Wonderful/Significant Albums of 2016
I eagerly dig through the ‘Best of’ lists every year; while I don’t believe in any sort of stack ranking for creative projects where the value is subjective, I do love seeing what was significant to other humans. Because of this, I vastly prefer lists from individuals over institutions (which are much harder to find). A good list will lead to new discoveries and not simply affirm my own assumptions (either good and bad).
Here are a few of albums from 2016 I found wonderful. What did you find?
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Layering a Buchla Music Easel with woodwinds and voice, Ms Smith transcends the usual sequenced bleeps and bloops of most modular synthesizer work with swirling tapestries of unique electronic sounds.
I was intrigued to find this made several mainstream ‘best of’ lists, like Pitchfork and NPR.
Dustin O’Halloran & Hauschka: Lion
I was super excited to hear about this project, as it seemed an ideal creative partnership: O’Halloran’s lush orchestrations and Haushka’s avant-garde rhythms. I had to wait months for the movie to come out for this to be released, but the music exceeded my expectations.
Loscil: Monument Builders
Scott Morgan’s minimalist electronica gets better with every release. Simple yet smart, minimal yet rich.
Another collaboration: three of the greatest living singer/songwriters collaborating on one awesome collection of songs.
NY Times does a good job with their ‘best of’, as they show each reviewer separately: