In 2012 alone, Scion AV released a whopping 36 music projects, spanning the worlds of metal, hip-hop and electronic music. We worked with names known around the world and underground superstars, solidifying our commitment to supporting the best artists around while allowing fans free access to amazing music. Since you probably missed some key releases, we’ve picked out the Top 10 best of 2012 from our huge catalog.
1. REVOCATION – TERATOGENESIS
Boston’s tech-metal quartet Revocation accomplished more in a 20-minute EP than most bands do in an entire album, presenting five precision-cut tracks that are epic in their thrash potential while pushing the boundaries of the genre with brilliant guitar work and tight rhythms. Plus, this is about as catchy as technical death metal gets. Top off with some psychedelic caterpillar cover art, and you’ve got a release that got love from even the most hardened metal scribes.
2. DANNY BROWN – GROWN UP
In 2012, the line between underground and mainstream rap was blurry indeed, and Detroit’s Danny Brown swaggered back and forth over it with ease. With his emo Don King hair, schizophrenic stylings and distinctively nasal vocal delivery, Brown was hard to ignore, plus he worked with some of the most exciting names in the game (including ASAP Rocky, Purity Ring, Araabmusik, Harry Fraud). On “Grown Up”, Danny Brown applies his sick rhyme skills to musing on his childhood over a summery beat (produced by fellow Fools Gold Records artist Party Supplies) that’s hip-hop at its finest.
3. POOLSIDE – ONLY EVERYTHING
With global warming, we may soon be able to sit by the pool year-round, but until that time Poolside (bon vivants Filip Nikolic and Jeffrey Paradise) deliver the aural Xanax you need to take your mind off a stressful year. “Only Everything” and its flip side “Take A Chance” are two stretched-out and classic disco cuts; the first full of crisp handclaps and high-on-life pianos galore, the latter a slow dive into cooler, calmer waters. If you caught them during their late summer DJ tour, you know these guys are all about tuning in, turning on and chilling out.
4. MELVINS – THE BULLS & THE BEES
It shocked everyone when Scion put out this five-track salvo from rock pioneers the Melvins. Arguably, the Pacific Northwest’s most important band, the Melvins unique brand of sludgy hard rock has had a profound influence on punk, metal, grunge and doom over the last 29 years. The Bulls & The Bees EP doesn’t disappoint, from the deep, molasses-slow headbang of “We Are Doomed” to the medieval church choir-esque “A Really Long Wait”, the Melvins prove they’ve still got more good ideas up their sleeve than most bands half their age. Prepare to Rock.
5. LABEL SHOWCASE – PROFOUND LORE RECORDS
Since 2004, Canadian metal label Profound Lore has been blowing ears and minds by releasing some of the heaviest music around from the likes of Leviathan, Isis, Nachtmystium, and Witch Mountain. On March 31, 2012, Scion brought together some of best of the label’s recent bands to a killer show in Pomona, California, recorded the whole thing, and picked the cream of the crop for this compilation. Nine tracks of dense, skullcrushing black metal, sludge, and doom await you from Pallbearer, Wolvhammer, Loss, Yob, and The Atlas Moth. Strictly for the hardcore.
6. TREASURE FINGERS – ROOFTOP REVIVAL
Atlanta’s Treasure Fingers makes and plays the kind of feel-good disco house that makes even the saltiest critic get up and get on the dancefloor. “Rooftop Revival” is a great anthem that eschews the dark and techy in favor of a retro garage flair that sounds inspired by Todd Edwards and Alan Braxe. That’s not to say the remixes aren’t heavy though! Mr. Fingers calls in Bro Safari and Computer Club—who partner with him in the drum & bass trio Evol Intent—to deliver hard remixes that bang in the club, before Deep Future and Kastle step in to smooth things out a bit. Big!
7. MOODYMANN – PICTURE THIS
Back in April, we dropped a whole album’s worth of exclusive tracks from Detroit legend Kenny Dixon Jr., better known as Moodymann, a house music pimp who stays flanked by beautiful women and makes sexy, sheet-rustling house music to match. These eight tracks showcase classic Motor City vibes, an eclectic selection taking you from the club to the basement party to the roller rink to the bedroom in just over 40 minutes. Can you feel the heat?
8. HUSSLE CLUB – CHILDREN OF THE UNDERGROUND
Lurking in the streets of NYC’s Lower East Side is where we found Prince Terrence, lead singer of scuzzy synth-rock band Hussle Club. Terry has drummed for the likes of Santigold, Spankrock and Major Lazer, but his own work is much darker, dedicated to the children of the night who have forsaken money and good manners in pursuit of underground fame. Hussle Club combines influences from NIN, Suicide and A.R.E. Weapons, topping the whole thing with Terrence’s larger-than-life Billy Idol-esque persona.
9. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY – MEGALODON
Longtime gods of Southern thrash metal, Raleigh, NC’s Corrosion of Conformity unleashed this November EP, proving they are still bigger and badder than nearly everyone else. On the prehistorically huge Megalodon, CoC serve up five all-new tracks that represent the many moods of the band, moving from slow to smashing and even harkening back to their hardcore days in parts. Megalodon captures their live sound in a quick, dirty and totally bad-ass fashion. Totally mega, and totally made with pride in the USA.
10. 12TH PLANET – THE END IS NEAR
L.A.’s dubstep godfather 12th Planet had a huge year, spreading the gospel of big, bad, and heavy sounds around the world, touring with Skrillex, and even providing beats for some major Hollywood movies. He kicked off 2012 with The End is Near!, a free EP for Scion AV that perfectly captures his tastes in apocalyptic bass weight while roping in contributions from big names Skrillex, Flinch, Kill the Noise, and SMOG labelmates Antiserum and SPL. The EP contains five top-quality bangers that ripped up clubs everywhere—a must for any serious low-end lover.