Top 10 Music Releases from 2016

Here are ten of my favourite releases for the year. I didn’t think I had bought that much music this year, but when going through everything I definitely did buy a fair amount. There are some albums missing from here just because I have not listened to them enough. These are just the releases that pop in to my head. Some are new releases and some are re-issues. I discovered them all in 2016. They aren’t really in any order though the first entry is definitely the top release I bought this year.

1. Mark Pritchard – Beautiful People (feat. Thom Yorke) (Warp)

I had been waiting for what seemed to be forever for Mark Pritchard to release a new album and while I enjoyed Under The Sun, the highlight for me was the collaboration with Thom Yorke which was released as a single. I think it is one of my most listened to records of the year and it has a great music video too. Which you can see below.

2. Dices, AEM Rhythm Cascade – Thoughtstream (12th Isle)

I am a big fan of this record. It’s just really weird. Ambient and house in one. It sounds really druggy at points. In some ways it reminds me of the old Farben records. I just really enjoyed listening to this record. I don’t know much about Dices and AEM Rhythm Cascade, but they make some good music. The record came with a great sleeve by Al White too.

3. Le Ron Carson – Lemonlime (Sound Signature)

I bought this because Mark Pritchard said it was the best house record he had heard in ages and he wasn’t wrong. I know Le Ron Carson’s music is all supposed to be form the 80s and Theo Parrish has found it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was Leron Carson and had made the music recently. It doesn’t matter. Lemonline is just a great house tune and Sofnthik is great on the flip too, if you are looking for something a little slower.

4. Playgroup – Previously Unreleased (Yes Wave)

I loved the Playgroup album when it came out in 2001! I still listen to it a fair amount these days too. So it was great when Trevor Jackson said he was going to release 30 tracks that were recorded as a pre-cursor to the album. These are all 80s influenced tracks here. Not songs like the album, but tracks. Some of them were due to appear on the album, but didn’t. Anyway, there are some great tracks on here. You get some electro, some old house, post punk and some great reggae tracks on here. There are some vocal tracks too. I’m glad they got released and the artwork was great, using one of Bill Bernstein’s photos from New York in the 80s.

5. DJ Guy – Structures & Rhythms ’94 – 99’ (Organic Analogue)

I remember hearing about DJ Guy from a friend of mine just before the All Caps record came out. He was this DJ who had made hundreds of tracks and not released any of them. Anyway, this is a great release from Organic Analogue. It came as a 12″ single, featuring new music, a small zine and also an EP of older material on cassette. It’s such a lovely package. The new tracks are great and Structures is a great track. I remember hearing it on Mr Beatnick’s NTSlive show. The tape is the real highlight for me though. The old drum’n’bass tracks are great, though there is a real selection of tracks on the tape. Track this release down if you can. The zine is a great interview with DJ Guy too.

6. Ondo Fudd – Blue Dot (The Trilogy Tapes)

This track is just so weird. I definitely like all these weird tracks that The Trilogy Tapes put out. I loved the first Ondo Fudd record from the other year, so when I heard there were some new tracks coming out I was excited. This track was definitely the highlight of the record for me. Also worth checking out is the Elmo Crumb record that came out in November.

7. Athens Of The North

Ok, I am cheating with this one as it is a label and not a release. I included them last year as I bought a few of their releases and this year I appeared to buy more of them. I bought Samuel Jonathan Johnson 7″ for the amazing track Sweet Love. The bass line on this is amazing. It’s got such a good groove on it.

Next up I got a hold of The Spirit Of Love with The Power Of Love. Floating Points played this as his last track at Plastic People and while i am not a big Gospel fan, I love this 7″. The track on the flip side, He’s Alright, is also another totally amazing Gospel track. I’ve definitely played this record over and over since buying it.

I originally missed out on buying a copy of the Barbara Mason 7″ they put and I had been kicking myself for it for most of the year, but when Athens Of The North launched their online shop they had some copies for sale and I managed to pick up a copy. This another record that I play over and over and my wife laughs at me as I sing along. It’s just an incredible song! Here is a snippet of the track below.

I also picked up the Franker Ferrer Hallelujah 7″ and also the recent Peggy Goodwin 7″ which are both excellent as well. I highly recommend keeping an eye on Athens Of The North as they are reissuing a lot of great records!

8. Huerco S. – For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) (Proibito)

I’ve been enjoying a lot of quiet music this year and this ambient album from Huerco S. has had a lot of play. It sounds great first thing in the morning and also works just as well last thing at night. I really just enjoy listening to the whole album in one sitting. It has certainly got me in a good headspace on the bus on the way to work on more than one occasion.

9. Illum Sphere – Second Sight (Ninja Tune)

This came our right at the start of the year and I was really enjoying the Cold Wave feeling that Illum Sphere had gone for. Second Sight was an uptempo song and the b-side Ritual was on a slower tip. I definitely listened to this 12″ a lot over the year. It was a strong start to the year and his album released towards the end of the year, Glass, was also an enjoyable listen.

10. Samoyed – Always From This Point (Flask)

I remember hearing this when it first came out and saw him do an early gig in Glasgow along with Loops Haunt round about 2009. I always meant to buy the CD-R of this album, but just never got round to it. I was glad when it was reissued this year on cassette through his own band camp page. This is a great album and one I really like listening to in the winter. It just works really well. It’s great for walking about and listening too. The re-issue was extended with a few tracks and the cassette came with a great wood block printed inlay.

2 Responses to “Top 10 Music Releases from 2016”

Leave a Reply