We bring you the year 2012 documented by the notable releases that kept us believing. We enjoyed the expansion of Das Racist's Greedhead empire that introduced us to Big Baby Gandhi, kept NYC hip hop real with Meyhem Lauren, and gave us Heems' Nehru Jackets and Kool A.D.'s 51. Dent May and Prince Rama outdid Animal Collective on their own Paw Tracks imprint while Ariel Pink returned to freak beat forms of championing forgotten weird grooves on Mature Themes. G-Side split, but ST 2 Lettaz kept it burning with R.E.B.E.L., Mac Demarco brought bro-fi brilliance, Ty Segall and Tim Presley conquered with Hair while attacking with a slew of their own respective masterpieces to be reckoned with. Still this only begins to describe the year of apocalyptic hype where Flying Lotus brought his Until the Quiet Comes opus while moonlighting as Captain Murphy. Captured Tracks gave us music to dream on while retaining garage cred with Seattle's Naomi Punk and DIIV's OSHIN. Birthdays kept our celebrations moving, Swans returned larger than ever, Main Attrakionz' growing up on Bossalinis from Young One, Dan Deacon's realized pop vision America, Lushlife's Plateau Visions, Death Grips' Epic Records debacle, the sermons of urban redemption from billy woods, the new Harlem shuffle from UNONYC's Gobby and friends and the global harmonics of Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang.
If this is really it – the big finish – we will go knowing that the music in 2012 was made with special care. It was ripe with landmark expressions because in varying degrees we've been feeling the impending finale. If these are our last words, 50 parting statements to existence, then we are leave knowing nothing was left unsaid. That we left listening to the opposite of bullshit. We are not a game. We respect the fly shit and embraced every opportunity for ekstasis. We are seers with hustle in our bones until the quiet comes.
For this year's Best Music list we gave our dedicated contributors a larger role in deciding the albums receiving top honors. Our democratic approach, led to one clear cut winner, while the rest of the top 50 is comprised entirely of albums that received at least one vote – in no particular order. We imagine there's a BCS comparison to be made here, but exhaustion is limiting our abilities to even make a clever joke of it.