Well, its the end of the year. 2012 has been a great year for music and other forms of audio for me. This is my Top 10 list of Audio Projects for the year of 2012. Audio projects may include: podcasts, albums, YouTube channels (music videos preferably), SoundCloud tracks and anything else that is audio related that stood out this year for excellence on the Internet. I decided that I wanted to make this list this year because I’ve gotten a large amount of music this year and I thought I’d feature my favorite music and/or artists of the year. Its a fun list featuring people you’ll want to check out. Finding new music is a tricky but not impossible business. Finding free/cheap good music is a bit more difficult but it is out there. So if you think you can’t find quality music for a cheap price legitimately, your not looking hard enough.
This year has been really great for how much music I’ve been able to get this year. It was mostly thanks to the Game Music Bundle & Humble Bundles that I was able to get as much enjoyable music as I have had this year. The genre focus this year was more on the Electronic, Chip-Tune and videogame soundtracks genres this year compared to last year. Which had been a focus on Alternative music. So as we end this year, with a much fuller music library, I am very content with the music that I have found and am looking forward to a new year full of audio experiences to enjoy. I’m keeping soundtracks off this list as there are far too many good ones this year and I’d probably go insane trying to pick the best ones. So I decided to focus my attention onto creators who were making their own original music and/or cover music. This isn’t the definite best list of music, its just my favorite projects of the year. So here goes…
Top 10 List of Audio Projects of 2012…
#10: Epic Rap Battles of History
You’ve probably heard of the Epic Rap Battles of History. This insanely viral channel is where famous people from the past battle it with out sweet rhymes. I feel like ERB has really hit its stride this year with some great songs. I don’t really need to say anything more about ERB as you probably have heard about them already. Hard to pick favorite songs from these guys, just so many, but I’d say the Mario Brothers and Darth Vader ones would be my favorite. You can subscribe to these guys here.
#9: Hardcore History Podcast
The Hardcore History podcast as hosted by Dan Carlin. Dan Carlin takes unconventional and in-depth looks at points of history and asks odd questions such as “was Alexander the Great as bad a person as Adolf Hitler” and “what would Apaches with modern weapons be like?” Its an engaging podcast on history that I have enjoyed listening to this year. In a lot of ways this is more of an audiobook production than its a podcast really with its indepth look on history. That may be why I’ve enjoying listening to it so much. The podcasts are very long and can take a while to get out but are great to listen to every time. If your looking for a different look at history with an outside-the-box way of thinking, give Dan Carlin’s podcast a look.
#8: Tech Switch by _ensnare_
One of my favorite albums to have come out this year, Tech Switch is a really nice new album by _ensnare_. Combining some dance beats with chip-tunes, _ensnare_’s Tech Switch album is just great and one of my favorite new albums of this year. You can stream the entire album for free via SoundCloud up there and I recommend you do so if your interested in electronic beats. He’s done previous music for OSTs that are really quite awesome and Tech Switch shows that he isn’t done making great music anytime soon. _Ensnare_’s music has really helped with studying through this term and I’m glad to see him continue to push his talents farther this year. Definitely recommend checking him out.
#7: Upper Memory Block Podcast
The Upper Memory Block Podcast is my favorite new podcast that started this year. Hosted by billybob476, this podcast is all about DOS and pre-Windows XP gaming. Every couple of weeks he talks about a game series from the DOS era as well as the development company and technology that went into the game at the time. Its a very informative podcast and it surprised me how well Joe has hosted his first podcast. It feels like he’s done this before. This gaming-centric podcast is something you should consider subscribing to. As I know very little about the DOS era, I find this podcast a very good listen to. You can find the necessary links here.
#6: Peter Hollens
Peter Hollens does something I didn’t expect to ever happen. He makes really good cover songs from artists that I don’t particularly like and I enjoy them, a lot. That in it of itself deserves a place on the list. And he makes songs entirely from the human voice and mouth which is even more impressive. This acapella singer is quite prolific with a variety of high quality music videos on YouTube. He also made the really good song “Skyrim Cover with Lindsey Stirling” which is just plain epic. One of my favorite artists I’m subscribed to and I recommend following him for some great music. You can subscribe to Peter Hollens right here.
#5: The Dresden Files Audiobooks – Cold Days
The Dresden Files books is a highly enjoyable series about Chicago’s first and only Wizard private investigator. This fiction book based in modern times describes the life and events surrounding the Wizard: Harry Dresden. It is a deeply engaging series full of twists and turns, how magic is used in the everyday world, mystery, and about the battle between good and evil, with shades of grey mixed in. The audiobook is voiced by the venerable James Marsters of Buffy fame and he does an excellent job in bring Jim’s world to life. In the previous book of the series, Ghost Story, James Marsters wasn’t available to voice it so it was voiced by John Glover. The fans were….less than happy. I was ok with his voice but James had done such a great voice there was no way you could replace him in such short notice. When Cold Days was announced, James Marsters was announced to be voicing the book again in light of the fan reaction to the previous book. This is my favorite book series of all time. Even over such excellent stories such as Harry Potter, the Dreden Files simply has more weight and depth to the story that has held my attention unlike any other book series. And the story isn’t over yet. I hope that the author gets to finish out this excellent series. This is the 14th book of the Dresden Files and it is available on a wide array of online stores and formats.
#4: Pomplamoose Music
This quirky and fun two person band does a lot of fun music videos and while they might be busy working on an album, I have really enjoyed listening to their content this year. You might have heard of them from their version of the Angry Birds theme that went viral a while back. They make really light-hearted music for the most part with some older-tones mixed in. And they use a crazy amount of instruments to make the music which is pretty dang cool to watch. Plus, Nataly has a great voice along with it. I hope to see even more music videos from next year. You should check them out.
#3: lindseystomp – Lindsey Stirling
This dancing violinist came out of nowhere for me and is a unique individual to watch. She does some really creative music videos in really beautiful locations. I have never heard of a dancing violinist so she’s just really cool to see. My favorite music video is that one I linked above with her cosplaying as Link as well as a duo music video with Peter Hollens, doing a cover of the Skyrim theme. I really hope she keeps going and I have just really enjoyed her music this year. You can subscribe to her videos here.
#2: Malufenix – Malukah
Ok, I’ll just come out and say it. Malukah has the voice of an angel. There, I said it. How she hasn’t been gobbled up by someone to make a bunch of albums by now escapes me. But I digress. Malufenix isn’t the most prolific artist on the Interwebs but the stuff she does put out is really great to listen to. Her voice, as I mentioned, is awesome and she always has my attention when she publishes a new song. I’m hoping we see even more from her next year and I highly recommend you check her channel out. My favorite track would have to be “The Dragonborn Comes”. Its just so hauntingly beautiful to listen to.
#1: Harmony of a Hunter & Harmony of a Hunter 101% Run
Finding the Harmony of a Hunter album project was the best thing I could have found this year for myself. A fan-made double album production featuring a variety of styles inspired by the Metroid series of videogames. The Harmony of a Hunter albums are just really awesome. The albums were made to mark the 25th anniversary of the Metroid franchise. The Metroid Prime games in particular already have some incredibly beautiful tracks in the background and to hear an inspiration of those game tracks is awesome. I have little doubt that I will listen to these albums for years to come. As such, they deserve their position at #1 on the list. If your interested in picking up this fan-made album, check out this download link.
I just wanted to mention the Game Music Bundle for helping pave the way for pay-what-you-want album bundles as this really helped expand my collection and fill in gapes that were there. I am hoping to see even more of these come out in 2013 so you should keep an eye on them as well.
I hope you liked this collection of audio projects. Did you have any that you felt should have been on the list? Leave a commend, hit that like button and until next time…