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Best new music of 2016


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Haven't found any 'bests' to speak of yet. Anderson Paak, Sea Pinks and the Future mixtape were disapointing. The Hinds debut LP is a major let down following their EP. Chairlift is as bad as I expected.

Fingers are crossed for Post Malones debut delivering, although Scott Storch being the one behind the desk is disheartening.

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I thought Hinds was disappointing too. I preferred the more chaotic stuff on their compilation mini lp, and their cover of Thee Headcoats song was great.

Chairlift's is smashing though, unless you don't like Chairlift, which makes you crazy ;)

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First album I've bought this year is Junior Boys - Big Black Coat.

 

I'm not a huge fan of their output, but in recent years Jeremy Greenspan has been working with Morgan Geist and Jessy Lanza, and it's very clear on this record just how much this has impacted the sound here. The dark industrial city feeling comes through and has elements of moody R'n'B, Detroit Techno, and gold old synth pop. It's a really great listen. Nice Jesus & Mary Chain inspired cover-art too.

 

 

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Listening to the new TEEN - Love Yes a lot, mainly to try and figure it out.

 

Third album after a so-so indie twee-pop debut and a frankly brilliant follow-up, Way & The Colour which was all dark stuttery r'n'b by way of guitars. This third album is a synthpop 80's affair - my immediate references being Devo, Tom Tom Club, B52's, Human League. It's probably too referential to be brilliant, but the thing that makes the songs is their stamp of incredible harmonies. As below:

 

 

I really like Superhuman too, which is the most ABBA moment on the entire album.

Please is the only track that feels separate from the rest of the tracks - it's much more in the mood of their 2nd LP, and is a track directed to the sisters late father, composer Peter Lieberson. It's probably my favourite.

 

 

Nice if uneven album. I dig the little trumpet interludes too.

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Fave album of the year so far, clearly indebted to the Autechre live soundboards that were released last year. Not a fan of vaporwave so nice to see the move towards something more tangible.

 

 

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Got Junior Boys and Breakbot's 2016 albums on cd for my birthday the other week. The Junior Boys album had a few spins before I got bored of it. Breakbot just keeps getting better and better though - Arrested, My Toy and All It Takes are all really great songs. 

 

Another new thing that I've been enjoying is Basar by Africaine 808, and as the name suggests they mix African (and other world music) influences with the Roland TR-808 drum machine - to great effect I might add. There's all manner of styles and tempos featured, from the jazz-fusion meets 90s ambient techno of the opening track The Awakening, through the wub wubs of Ngoni and the skippy UK Bass rhythms of Language of the Bass. There's some downtempo numbers and a couple of 4/4 efforts, but the highlight has to be Fallen From The Stars - surely one of the most beautiful tracks of the year so far.

There's also a good compilation recently released on BBE Records called From The Archive compiled by Volcov, featuring an excellent selection of soul-jazz, 80s boogie, deep house, brazilian grooves and a couple of more modern efforts, such as Part 4 from Shokazulu, which made the cd an instant buy for me as the 12" is mad expensive.

 

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The word "cinematic" in music usually has me running for the hills, but Clark's Last Panthers is stunning and works as a cohesive suite, and is edited as such (why I'm loathe to just call it an OST). It's the music Sigur Ros should be making if they hadn't gone up their own holes years ago with a bit of Ben Frost thrown in for good measure.

 

 

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