pianist and producer of many years, whom I cite as someone who directly inspired me to begin my Chris Big Money project. We go back to when I had my own studio apartment in my high school years, we have kept touch over the years and we attended Coachella 2008 together, a weekend where both of our very lives changed. I have reviewed/remixed Double D, a couple of times. This year outside of frequently uploading DJ sets and making people dance to his meticulously (D is so meticulous to paint his entire room black and scrape off the drips of paint from his room’s ceiling and paint it black!) curated selections of artful DJ mixes, Damian also took on a soundtrack assignment for the videogame “Towers of the Apocalypse.” I was expecting an ambient soundtrack sort of deal, however the songs simply titled with letters, really showcase a more rhythmically pleasing and melodically grim soundtrack to a game which really seems like it could be the sign of the apocalypse. He joins the ranks of electronic music legends like Daft Punk and The Chemical Brothers whom have also made monumental film soundtracks. I anxiously await the new Cellar Doves and Damian Daviid releases whenever they should surface.
Dior Sentai- Sentai Knights
Working with Dior Sentai is quite an experience. Being personally invited DS leader Toy Trains, I am honored to be a contributor of Dior Sentai’s mission to spread kawaii and create presence by assembling together in large numbers. A widely spread out internet rap (but not strictly) crew of MC’s, visual artists, producers (including several highly talented female beat makers), and musically adventurous “weirdos”, you get no shortage of music. Most members of Dior Sentai are highly active online, frequently releasing various mixtapes, albums, beattapes, and more. Frankly, all the DS crew are very entertaining/connected tweeters who understand social media and their wits really make logging into Facebook/Twitter a fun thing to do. If you’re into warped, often highly experimental hip hop music with a forward thinking aesthetic, an overt fondness of cats, and some clever one-liners, then Dior Sentai maybe for you. I have three tracks on their 2012 compilation Sentai Knights, all exclusives to Dior Sentai.
Electric Type- The Ghost In The TV, Supernova, ARC 017, E.T.
I have known Electric Type since the tail end of the myspace days, where I contacted him after seeing a post he made online. I’m happy I did! Me and E.T. have watched each other consistently release music over the years (I have remixed him 3 times) and I finally bought a plane ticket to Pittsburgh, PA to meet the Electric One after he invited me to a Triple Threat show with Sachem Orenda and ServersDown, both mentioned in this post. While E.T. isn’t playing minecraft or training pokemon or making his own unique brand of techno, he’s either working on his novel (yeah he’s writing a book!), or doing his weekly podcast “The Technopod” with Type Rider talking about independent video games, techno (DrumCode releases particularly), and scouring Beatport for more techno tunes. Bottom line, E.T. stays busy. It’s an honor getting to finally meet my friend of 3 years, he’s a huge Chris Big Money supporter and he even introduced me to Luke Bredin whom I have hired to mix/master my last two releases being 2011’s “Ultra Sinewaves EP”, and 2012’s “Money Beats.”
Download Electric Type’s albums (all free!) here:
Marcus Var- From Within
Marcus is a funny guy and an individual I know through a mutual friend I have played some gigs (in the rock band Love Destruction) with and occasionally go to shows with. Around the beginning of 2012, right when I went on vacation to St Petersburg in January, I started getting a barrage of text messages from Var the Ninja. Some people would change their numbers or block him online, however I think it’s nice to have someone to talk to at odd hours of the night. I don’t have to walk on eggshells around Marcus, and that’s a really good thing to have around, so of course I’m going to support my friend. Var has actually been making electronic music on his Korg Trinity keyboard since the 90s. Marcus also assists me in my music videos often, we have three video collaborations to date. Around the latter end of the year, I took the opportunity to help Marcus release his long forgotten tunes of yesterday onto the internet in a seamless presentation which became his first album release, a double album entitled “From Within.” The music itself leans itself towards ambient/piano driven downtempo music, which I used to overall vibe of the music to sculpt From Within. He had given to me his highly treasured discs of his music (the only remaining copies of his songs at the time), trusting me not to lose them. So, I presented him From Within about 2 weeks later, and give him back his CDs. Marcus also likes to frequently share his favorite EDM, rock and pop videos to his Facebook friends. His enthusiasm and support is infectious, we even got to meet M83 after lurking around their tour bus for a few hours after their show, an art that has literally died out today. Ninja starz dawgs.
MC Wreckshin- Dubstep Is Magic
I have seen Wreckshin perform around my city of Orlando for years, however the birdcore didn’t hit me until I started partying with him and his roommate Jeff MK later this year. Always a good time on a Saturday night over there. Wreckshin is quite a fearless bird warrior, he often raps about bath salt zombies, bowling, shining shoes, Worms Armageddon, and how is the emperor of dubstep. His lyrics are very clever and very nerdy, which are very delightful, silly, and most importantly very entertaining to listen to. His live shows are also quite engaging, nowhere else can you get the second best, he’s a staple to Orlando’s enterprising Nerdcore scene. He’s also recognized as the “2nd best rap artist” in Orlando Weekly! I downloaded “The Second Best Mixtape Ever” a couple years back to discover one of the most hilarious songs I have ever heard, being boldly titled “Show Me How To Blow Dudes.” Now I wanna do the birdcore dance. :)
Download here: http://scrubclubrecords.com/free-music-albums/mc-wreckshin-dubstep-is-magic/
The Prince of Space- Nox Urget
Sebastian is an individual I met through Damian Daviid, when I visited Providence, Rhode Island to see Sacred Objects (one of Damian’s monikers). Sebastian is a talented producer/MC whom is sometimes abrasive but very earnest in what he does. His lyrical delivery reminds me often of Mike D of the Beastie Boys, but don’t tell him I told you that. Musically he is a bit eclectic however his release which struck me the most this year is Nox Urget. The story behind Nox Urget is even more striking. Intended to be a full on beats/lyrics record, Sebastian apparently lost his vocal takes originally from the record (from what I remember him saying), and decided to release Nox Urget as an instrumental piece. It became a happy accident of sorts where the forboding darkness which shrouds Nox Urget became very fitting for late night driving on a chilly night. It’s so dark it doesn’t even seem appropriate to listen Nox Urget on a rainy day, it is very strictly a night time record. Sometimes this kind of focus makes things for the better, I look forward to more Prince of Space in the future. It was really fun to hang out with the Prince when he took a trip with his family to Orlando in the summer this year. Cheers mate! NOX!
Sachem Orenda- Apology for Popular Music and the Nihilistic Demiurge
Sachem is the kinda guy who puts a lot of thought into what he does with his music. Inspired by legendary industrial musicians such as Tim Skold and Martin Gore, Sachem often tackles philosophy, existentialism, and a little bit of hedonism in his lyrics and world music with his works. Sachem also is well seasoned in programming beats and playing live guitars. I was asked by him to write a review of his album before it’s release and I gotta say. It was a very involved job to create a review for such a mind boggling record. Why would someone apologize for popular music? Sachem’s style and vocal approach can take some getting used to but it’s also a real grower, I enjoy Sachem Orenda’s observations quite often. I got to meet Sachem as a part of the Triple Threat show back in September in PA. I’ll say this, the dude is fucking PRESIDENTIAL.
ServersDown- Future Times Four
Brian is someone I got to meet when visiting Pittsburgh this year (Triple Threat). We have gotten to learn more of each other through our sometimes involved conversations on twitter, our exchanges over this year’s presidential election really stirred up thoughts/opinions at least on my end. However, we have both acknowledged that we may not agree on politics, we are both strong and mature enough to show good gestures of sportsmanship, which is something I highly cherish and respect. Musically, I view ServersDown as a genius. His music is very peaceful and amazing to listen to at an airport. Future Times Four is a very focused EP (apparently it’s his first EP too!), which I have listened to frequently since September. The selection of moody soft synths, mellow basslines, calculated drum programming, and washes of cloudy sounding reverb really make this a approachable record for the skies. It’s focus is quite consistent, and I believe it’s a strength I wish I possessed a little more at times. Definitely for fans of producers like Avicii, Kaskade or Calvin Harris, I think anyone who likes a mellow four to the floor action will dig ServersDown. I want to hear Future Times Eight now, keep those servers up man.
itunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/album/future-times-four/id556689028?v0=9988&ign-mpt=uo%3D1
I played a show with Xovos around April while I was enjoying my last week as a student at the University of Central Florida. Xovos specializes in mind-twisting dubstep/industrial with a flair for the color black. He is also the “Archangel of Electronica” His drops are very beefy and nasty, but there is also a very delicate classical twist to ambience found on tracks like “Doleful Droll.” You can also see Xovos frequently doing videos for his songs, he’s an avid fan of Dexter and even has a video inspired by the tv show. Xovos also isn’t afraid to lend his own vocals to his productions, they are often very whisper-y and a bit withdrawn in a very flavorful way. Kind of like Chino Moreno (particularly on the song “Xalted”), in his darkest of times. I seem to connect well with musicians that have a fondness of black and darkness, and I don’t mind this one bit. Good to have you around Xovos!
Albums from people I don’t know personally that I liked this year or records I listened to at least more than once this year. Thanks Spotify! (some are old albums but recent discoveries for me)
Death Grips- The Money Store + Exmilitary + No Love Deep Web
Purity Ring- Shrines
Com Truise- In Decay
Joy Division- Unknown Pleasures + Closer
New Order- Technique + Power, Corruption & Lies
Sleigh Bells- Reign of Terror
Beach House- Bloom
Frank Ocean- Channel Orange
Kendrick Lamar- Good Kid, m.a.A.d City
The Weeknd- Trilogy
Twin Shadow- Confess
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs- Trouble
Paul Van Dyk- Evolution
A$AP Rocky- Live, Love, A$AP
Knife Party- No Modern Talking
Deadmau5- < album titles goes here >
Steve Aoki- Wonderland
LMFAO- Sorry for Party Rocking
Kaskade- Fire and Ice
Die Antwoord- Ten$ion
Das Racist- Relax
Bat For Lashes- The Haunted Man
Crystal Castles- III
Matthew Dear- Beams
Dan Deacon- America
The XX- Coexist
Of Monsters and Men- My Head is an Animal
Miniature Tigers- Mia Pharaoh
Dirty Sanchez- Dirty Sanchez
Captain Murphy- Duality
Lana Del Rey- Born To Die