It was not all doom and gloom this year as some amazing music was created. I put ten of my favourite tracks from last year in the one place:
Huerco S: “For Those Of You Who Have Never (And For Those Of You Who Have)”. I got hooked on this LP whilst working in Prague in the middle of summer. Plenty of hot European evenings in the Jewish district of the old town were soundtracked with this glistening away quietly in the background.
Lingua Lustra: “Essence”. “Love Is The Force” was my personal highlight from the record. Like the sound of standing looking at the waves on the beach on a summers day. Stunning.
Steve Hauschildt: “Where All Is Fled”. Broad in its scope. The first track “Eyelids Gently Dreaming” is one of the finest ambient tracks of recent times. A magnificent record and doubtless the soundtrack to many a morning after the night before.
Johann Johannsson: “Orphee”. Organs, xylophones, strings the lot. This is a masterpiece and, I think, the most perfectly produced record of 2016. He also soundtracked the “Arrival” movie and is reportedly creating the Bladerunner sequel in 2017.
Tycho: “Epoch”. I love how tight Tycho are as a live entity and parts of this record are so precise it almost sounded like it was created on Ableton. The live recording of their set at burning man (https://soundcloud.com/tycho/descent-burning-man-2016-sunrise-set) as the sun came up was wonderful too. Trance-Rock.
Stefano Guzzetti: “Womb”. Seriously! This one. Wow. “While You Sleep” floors me every time its hook kicks in. I never want this this to end when I play it.
Julien Marchal: “Insight II”. An hour of melodic, soft piano ballads that eased my mind.
Hammock: “Everything And Nothing”. I the like the way Spot The Fly send me an annual email to tell me what I listened to the most during the previous year. “Dissonance” was my most played track of 2016 and this was my standout guitar record from one of the most consistent outfits around.
Radiohead: “A Moon Shaped Pool”. Was not a huge fan of this record in comparison with some of their other work but take it by itself and it stands up.
Illum Sphere: “Glass”. Adored the production on this one. Solid deep house cuts interspersed with some ambient drone. It’s a really cool record. “Paradise” was the key tune for me. That Truss saw fit to end one of his monthly mixes with some Illum tells you all you need to know.
Casino Versus Japan: “Frozen Geometry”. When I imagine a guitar sound in my mind, this is what it sounds like. Delay-laden riffs stuffed full of melody. Think “Unforgettable Fire” era U2 and merge it with The Verve’s “Storm In Heaven” and you are in the sonic vicinity. There are eighty tracks here that clock in at over three hours. Three exquisite hours it must be said. Actually, perhaps *this* is the guitar record of the year.
Convextion:”2845″. My number one techno record of 2016. Stunning futuristic business from the man.
Julianna Barwick: “Will”. More ethereal sounds on the follow up to “Nepenthe”. Vocals are not usually my thing but Barwick’s are… Bjork is the only artist I can compare her to, not stylistically but in their power. There is a greater scope to this new record too. “Nebula” dips into a more electronic zone than her previous outings. An artist at the top of her game.
Fiona Brice: “Postcards Reframed”. The strings on this record are where it’s at. The soaring beauty of “Glastonbury” and “Berlin” are out of this world.
Ben Lukas Boysen: “Spells”. A typical “Erased Tapes” record; music of supreme, superlative quality. “Golden Times 1” is my favourite track from it.
Knxwledge: “Kaulifflower”. A short and sweet instrumental hip-hop record recommended by my good mate Kev. Love it.
ODDISEE: “The Odd Tape”. Real summery sounds hip-hoppity sounds.
Endless Melancholy: “In The Shadow Of The Past”. Piano and warm synth sounds hook up to memorable effect.
Marco Marzuoli: “Senza Titolo”. One long instrumental track.