Top Ten of Twenty Twelve: Mark Kaiser (Mt. St. Mtn., ex-Mayyors)
If Mt. St. Mtn. isn’t already on your short list of best indie labels, it should be. The label, run by Mark Kaiser (formery of Mayyors) and artist Jay Howell (of Bob’s Burgers), is art and recording project centered around vinyl only pressings, limited to 200 – 500 copies, of exclusive material by artists they love with packaging, illustrations and design by us the label heads. They’ve delivered records by The Ohsees, The Intelligence, G. Green, Cruel Summer, The Readymades and more, as well as zines and books by Howell and other collaborators.
It is significant to note, that Kaiser is no stranger to releasing game-changing records. His previous label, Omnibus Records, was responsible for early records from Mates of State, The Shins, and Speedking (a band featuring James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem).
Ghettoblaster caught up with Kaiser to ask him about his favorite records of the year, and this is how his list shook out…
Naomi Punk – The Feeling LP
A pop-damaged Flipper. Clunky, plodding verses break into huge crescendos.
Fine Steps – Boy’s Co. LP
Best late-‘80s art pop record recorded in 2012.
Blasted Canyons – 2nd Place 12″ E.P.
Like a punk Psychedelic Furs, perfect new-wave pop drenched in hard fuzz.
V/A – Country Funk, 1969 – 1975
Well curated blue-eyed funk with a country twang. Tied for first place with the Velvet Underground cover comp.
The Mallard – Yes On Blood LP
This is officially the “San Francisco Sound”. 1 part Thee Ohsees, 1 part Yellow Fever, 1 part SF psych heritage.
V/A – Castleface & Friends, Velvet Underground and Nico cover LP
No other label could have pulled this off so well, perfect mix of my favorite bands playing my favorite songs and doing it really well.
Burnt Ones – “Meet The Golden One” b/w “LUV” 7 inch
Early Jesus & Mary Chain playing 70’s glam hits. So catchy I’m still spinning it on repeat almost a year after its release.
Trop Tard – Ils Etaient 9 Dans L’Obscurité LP (1988, Reissued 2012)
Harsh French minimal-wave/proto-industrial finally gets reissued. Lo-fi recording, simple hooks and white noise make for excellent, obscure bummer rock.
Liminanas – Crystal Anis LP
Serge Gainsbourgh & Bridgitte Bardot got in the studio with the Troggs and jammed this one out. Actually that didn’t happen, but this LP makes it sound like it did.
The Sound – Jeopardy LP (1980, Reissued 2012)
A tug of war between a group of dudes trying to be both an angular, rhythm heavy post-punk band and an Echo & The Bunnymen art-pop band. The end-result spun on my turntable all year.
The Lives Of Angels – Elevator To Eden LP (1983, Reissued 2012)
Joy Division-lite home-recorded by a tortured artist/producer trying to find an avenue for the music in his head.
Thee Ohsees – Putrifiers II LP
I love this band so much how could I even pick one of their albums (how many came out this year? Two? Three?) as a fave?
Tamaryn – The Waves LP
Everybody’s favorite droney, shoegazer re-up. Simple, stoney, gorgeous.
Deep Time – s/t LP
Post Yellow Fever album finally comes out. Quirky, catchy and amazing.
Hopeton Lewis – Take It Easy LP (1967, Reissued 2012)
Starts out with his familiar ska hits, but the real win comes when you flip to side B and get a dose of smooth, dark rocksteady jams with an ominous hint of something that makes me think not all these songs are about dancing.