Adam Freeland's Marine Parade label has been one of the highest caliber of the past eight years. It was one of the faces of breaks without being limited to breaks, the result being that artists like ILS and Infusion could never stick around for very long. They produced great work in the early half of the decade, moved on to other labels, and through good albums and bad, found a cookie-cutter mold to stick with.
They haven't budged since. Beber disappeared, as did Apex. Forme, aka Richard File, is still doing thrilling work with UNKLE. Thoroughly excellent as Sta and Alex Metric are, they currently also work with other labels and have produced tracks that might not forever fit Freeland's ever evolving musical style, so give 'em a few years (that isn't a negative thought).
Freeland oughtta be pretty happy this year, because Evil Nine have emerged victorious. They've been with him from the beginning, from the track Special Move, to the album You Can Be Special Too, and now here with their stereo scorching They Live.
And folks, it's the best dance album in a long time. It's genre defining and genre defying. Perhaps it's the Evil Nine genre: Punk rock, nu disco, zombie-punk dancehall, and Halloween breaks. Adam Freeland will change in two or three years, and Evil Nine'll be there to complement him.
The album has the best instrumentals this year, pummeling brilliance into deceptively minimal schemes. They're anthems. Stadium sized.
El-P pumps a measured level of adrenaline into All the Cash. David autoKratz brings on the catchiest vocals of the album, unless you count the zombie in the titular track, They Live, or the uplift of Seraphim's Icicles (a track I dare you not to listen to eight times a day for the first few days). Toastie Tailor returns, and rounds out one hell of a collaboration.
I think there's crossover appeal here. They've recalled an era of music, refashioned it, brought it back from the dead, and made it sufficiently bizarre, fun, catchy, and finally lighthearted.