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An Easy Extraction: The Top 100 Albums Of 2016 So Far
John Doran , July 27th, 2016 09:43

And here it is... the Quietus' favourite albums released between January 1 and June 30, 2016, as voted for by John Doran, Luke Turner, Karl Smith, Laurie Tuffrey and Christian Eede (with some assistance from Mat Colegate and Bobby Barry)

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To me, musically at least, the year doesn't really kick off until the moment our mid-year chart is published. Then it finally feels like I can breathe out. That things are rolling at last.

Editing a music website is like constantly being in that weird fugue state that comes over most people in record shops. "Man... I know I actually like music but made by which groups, singers and producers? I know once I get home I'll be able to think of 38 LPs and a whole bunch of EPs I really want but right now I can't call to mind a single thing I'm into." So you walk out of the shop with yet another copy of Station To Station by David Bowie. Just in case something happens to the other seven copies you own.

Speaking as someone who runs a music magazine, this temporary sonic amnesia can be overwhelming. I constantly seem to be at a music festival saying: "Errrrrrr... Nope. Can't think of a single thing..." to the eminently reasonable question: "Have you heard any good music recently?"

This forgetfulness in the face of great tracks and oblivion as to what the essential current albums are can often play a cruel trick on me, making me feel, subconsciously at least, that there isn't much going on, that perhaps the game is up. Perhaps it would actually be better to shut up shop and go and do something else. And then of course, once I actually start compiling a list of all the great albums from the first six months of the year, I realise that it isn't music that is failing, just my feeble, middle-aged brain.

So whereas last week I was struggling to recall even three albums that I really liked off the top of my head, this week the struggle has been to make space for all of the releases I think are worthy of inclusion in a top 100. I mean, we really could have easily compiled a great top 150 this time... and it's only July.

The way that I visualise this chart isn't really as a rigidly ranked linear parade in strict order of one to one hundred but as more of an interlinking, three dimensional lattice. We're not big fans of P4k's percentage point marking system or of any star or numerical ranking systems full stop which is why we never mark albums, so I'm unwilling to pretend that I think whatever is at number 75 on this chart is demonstrably better than the album at number 76. Outside of, say, the top 20 of this chart, I find the idea of stating definitively that one of these LPs is objectively superior to another to be frankly ridiculous. Instead I like to think of this top 100 in terms of a three dimensional computer model of the transport network of a very large virtual city that is still under construction. Each album represents a spatial location connected by one or more a genre transport lines. It is not a 100% "joined up city" and nor should it be. The grime overpasses are not easily accessible by the extreme metal bike lanes and if you want to get from the Afrobeat underground line to the caustic industrial techno ring road, you're going to have to cover the separating distance by foot. By the same token it makes it easier to see where the great hubs of collaboration, interconnectivity and shared aesthetic interests lie. When presented with such a diagram, suddenly getting from point A to point Z doesn't seem like such a monumental trek any more - even if they're miles apart at opposite ends of the city. Like with any major metropolis, it's very hard, if not impossible to visualise the entirety of modern music without some kind of transport map and hopefully this chart is such an aid to visualisation. I certainly know I'm going to cut and paste the top 100 list into a document in my phone so even though I've subcontracted what is left of my intelligence and wit out to a small electronic device in my pocket, I'm now no longer to be embarrassed by reasonable questions at festivals and hopefully not overcome by senior moments in record shops for the rest of the year.

We understand that these lists are taken very seriously by a lot of music fans and we expect to receive a reasonable amount of flak for not including LPs that mean the world to other people. Please leave your own lists in the comment feature below but be aware that if you have a genuinely missionary zeal for an artist and want us to listen to them with a view to featuring them on the site in future, we’re much more likely to respond favourably to a post where we don’t get referred to in either rude or downright offensive terms. The two main complaints about this chart can usually be summed up like this: one, you lot are so obvious, I could have predicted this chart exactly and two, you lot are so pretentious, I haven't heard of any of these artists. To which I say: one, well please educate us by leaving a list of albums you feel should have been included below and two, well, yes obviously; Luke is on sabbatical writing a book about the alternative sexual and ritual history of Epping Forest and my next album is a spoken word piece about relative cosmological movement in collaboration with an avant garde duo released on limited edition cassette. Of course we're pretentious. That doesn't mean we're wrong though...

I hope you enjoy this list in general and find something from it that improves your day/ week/ year/ life.

John Doran

100. Brood Ma - Daze
(Tri-Angle)

"Like being shouted at by an angry teenager who has something he really objects to but can't tear his eyes away from Minecraft for long enough to really articulate."
Joseph Burnett

Read our review of Daze here

99. Die Krupps - Stahlwerksrequiem
(Bureau B)

Listen to an excerpt from Stahlwerksrequiem on The Quietus Hour

98. Giovanni Lami – Bias
(Consumer Waste)

97. Our Solar System - In Time
(Beyond Beyond Is Beyond)

96. The Comet Is Coming - Channel The Spirits
(Leaf)

"Afrofuturist analogue kosmische jazz funk. Huge, played-live (rather than sequenced) synth bass lines, drums Lee Dorsey would have a fit for, more reverb and echo than a dub soundsystem in the Grand Canyon, and Shabaka Hutchings' unmistakable, frenetic but still melodic sax lines over the top of it. Reduced to words it sounds chimeric, but realised as music it makes perfect sense."
Nick Southall

95. Pale Horse - Looking Wet In Public
(Holy Roar)

Read about Palehorse's favourite bass albums in a Bakers Dozen feature

94. Graham Dunning & Colin Webster – Oval
(Tombed Vision)

93. KHÜNNT - Failures
(Riot Season)

92. Jozef Van Wissem - When Shall This Bright Day Begin?
(Incunabulum)

"To get into van Wissem's world is to surrender to the inevitability - and timelessness - of a strange music created at its own pace, and in a manner wholly of its creator's making."
Richard Foster

Read our review of When Shall This Bright Day Begin? here

91. Forteresse - Thèmes Pour La Rébellion
(Sepulchral)

90. Roly Porter - Third Law
(Tri-Angle)

"Even the most abstract, percussion-light pieces are defined by a relentless forward motion, each one building in incremental steps towards a more fleshed-out whole from sparse beginnings."
Joseph Burnett

Read our review of Third Law here

89. Pinkshinyultrablast - Grandfeathered
(Club AC30)

88. Melanie De Biasio - Blackened Cities
(Le Label)

"Often presented (somewhat reductively) as the Belgian Billie Holiday, De Biasio seems more intent on subverting the role of the tragic torch singer, using the sensuality of her voice to evoke heightened states of consciousness rather than just channel heartache and pain." Joe Banks

Read our review of Blackened Cities here

87. The Dwarfs Of East Agouza - Bes
(Nawa)

"Having formed in 2012 while living in the same apartment building in Cairo's Agouza district, the trio soon set out on crafting their sound built on instrumental improvisational loops of percussion as well as taking influence from Krautrock and free jazz among other sounds."
Christian Eede

86. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids - We Be All Africans
(Strut)

"We Be All Africans as a whole has a joyous sentiment – loose and unrestrained by tensions."
Lottie Brazier

Read our review of We Be All Africans here

85. William Tyler - Modern Country
(Merge)

84. Ash Koosha - I AKA I
(Ninja Tune)

"Iranian-born, London-based producer Ash Koosha rips his way through all notions of genre, identity and idiom on I AKA I; an exploration of music traditions twisted inside out through technology."
Joseph Burnett

Read our review of I AKA I here

83. Giacinto Scelsi, Chris Watson & Joe Browning - Scelsi
(SN Variations)

"Appearing alongside a new recording of Giacinto Scelsi’s ‘Duo for Violin and Cello’ by Lucy Railton and Aisha Orazbayeva as well as a shakuhachi honkyoku performance by Joe Browning, Chris Watson’s piece, entitled ‘Invertebrae Harmonics’, incorporates field recordings of insects made originally on a boardwalks in the middle of the Borneo jungle."
Christian Eede

82. Maja S.K. Ratkje – Crepuscular Hour
(Rune Grammofon)

"Norwegian composer Ratkje's mesmerising Crepuscular Hour seeps through the liminal cracks between light and dark, the spiritual gloaming during which living bodies and minds change their patterns of behaviour. Recorded during the 2012 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, it is a piece for three choirs, three noise musicians and church organ."
Euan Andrews

Read our review of Crepuscular Hour here

81. Skuggsjá - A Piece For Mind And Mirror
(Season Of Mist)

"May go on to be one of the most bar-raising records to drop in 2016."
Louise Brown

Read our review of A Piece For Mind And Mirror here

80. Let’s Eat Grandma - I, Gemini
(Transgressive)

"Walton and Hollingworth are fantastic and surprising songwriters, totally unafraid of wielding cumbersome intros and atypical instruments, forming songs from fragments of dreams and fairytales. They have an ear for the texture of words and they understand the capacity of their hauntingly similar voices. And it's an absolute treat to hear their exploration of what it's possible to create using classroom recorders and birthday-present synthesisers."
Suzie McCracken

Read our review of I, Gemini here

79. The Invisible - Patience
(Ninja Tune)

"The Invisible unfurl their full, joyous breadth of skills."
Matthew Horton

Read our review of Patience here

78. Nisennenmondai - #N/A
(On-U Sound)

"Make no mistake: prettiness is merely a byproduct throughout a project where hypnotic relentlessness is the raison d'être. The listener can opt to be pummelled into acquiescence or swept contentedly along. Either way, this is a collection that insists you submit, allow the music convey you to destinations unspecified."
Ed Power

Read our review of #N/A here

77. Chris Abrahams - Fluid To The Influence
(ROOM40)

76. Sumac - What One Becomes
(Thrill Jockey)

"Sumac soon had me gesticulating wildly and headbanging in my living room. As brutal as this record is, it is also exuberant and life-affirming. As st00pid as it gets, it is also smart and unpredictable."
Pavel Godfrey

Read our review of What One Becomes here

75. Munma - Three Voices
(Ruptured)

"Beirut based composer Jawad Nawfal has produced one of this year's best electronic LPs in Three Voices which came out on Ruptured, the label he co-runs, last month. The titular three voices belong to a group of spoken word artists that Nawfal commissioned specifically for the piece before building sound beds round each recording."
John Doran

Read our review of Three Voices here.

74. Bruxa Maria - Human Condition
(Extreme Ultimate)

73. Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld - Nerissimo
(Specula)

"Teho's intrumentation and arrangements are the perfect foil to Bargeld's voice, no mean feat given that it's one of the most distinctive in contemporary music."
Luke Turner

Read our review of Nerissimo here.

72. Fumaça Preta - Impuros Fanaticos
(Soundway)


71. Ulver - ATGCLVLSSCAP
(House Of Mythology)

"The Ulver on display here have fully assimilated their vast array of former selves, and the result is twelve tracks of multifaceted jams packed with the kind of intensity and drama only an entity as thoroughly experienced and self-explored as Ulver could summon."
Tristan Bath

Read our review of ATGCLVLSSCAP here

70. Ulrika Spacek – The Album Paranoia
(Lefse)

"It's a record that at first sounds disgruntled but is ultimately psyched on being alive – songs like 'Porcelain' and 'Strawberry Glue' are submerged and gently swaying, while moments such as 'NK' muster a masticating drone. 'Beta Male' has a riff so fantastic and fist-punchingly pure in pleasure, you wonder how it wasn't a song already, and nods to Television, Pavement and Sonic Youth are all present."
Suzie McCracken

Read our interview with Ulrika Spacek here

69. Deux Filles - Space & Time
(Les Disques du Crépuscule)

"All together these tracks seem to exist in different worlds entirely, but they're brought into accord through a capricious, disorderly sense of arrangement and an even-tempered restraint. Out of such measured eccentricity comes a pliant, curious form of instrumental chamber pop that favours a vivid dream logic above straight forward linearity."
Tim Wilson

Read our review of Space & Time here

68. Oranssi Pazuzu - Värähtelijä
(Svart)

"Oranssi Pazuzu's latest release Värähtelijä could in fact represent a potential high watermark for the current phase expansive black-infused metal." Tristan Bath

Read our review of Värähtelijä here

67. Elza Soares – The Woman At The End Of The World
(Mais Um Discos)

"While there’s no doubt A mulher do fim do mundo is born out of personal suffering, at a time when the world seems to be eating itself, you’d do well to heed Soares’s song of overcoming."
Laurie Tuffrey

Read our review of The Woman At The End Of The World

66. Melt Yourself Down - Last Evenings On Earth
(Leaf)

65. John Cale - M:Fans
(Domino)

"John Cale couldn't have selected a more suitable timeframe in which to release M:FANS; it jumps out at us from the ball-pond of detritus that was 2015, and has a good rummage around."
Lottie Brazier

Read our review of M:Fans here

64. Wolf Muller & Cass - The Sound Of Glades
(International Feel)

"The Sound Of Glades’s five tracks are free-flowing, a natural energy and spark between the two captured flawlessly in a way that doesn’t sound too rehearsed or polished - just two fine producers experimenting in the most enthralling way possible."
Christian Eede

Read our review of The Sound Of Glades here

63. DJ Qu - Conjure
(Strength Music)

"Conjure fully realises Qu’s ability to produce a techno album geared towards the club and home listening, and continues to see him carve out a sound that is one of the most distinctive in the scene today."
Christian Eede

Read our review of Conjures here

62. Maja Osojnik – Let Them Grow
(self-released)

61. Knifeworld - Bottled Out Of Eden
(Inside Out)

"Bottled Out Of Eden is loose, (extremely) busy and roughly energetic."
Chris Roberts

Read our review of Bottled Out Of Eden here.

60. Ghold - Pyr
(Ritual)

"Ghold's primordial sludge is not gratuitous, it's a masterclass of doom-laden sturm und drang with an eerie, dread-filled undercurrent that sets the heart pacing and the mind wandering."
Louise Brown

Read our review of Pyr here.

59. Matthew Bourne – Moogmemory
(Leaf)

"This is an album dedicated to and made entirely using the Memorymoog, the last official synthesiser made by Moog before the company went bankrupt."
Danny Riley

Read our interview with Matthew Bourne here.

58. Wire - Nocturnal Koreans
(Pink Flag)

"This isn't an entirely new proposition. But it's a band making steps in another direction, eschewing their post-punk bedrock and cold, unsettling soundscapes in favour of a cloudy, hazy future-psychedelia."
Tom Marsh

Read our review of Nocturnal Koreans here.

57. Kowton - Utility
(Livity Sound)

"A producer who's been working primarily with bass-driven house and techno, mostly on Peverelist's Bristol-based Livity Sound label, one of the UK's most distinctive electronic music labels, for some years now, his debut album has been a long time coming and sees him delivering nine mostly club-ready cuts for Livity taking in the sound he and associates have been finessing across a number of releases."
Christian Eede

Read our review of Utility here.

56. Big Business - Command Your Weather
(Joyful Noise)

"Big Business remind me of two barbarian kings who've teamed up to smash the skulls of a thousand orcs using maces so hefty that no real-life metrosexual man would be able to lift."
JR Moores

Read our review of Command Your Weather here.

55. Mark Pritchard - Under The Sun
(WARP)

54. Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo
(GOOD)

"Kanye West's personal brand is performative megalomania with a twist of tortured artist."
Alex Macpherson

Read our review of The Life Of Pablo here.

53. Black Merlin - Hipnotik Tradisi
(Island Explorer)

52. Swans - Glowing Man
(Young God)

"Much like religious experience, the constellations of songs here (and their brethren on the two prior albums) rely on an intensely relatable core, a simple idea or feeling sizzling at the center that anyone can attach to. From there, the instrumentalists ripple out in meditative layers, never covering over or distracting from it, but rather reinforcing."
Lior Phillips

Read our review of Glowing Man here.

51. Floorplan - Victorious
(M Plant)

"Victorious, the second Floorplan album and first co-produced with Robert Hood’s daughter Lyric, is a master class in ratcheting up dance floor energy, where every sound is finely calibrated to make the listener move. The music within is innately, intensely rhythmical, each element chosen for its cadence rather than its note, the result akin to the filtered French house sound of the 90s fed up on protein shakes and sent out to join the Foreign Legion."
Ben Cardew

Read our review of Floorplan here.

50. Steve Gunn – Eyes On The Lines
(Matador)

"Eyes To The Lines is the most cohesive, robust, confident, and widely-distributed LP in Steve Gunn's unofficial trilogy."
Joe Buccierio

Read our review of Eyes To The Lines here.

49. Sam Shalabi - Isis And Osiris
(Nashazphone)

"Hectic piano arpeggios, voice manipulation, an AFX sounding jaw harp, a hypnogogic narrator, outer edges oud explorations, berserk tape manipulation and machine noise mark this out as a truly unique and psychedelic listening experience."
John Doran

Read our review of Isis And Osiris here

48. Kristoffer Lo - The Black Meat
(Propeller)

"On The Black Meat Kristoffer Lo literally collaborates with extreme weather. Installed in Ryvingen Lighthouse off the south cost of Norway, he improvises and responds on amplified trombone and tuba to the lashings his remote location is getting from a fierce storm."
Russell Cuzner

Read our review of The Black Meat here

47. Gold Panda - Good Luck And Do Your Best
(City Slang)

"Whether you follow the more conceptual, Magical Realist reading or the narrative that Gold Panda (though, what's more indicative of fantastical leanings than an anthropomorphised, metallic bear I don't know) himself sets out in conversation and press releases, the theme of separation — and its opposite number in unification — still runs through Good Luck And Do Your Best. Whether it's the dream / wake divide or the English / Japanese language barrier, the initial segregation gives way eventually to something else. Something all-encompassing."
Karl Smith

Read our review of Good Luck And Do Your Best here.

46. Chairlift – Moth
(Columbia)

45. Babyfather - BBF Hosted By DJ Escrow
(Hyperdub)

"Massive Attack are an unexpected reference point, both in BBF's melodic dub bass lines and the casual-to-the-point-of-coma vocals, which raise the smokey spectre of Tricky or 3D in Massive's Blue Lines era. As with those two MCs, the vocals on BBF suggest improvisation and spontaneity, with simple melodies and rhymes gently pushed to their limits in a way that is hypnotic, affecting and very low key."
Ben Cardew

Read our review of BBF Hosted By DJ Escrow here.

44. Skee Mask - Shred
(Ilian Tape)

43. WIDT - WIDT
(Zoharum)

42. Susanna - Triangle
(Susanna Sonata)

" It's a sparse, isolated and overlong affair that's more difficult to love than previous solo outings like the lush The Forester or the sweet Wild Dog. However, for an artist with the vision to take such on such a huge subject as the three-pronged relationship between one woman, her gods and her planet, even managing to squeeze it down to a mere 22 songs is achievement enough. That the album is spectacular, introspective and terrifying all in equal measures is just a bonus."
Josh Gray

Read our review of Triangle here.

41. Thomas Cohen - Bloom Forever
(Stolen)

"Bloom Forever holds, even in its title, the blossom of a songwriter ready to open up to the light. A prompt to a better life."
Guia Cortassa

Read our review of Bloom Forever here.

40. Ahrkh Wagner - Ahrkh Wagner
(Tesla Tapes)

"By steering and ultimately subsuming vocal layers into their cosmic circuitry Ahrkh Wagner bring both drama and a rare romantic, libertarian lilt that bravely stands apart from the more common evocations of urban decay in electronic music."
Russell Cuzner

Read our review of Ahrkh Wagner here

39. PJ Harvey - Hope Six Demolition Project
(Vagrant)

"The sensory tumult of DC, Afghanistan and Kosovo infuse the Hope Six Demolition Project but Polly Harvey keeps her thoughts off the page. This is documentary in its purist sense. There are no value judgements – just an act of bearing witness (even if the "facts" are often mired in mystery - when she sings of the "28,000" children vanished in 'The Wheel', the context is unclear, even if the message is haunting)."
Ed Power

Read our review of Hope Six Demolition Project here

38. Atomikylä - Keräily
(Svart)

37. Cats Eyes - Treasure House
(RAF)

"After a first record mainly inspired by Farris Badwan's passion for girl groups of the sixties and the orchestral soundtracking closer to Rachel Zeffira's own conservatory studies, on Treasure House they find an impressive balance: classical, symphonic music melds with garage and post-punk, giving credence to the cliché that opposites attract, outstanding in its complex sounds and arrangements."
Guia Cortassa

36. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – EARS
(Western)

"These tracks, intermingling synth, treated woodwind and Smith’s processed vocals, feel evocative of landscapes, albeit seen as if through subtly warped vision."
Laurie Tuffrey

Read our review of EARS here.

35. Atlantikwall - Atlantikwall
(Sivilised)

"The artist behind Atlantikwall is an intensely clever arranger, and each of the 10-minute plus tracks builds and shifts with a keenly thought out logic, occasionally parting the sea of criss-crossing textures and chanting for a perfectly placed guitarpeggio."
Tristan Bath

Read our review of Atlantikwall here.

34. GNOD - Mirror
(Rocket)

"Every second of this album feels gargantuan. The aural vistas seems to stretch for mile after mile of mountainous terrain, complete with giant peaks and chasms. This is where Gnod stride gloriously ahead of many of their contemporaries."
Mick Middles

Read our review of Mirror here.

33. Underworld - Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future
(Caroline International)

"Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future, is an album on which Underworld reestablish themselves as supreme dance music architects."
DJ Pangburn

Read our review of Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future here.

32. Anna Meredith - Varmints
(Moshi Moshi)

"Thrilling."
Nicola Meighan

Read our interview with Anna Meredith here

31. Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
(Top Dawg)

"A perfectly fine release, Untitled, Unmastered doesn't exist to change anyone's mind about Kendrick Lamar. That ship has sailed, and for the foreseeable future the narrative course is a righteous one. But the vessel has cracks, as it always has, and if we continue to rely on the immensely talented and imperfectly mortal Lamar in the ways we've been relying on him, we're likely to end up dashed on the rocks."
Gary Suarez

Read our review of Untitled, Unmastered here.

30. Family Atlantica - Cosmic Unity
(Soundway)

29. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
(XL)

"Remember when Radiohead had fire in their bellies, blood in their mouths? When there was drama to their music, a singular lurch and lope; when they were truly themselves and several years ahead of dancing around the handbag of self-pastiche?"
Mike Diver

Read our review of A Moon Shaped Pool here

28. Suede - Night Thoughts
(Warner Music)

"Musically, Night Thoughts is the most solid and focussed-sounding album Suede have ever realised."
Luke Turner

Read our review of Night Thoughts here.

27. King - We Are King
(King Creative)

26. Peder Mannerfelt - Controlling Body
(Peder Mannerfelt Produktion)

25. Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book
(mixtape)

"No doubt about it: Chancelor Bennett has the joy game on lock. No other hip hop artist this year has even come close to the ebullience and mirth emitting from Coloring Book, the incessantly buzzed-about Chicagoan’s third mixtape."
Gary Suarez

Read our reiew of Coloring Book here.

24. Laniakea - A Pot Of Powdered Nettles
(House Of Mythology)

"A Pot Of Powdered Nettles is as much a beautiful work of art as it is a fulsome tribute to a lost friend. Stepping outside the biographical and listened to dispassionately, Laniakea's music sounds possessed, inspired, driven into the realm of the angelic on the steady processional which the story and the music both tell, funereal yet celebratory. There's an irresistible emotional upsurge here, a power to the words and music that makes of itself an almost tangible presence, one that resonates with those profound feelings of loss - and yet more importantly, recovery - that follow every departure."
Richard Fontenoy

Read our review of A Pot Of Powdered Nettles here.

23. Billy Bao - The Lagos Sessions
(Night School)

"This is a beautifully scarred portrait of the Nigerian metropolis Lagos, but it's surprisingly listenable for something both so radically experimental and coarsely textured. The production throws the listener about like loose change in a washing machine, hurling us quickly between angered screaming noise of the Hanatarash variety and passages of unsettling quiet. The addition of Lagos' own sonic fingerprint take the whole rugged affair to the next level."
Tristan Bath

Read our review of The Lagos Sessions here.

22. Jackie Lynn - Jackie Lynn
(Thrill Jockey)

"The record's economy is striking: a little over 20 minutes in length, the listener is still treated to a wealth of textures, atmospheres and narrative ideas, bound together by Fohr's vocals and an insistent, Lynchian sense of the uncanny. The record may be focused and poppy, but there's a permeating darkness that becomes more and more evident over multiple listens."
Luke Cartledge

Read our interview with Haley Fohr here.

21. DJ Marfox – Chapa Quente
(Principe)

20. Anohni - Hopelessness
(Rought Trade)

"As much as critics may contest the lyrical directness of artists like Björk and Anohni when tackling politics, there is something to be said about the necessity for such frankness in these times. It seems to be a common criticism that such work fails to recognise the complex political environment in which we operate, or comes off as naïve, but this seems a fatal misrecognition. It is refreshing to hear an album prepared to confront our complicity, and our hopelessness, in such a direct fashion."
Frankie Basweld

Read our review of Hopelessness here.

19. Matmos - Ultimate Care II
(Thrill Jockey)

"This album is a triple threat: it expands the palette of sounds normally at the disposal of the electronic musician; it teases with questions about the meaning and politics of objects; and it is suffused with an expert dance floor aesthetic. In other hands this would have been a dry, conceptual conceit, but this is 50/50 head and heart. Matmos remain vital, may they continue to launder, may they never wash separately."
Leo Chadburn

Read our review of Ultimate Care II here.

18. Daniel Patrick Quinn - I, Sun
(self-released)

"I, Sun follows in the grand tradition of Daniel Patrick Quinn's work; regardless as to whether it’s one of his solo efforts, one beamed in from Indonesia, or one from his supergroup, One More Grain. To wit, it is chock full of antediluvian riddles, goggle-eyed bridle-shakings and invigorating inner-space drones that emit a deep non-wisdom."
Richard Foster

Read our review of I, Sun here

17. Jute Gyte - Perdurance
(Jeshimoth)

"Perdurance is aggressively antisocial music, systematically stripped of anything remotely enjoyable or expressive. The guitar tone has been forcibly sterilised, the drum machine reduced to a Casio click. Nothing is left but convulsion and abrasion, alienation and revulsion."
Pavel Godfrey

Read our review of Perdurance here

16. Wacław Zimpel - Lines
(Instant Classic)

"This is a spectacular solo statement from Wacław Zimpel - and yet another essential transmission from modern Poland to boot. Above all it's a heartfelt response to the ongoing influence of American minimalism that pays tribute and rebuts in equal measure."
Tristan Bath

Read our review of Lines here

15. Jambinai - A Hermitage
(Bella Union)

"Jambinai have altered the course of post rock — as ever, by just a few degrees — directing it toward something more egalitarian. Something genuinely connective and less imperative."
Karl Smith

Read our review of A Hermitage here.

14. The Body - No One Deserves Happiness
(Thrill Jockey)

"No One Deserves Happiness is a rich listen - on occasion an over rich listen – but it's continued evidence of The Body's aversion to repeating themselves and willingness to view their sound with an appropriate lack of respect and preciousness."
Mat Colegate

13. Wolfgang Buttress & Bees - Be One
(Rivertones)

12. Huerco S - For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
(Proibito)

"For Those Of You Who Never Have (And Also Those Who Have) is a haunting and deeply moving album, soporific in its repetitions of meditative and often ambivalent melodies, made to be listened to on headphones, alone, in a dark room. It is, ultimately, an incredibly personal collection of songs."
Christopher Sanders

Read oure review of For Those Of You Who Never Have (And Also Those Who Have) here.

11. Puce Mary - The Spiral
(Posh Isolation)

"On The Spiral Frederikke Hoffmeier's approach is subtle but forceful, with tracks building from quiet beginnings into multi-faceted vignettes that lurch from raw power to more expansive territories where silence is almost as valued as noise."
Joseph Burnett

Read our review of The Spiral here.

10. Marissa Nadler - Strangers
(Bella Union)

"Throughout, Strangers is quite simply an understated tour de force by a now experienced composer and performer, able to convey a feeling and lead the way within it in equal measure."
Ned Raggett

Read our review of Strangers here.

9. Fat White Family - Songs For Our Mothers
(Without Consent)

"Strong melodies with jagged contours, brain-wronging phrases chanted in lieu of choruses, forgotten garage rock licks mixed with artful post-punk aesthetics. They conjure the thrill of scrambled signals when you're off your rocker on booze and drugs, project an uncensored phantasmagoria."
Lee Arizuno

Read our review of Songs For Our Mothers here.

8. Julianna Barwick – Will
(Dead Oceans)

"Will is elegiac, siren-like, contemplative and emotive in the purest sense to almost equal degrees."
Karl Smith

Read our review of Will here.

7. Sote - Hardcore Sounds From Tehran
(Opal Tapes)

"I know what you're thinking: "Look at that brutally-horned metal helmet decorated with a brass man's moustachioed face replete with jagged chain mail neck bunting... there is no way any music made by mere mortals can live up to such a fierce image." Except you would be wrong. This juddering slab of Iranian techno not only lives up to the anticipation generated by the glorious sight of a forged metal war hat - it exceeds it and then some."
John Doran

Read our review of Hardcore Sounds From Tehran here.

6. Skepta - Konnichiwa
(Boy Better Know)

"Grime may be poised ready to sally forth out of its largely self-built walls and conquer hearts and minds the world over, but its fate rests firmly in the hands of its head bannerman. This is his warcry."
Josh Gray

Read our review of Konnichiwa here.

5. Brian Eno – The Ship
(WARP)

"The Ship is the work of someone who fully believes in the power of art as an empathic tool, as a means to invoke a particular viewpoint, an unconsidered perspective."
Lottie Brazier

Read our review of The Ship here.

4. Klara Lewis - Too
(Editions Mego)

"Klara Lewis' knack for combining found sounds with contemporary beats and careful balance of experimentation and restraint originally marked her out as something special, and thankfully she doesn’t disappoint on Too."
Amelia Phillips

Read our review of Too here.

3. Jessy Lanza - Oh No
(Hyperdub)

"What distinguishes Jessy Lanza as a songwriter is this ability to craft deeper meaning without the furnishing of symbols, and little in the way of direct references to the outside world - save pop’s one eternally out-of-reach totem, ‘baby’ – all the while never sacrificing boogieability. The no frills content of the songs signposts a direct path to the artist’s soul, and Lanza’s total and utter presence throughout the record is just undeniable. She’s the prototypical 21st century singer-songwriter: synthetic yet pure."
Tristan Bath

Read our review of Oh No here.

2. David Bowie - Blackstar
(ISO)

"Somehow Bowie and producer Tony Visconti pull elements of Walker, jazztronica, manual beats, Aleister Crowley, Bartók, arabesque ululations, Friedrich Nietzsche and the visual menace of Chris Cunningham all together, and they make a 10-minute melange that is both defiantly avant garde and peculiarly pleasing to the ear and eye all at the same time. One listens to 'Blackstar' and all of a sudden The Next Day feels like a solid but safe stepping stone to something truly important; the sense of anticipation has been almost tangible in my household ever since. ★ in no way disappoints."
Jeremy Allen

Read our review of Blackstar here.

Read our review of Blackstar here.

1. Årabrot - The Gospel

"The Gospel deserves to be heard on a far wider scale than anything they've previously released. Before, their appeal was limited by their approach, however excellent it might have been. Now, the sludgy guitars and snarled lyrics are a minor component, not the driving force. There's tinkled ivories, rock-club air guitar moments, a genuine pop sensibility, camp theatre and high drama. Plus a backstory with an ending that's happy not just for Årabrot, but for all of us."
Noel Gardner

Read our review of The Gospel here.

ONE: Arabrot - The Gospel
TWO: David Bowie - Blackstar
THREE: Jessy Lanza - Oh No
FOUR: Klara Lewis - Too
FIVE: Brian Eno – The Ship
SIX: Skepta - Konnichiwa
SEVEN: Sote - Hardcore Sounds From Tehran
EIGHT: Julianna Barwick – Will
NINE: Fat White Family - Songs For Our Mothers
TEN: Marissa Nadler - Strangers
ELEVEN: Puce Mary - The Spiral
TWELVE: Huerco S - For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
THIRTEEN: Wolfgang Buttress & Bees - Be One
FOURTEEN: The Body - No One Deserves Happiness
FIFTEEN: Jambinai - A Hermitage
SIXTEEN: Wacław Zimpel - Lines
SEVENTEEN: Jute Gyte - Perdurance
EIGHTEEN: Daniel Patrick Quinn - I, Sun
NINETEEN: Matmos - Ultimate Care II
TWENTY: Anohni - Hopelessness
TWENTY ONE: DJ Marfox – Chapa Quente
TWENTY TWO: Jackie Lynn - Jackie Lynn
TWENTY THREE: Billy Bao - The Lagos Sessions
TWENTY FOUR: Laniakea - A Pot Of Powdered Nettles
TWENTY FIVE: Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book
TWENTY SIX: Peder Mannerfelt - Controlling Body
TWENTY SEVEN: King - We Are King
TWENTY EIGHT: Suede - Night Thoughts
TWENTY NINE: Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
THIRTY: Family Atlantica - Cosmic Unity
THIRTY ONE: Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
THIRTY TWO: Anna Meredith - Varmints
THIRTY THREE: Underworld - Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future
THIRTY FOUR: GNOD - Mirror
THIRTY FIVE: Atlantikwall - Atlantikwall
THIRTY SIX: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – EARS
THIRTY SEVEN: Cats Eyes - Treasure House
THIRTY EIGHT: Atomikylä - Keräily
THIRTY NINE: PJ Harvey - Hope Six Demolition Project
FORTY: Ahrkh Wagner - Ahrkh Wagner
FORTY ONE: Thomas Cohen - Bloom Forever
FORTY TWO: Susanna - Triangle
FORTY THREE: WiDT - WiDT
FORTY FOUR: Skee Mask - Shred
FORTY FIVE: Babyfather - BBF Hosted By DJ Escrow
FORTY SIX: Chairlift – Moth
FORTY SEVEN: Gold Panda - Good Luck And Do Your Best
FORTY EIGHT: Kristoffer Lo - The Black Meat
FORTY NINE: Sam Shalabi - Isis and Osiris
FIFTY: Steve Gunn – Eyes To The Lines
FIFTY ONE: Floorplan - Victorious
FIFTY TWO: Swans - Glowing Man
FIFTY THREE: Black Merlin - Hipnotik Tradisi
FIFTY FOUR: Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo
FIFTY FIVE: Mark Pritchard - Under The Sun
FIFTY SIX: Big Business - Command Your Weather
FIFTY SEVEN: Kowton - Utility
FIFTY EIGHT: Wire - Nocturnal Koreans
FIFTY NINE: Matthew Bourne – Moogmemory
SIXTY: Ghold - Pyr
SIXTY ONE: Knifeworld - Bottled Out Of Eden
SIXTY TWO: Maja Osojnik – Let Them Grow
SIXTY THREE: DJ Qu - Conjure
SIXTY FOUR: Wolf Muller & Cass - The Sound Of Glades
SIXTY FIVE: John Cale - M:Fans
SIXTY SIX: Melt Yourself Down - Last Evenings On Earth
SIXTY SEVEN: Elza Soares – The Woman At The End Of The World
SIXTY EIGHT: Oranssi Pazuzu - Värähtelijä
SIXTY NINE: Deux Filles - Space & Time
SEVENTY: Ulrika Spacek – The Album Paranoia
SEVENTY ONE: Ulver - ATGCLVLSSCAP
SEVENTY TWO: Fumaça Preta - Impuros Fanaticos
SEVENTY THREE: Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld - Nerissimo
SEVENTY FOUR: Bruxa Maria - Human Condition
SEVENTY FIVE: Munma - Three Voices
SEVENTY SIX: Sumac - What One Becomes
SEVENTY SEVEN: Chris Abrahams - Fluid To The Influence
SEVENTY EIGHT: Nisennenmondai - #N/A
SEVENTY NINE: The Invisible - Patience
EIGHTY: Let’s Eat Grandma - I, Gemini
EIGHTY ONE: Skuggsjá - A Piece For Mind And Mirror
EIGHTY TWO: Maja S.K. Ratkje – Crepuscular Hour
EIGHTY THREE: Giacinto Scelsi, Chris Watson & Joe Browning - Scelsi
EIGHTY FOUR: Ash Koosha - I AKA I
EIGHTY FIVE: William Tyler - Modern Country
EIGHTY SIX: Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids - We Be All Africans
EIGHTY SEVEN: The Dwarfs Of East Agouza - Bes
EIGHTY EIGHT: Melanie De Biasio - Blackened Cities
EIGHTY NINE: Pinkshinyultrablast - Grandfeathered
NINETY: Roly Porter - Third Law
NINETY ONE: Forteresse - Thèmes pour la Rébellion
NINETY TWO: Jozef Van Wissem - When Shall This Bright Day Begin?
NINETY THREE: KHÜNNT - Failures
NINETY FOUR: Graham Dunning & Colin Webster – Oval
NINETY FIVE: Palehorse - Looking Wet In Public
NINETY SIX: The Comet Is Coming - Channel The Spirits
NINETY SEVEN: Our Solar System - In Time
NINETY EIGHT: Giovanni Lami – Bias
NINETY NINE: Die Krupps - Stahlwerksrequiem
ONE HUNDRED: Brood Ma - Daze

Michael
Jul 27, 2016 10:30am

And so the moaning begins.....no Autechre? Come on, come on, be serious!

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D
Jul 27, 2016 11:00am

Heron Oblivion x 100

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Wesley
Jul 27, 2016 11:01am

This is brilliant and sums up why I love tQ. I haven't heard of any acts until the 80th entry and the first album on the list I've actually bought is at 39. Plenty of listening to be done!

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Scott T
Jul 27, 2016 11:25am

Some seriously good stuff in there and plenty more to investigate.

But I just don't get Årabrot - The Gospel. It is ostensibly "my cup of tea", I've had it recommended many times, I've listened to it all the way through half a dozen times, is there something wrong with me? :)

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gabby dee
Jul 27, 2016 11:30am

What? No Cobby and Litten? http://louderthanwar.com/cobby-litten-people-come-sea/

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Jul 27, 2016 11:31am

Sorry, not had chance to process Autechte yet... Maybe by the end of the year.

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scotty
Jul 27, 2016 11:34am

Great list - lots to read up on... I've also thoroughly enjoyed:

* Colin Stetson presents 'Sorrow'
* Ital Tek - Hollowed
* Konono No.1 - Konono No.1 Meets Batida
* Clark - The Last Panthers

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Margaret
Jul 27, 2016 12:14pm

I know this isn't exactly the angle that tQ tends to review, but Beyonce's 'Lemonade' is genuinely one of the most creative and political pop records to come out this year.

PS: it so disappointing that the panel here are all male.

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Pascale
Jul 27, 2016 12:30pm

Did you even hear the new Blue Orchids record?

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John Doran
Jul 27, 2016 12:48pm

In reply to Margaret:

I personally think the Beyonce album is ropey as fuck and I'm not going to vote for a record that features Kid Rock and James Corden. We've had female members of staff in the past - one of whom, Sophie, left us a few months back and hasn't been replaced yet. I think it's a shame we don't currently have a female member of staff but it's not like it's a policy of ours just to employ men and I have every hope we'll have another female member of staff soon. And I think the reason why you've chosen the word 'panel' is pretty misleading tbh.

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slirk
Jul 27, 2016 12:49pm

Glaring omissions: Sunwatchers, Western Skies Motel, Tim Hecker, Gaspar Claus & Pedro Soler, Ulaan Passerine, Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith, Sarah Louise, Dreamboat, Glenn Jones, Ryley Walker

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Amanda
Jul 27, 2016 1:13pm

colin stetson ~ sorrow

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hmmm
Jul 27, 2016 1:36pm

I appreciate the effort, I really do! But apart from a handful of decent albums (Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Peder Mannerfelt, The Comet Is Coming, Jozef van Wissem), overall the list is a big pile of steaming MEH.
I don't blame tQ, rather the confused state music is currently in. Never before have we had so many people releasing music, so on the surface it seems that music is in rude health. Yet at the same time, never before has there been such a lack of direction. So called experimentalism used to connote pushing boundaries, nowadays it has become noodling about in a vain attempt to actually find any boundaries that are worth pushing.
The quality to quantity ratio is approaching zero... or maybe it's just a sign that I'm getting too old for this shit.

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Jul 27, 2016 1:59pm

In reply to Margaret:

You seem a bit lost here. May I suggest the music section of The Guardian, where the combination of mainstream pop aesthetics and ticking the right boxes of identity politics (rather than quality content) will be more to your satisfaction.

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Jul 27, 2016 2:06pm

In reply to :

spicy

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Matthew Marcus
Jul 27, 2016 2:35pm

In reply to :

I think it's perfectly legit to say it's disappointing that none of the Quietus (non-)panel are female, without implying sexist culpability. Certainly more legit than sneery "get thee to the Guardian, f***ing feminist" responses.

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danobedlam
Jul 27, 2016 2:44pm

As always, love these lists. They give me plenty of catching up work to do over the rest of the year. Thanks a million.
Everyone's a critic though.. would like to see more Hip Hop on here rather than the obvious big 3 releases which come nowhere near Blighty's finest at the moment: Ocean Wisdom's album and Sonnyjim's "Mud in my Malbec" are out of sight (hoping Suarez hasn't missed the latter and will review in the next column). Nice call with Skepta though. Ta very much, dudes!

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Jul 27, 2016 2:55pm

In reply to hmmm:

I think that anyone who can think of Oranssi Pazuzu or Jute Gyte or Matmos or Arabrot in terms of "noodling" is demonstratably a simpleton.

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Jive Ass Slippers
Jul 27, 2016 3:38pm

Great. I guess I am not getting any work done today. I somehow have 14 out of the top 20 albums on that list including all the top 5 so my Quietus aesthetics have improved. Only issue...Life of Pablo should be nowhere near this list.

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No Refugee
Jul 27, 2016 3:57pm

THAT ORANSSI PAZUZU IS MY NEW SHIT BOY

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NO Refugee
Jul 27, 2016 4:00pm

In reply to D:

FUCK YEAH HERON OBLIVION

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Tog
Jul 27, 2016 4:07pm

Excellent list as always. The only surprise for me is to see the Radiohead album here. Let me be the first to insert a "I thought this was The Quietus not Drowned in Sound, NME etc." comment, lol.

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Matt F
Jul 27, 2016 4:33pm

Great list, will enjoy digging through, you cruel people - just when my own 'things I must listen to' list begins to get time-bendingly impossible, you guys come along...

I do hope Kiran Leonard gets a look in somewhere. Every other (inferior) rag has dismissed his Grapefruit record as being pretentious/self-indulgent/difficult/confused/overcrowded/convinced-of- his-own-brilliance-and-determined-to-convince-everyone-else' (that last from The Wire of all people). It can't only be Marc Riley who answers all naysayers with a thudding, authoritative roar of'And??'

Also, no IWC? curveball much?

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Alan
Jul 27, 2016 4:39pm

--I hope you enjoy this list in general and find something from it that improves your day/ week/ year/ life.

Already has, and just scratching the surface. Thanks!

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Tog
Jul 27, 2016 4:43pm

In reply to Matt F:

IWC as in Ian Willaim Craig cos the album came out in July and this list is for albums released up to 30th June. If not, I would throw in Flowdan as well.

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Matt F
Jul 27, 2016 4:54pm

In reply to Tog:

I DIDN'T READ THE TOP BIT DID I?
Apologies, disregard all my squalid opinions

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B
Jul 27, 2016 5:08pm

Wow, super great list - some of my favorites are here as well as others that I need to check out. The only thing I find troubling is the lack of Valerio Tricoli and Sophia Loizou, but I understand that you can't fit in everything. I do hope you all have a chance to "process" Autechre tho... imo it has some of their best material since Draft 7.30. Would enjoy reading your thoughts on it :)

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John Doran
Jul 27, 2016 5:11pm

In reply to Matt F:

Ah, Grapefruit was a genuine oversight! Sorry Kiran! Will try and remember that for the End Of Year list. I thought the Wire's suggestion that he sounds like the Crash Test Dummies was bizarre. IWC, I would imagine, will be a lock for the top 20 come the end of the year.

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Jul 27, 2016 5:17pm

Great list, in case this ones didn't got into your radar and you missed them, which are on top of my list:
Calhau!- I
Tropa Macaca- Vida
Mamiffer- The World Unseen

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Adam Lehrer
Jul 27, 2016 6:03pm

No Blood Orange? That record is everything that pop music should mean in 2016. Otherwise great list, I'm loading up Apple Music with stuff I missed.

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Daveid P
Jul 27, 2016 6:04pm

never mind the list, I'm still applauding the intro.

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stephan
Jul 27, 2016 6:31pm

Great into. And looking forward to exploring all that I have missed this year.

Did want to ask what thoughts were James Ferraro's new release. Seems surprising that it doesn't merit a mention at least somewhere in the top 100, even given the wildly varied views people have of his music.

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JayJay
Jul 27, 2016 6:57pm

Will enjoy checking these albums out. A couple of albums ive enjoyed which arent on here:

Mamiffer - The world Unseen
Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger
Mara - Surfacing
Nevermen - Nevermen

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John Doran
Jul 27, 2016 7:04pm

In reply to Adam Lehrer:

Blood Orange came out this month didn't it? It'll be in the end of year chart.

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francois
Jul 27, 2016 9:04pm

Good list and some worth investigating but Årabrot? I've tried, but as I have just celebrated my 50th year, I have visions of the moody dock wearing hair crimped goths of my youth which I cannot dismiss!
The Dwarfs Of East Agouza should be way up further, a new direction for afrobeat meets psyche, outstanding record

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Eric
Jul 27, 2016 9:24pm

Thanks for taking the time to write out the numbers to make sure the list is unreadable. Can't be too formulaic here, gotta get that indie cred.

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John Doran
Jul 27, 2016 9:51pm

In reply to Eric:

Wah, wah, wah. Mum I've shat my pants again. Will you wipe my arse for me? I can't find it myself even though I've got a fucking map and GPS.

You silly little man.

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John Doran
Jul 27, 2016 9:52pm

In reply to francois:

Both Luke and I are goths though, so what do you expect?

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Scott T
Jul 27, 2016 10:13pm

After some digestion and investigation, main reactions are: "No Maarja Nuut!?", "That Sote is really rather good"

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pedro
Jul 27, 2016 10:19pm

fuck this list, radiohead should be in the top 5

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Les Dilletante
Jul 28, 2016 12:36am

I don't consume music on a calendar or critic-endorsed basis so it's a great list for me to discover music when faced with that crippling middle-aged music amnesia...

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Shake The Arc
Jul 28, 2016 3:19am

Landlords

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G
Jul 28, 2016 8:23am

Great list, though a few great albums are missing. Most notably, Tim Hecker's Love Streams, his most beautiful work to date. Then, Colin Stetson's SORROW, which is a masterpiece. Second Woman, even though they are like a more accessible Autechre, the s/t album is a really great listen. And of course, Autechre themselves, elseq 1-5 is bonkers. Still, thank you for this list.

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mk
Jul 28, 2016 8:33am

Heron OBLIVION. Yes!

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D
Jul 28, 2016 10:06am

In reply to mk:

HERON oblivion

come on the quietus

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gdahia
Jul 28, 2016 10:07am

Great list. Being brazilian (and an admirer Elza Soares' work), I'm happy to see her album on the list and sad that Meta Meta's (whose members collaborated with her on "A mulher do fim do mundo") latest and great "mm3" is not on the there.

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Old Mother Hell
Jul 28, 2016 10:15am

Interesting list, per usual. I'm kinda pleased to see love for KING's "We Are King" flying pretty high at Number 27 - however, nary a mention on the website proper. No reviews, interviews...

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The norwegian
Jul 28, 2016 10:30am

Interresting to see that six out of 100 albums is by norwegian musicians. I guess we have some to offer in your niche of avantgarde, experimental music - from jazz to metal. But Årabrot on top, that's a surpsise even for a norwegian.

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Geoffrey Head
Jul 28, 2016 10:37am

You should perhaps also listen to 'I Found You Here' by Boat to Row, 'Twist Through The Fire' by Lola Colt and 'Soaked To The Bone' by The Black Feathers

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John Doran
Jul 28, 2016 12:47pm

In reply to Old Mother Hell:

This is a fair comment but I have to say when you get a 100% independent website with no financial backing and only a small skeleton staff - none of whom work full time and currently only me who works this as their main job - it's unrealistic to expect us to get on top of everything as it happens. I've emailed KING's record label to tell them about the chart but they haven't replied. It's often the way with American labels. They're not that interested in how they're covered abroad and it's hard to then organise interviews because of this.

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John Doran
Jul 28, 2016 1:12pm

Heron Oblivion - at last someone's worked out what a collaboration between Cast and All About Eve would sound like.

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John WEsty
Jul 28, 2016 5:11pm

L'au​-​delà
by Delphine Dora

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Matt Leake
Jul 28, 2016 6:04pm

Great list so far. Many new ones I need to check out, a few I forgot about, and number that are on my own list. If I could just add a few additional albums for consideration...

Of note:
One or both of the new Nonkeen albums
One or both of the new Ketev albums
Solyst - the Steam Age
Raime - Tooth
Inter Arma - Paradise Gallows
Iggy Pop- Post Pop Depression
Paul Jebanasam - Continuum
Tim Hecker - Love Streams

https://open.spotify.com/user/matthewleakevis/playlist/7AvvFDL8fB8NoCrhoR20Wj

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Jul 28, 2016 6:37pm

Car seat headrest????????????????

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Jhon_III
Jul 28, 2016 8:28pm

Got it! hipster1:"let's do a very serous & alt list" hipster2:"Oh yeah! also let's focus just in "white" artists... forget about soul albums, forget about Hip-Hop/Rap, forget BEYONCÉ, MICHAEL KIWANUKA, JOEY PURP, BLOOD ORANGE..."

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John Doran
Jul 28, 2016 9:31pm

In reply to Jhon_III:

Hey Earth calling DICKHEAD. What do you think KING are? Who do you think Skepta is? Who do you think Kendrick Lamar is? Who do you think Kanye West is? Who do you think Melt Yourself Down are? Who do you think The Comet Is Coming are? Who do you think The Dwarfs Of East Aguza are? Who the FUCK do you think Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids are you clueless fucking cunt? (The clue's in the album title you fucking prick.) What nationality do you think Ash Koosha is? What nationality do you think Munma is? What nationality do you think Jambinai are? What about The Invisible? What nationality do you think Nisennmondai are? What about Fumaca Preta? What about DJ Qu? What about Babyfather? What about Floorplan YOU FUCKING IMBECILE!?! What about Sam Shalabi - again, read the fucking name you clueless fucking prick. How about Family Atlantica - you fucking moron. What about Chance The Rapper? What about DJ Marfox? What about Sote? Say the list is shit if you like by all means but call me a racist and you better come with your shit together better than this you fucking clown.

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John Doran
Jul 28, 2016 9:33pm

In reply to John Doran:

So sick of people reducing all non-white culture to just soul and hip hop music - itself an aggravating act of casual but repugnant ommi-directional racism.

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John Doran
Jul 28, 2016 9:34pm

In reply to John Doran:

Good shout on Blood Orange though - it came out in July, it'll be in the end of year list.

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Cam
Jul 28, 2016 10:50pm

In reply to John Doran:

Wow,possibly a little too Mr Angry!
I have loved Cavern of Anti Matter.

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Josh
Jul 29, 2016 1:26am

Regular reader from Canada here. Just want to say thank you guys for all the great work you're doing on this website. Keeping up with new music is a truly Sisyphean task which is not made any easier by the mainstream music media's general lack of standards, so it's really nice to have an alternative resource like you guys. I have no idea how you guys find out about all this obscure stuff but I'm glad you do.

Also check out Not Waving - Animals if you haven't already.

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alex
Jul 29, 2016 4:16am

fuck, that king - "the greatest" has been on repeat since I read this yesterday... that's a floor-melter for sure... if that's a thing... which it is...

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D
Jul 29, 2016 7:52am

Cast and All About Eve??!
What the flying fuckidy
Clear proof that long periods of working in music journalism causes hearing loss. A few less Eastern European electronic festivals for you, lad.

Anybody who saw or heard their WFMU set would realise that Heron Oblivion are an awesome brain-frying blend of Comets On Fire meets Bardo Pond meets John Doran's mom in cries of hysteric ecstasy!

https://vimeo.com/170297586

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Johanna
Jul 29, 2016 9:10am

Sote...what am I listening to here? I thought I didn't like techno. This is MAD.

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Adam
Jul 29, 2016 9:42am

Biggest thing for me is the new deluge of 12 albums from Omar Rodriguez-Lopez coming out between now and the end of the year, the first one, Sworn Virgins is excellent.

My other favourite release so far is Fuzzy Hell - Hex Songs. Beautiful folk, was listening to this as Brexit occured and the song Teleology really spoke to me.

Other faves I don't think are mentioned:

mu-ziq - RY30 Trax
Aleksi Perala - Colundi Sequence Vol 16
The Altered Hours - In Heat Not Sorry (amazing psych/post-punk/shoegaze from Cork)
CocaineJesus - We're worried about you
Compilation of Iranian Experimental Music - Absence
Coypu - Floating
Dreamboat - Dreamboat
Dwallicht - Welkin EP
HKE - Omnia (clearly indebted to Autechre live this is class)
Kettel - Wingtip
Konx-Om-Pax - Caramel
Lone - Levitate
Odd Nosdam - Sisters
Roslyn Steer- You'll Know
Venetian Snares - Traditional Synthesizer Music
Woven Skull - The Forest of Everything

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Grioir
Jul 29, 2016 11:02am

If one were to complain-- and I wouldn't dream of it, as I would not want to incur the wrath of John Doran-- it might be on the grounds that metal (or whatever you want to call it) is somewhat underrepresented here despite the #1 choice, but the mighty Forteresse shows up (!!!), so even that complaint seems a bit of a whinge. Still, some unincluded metal worthy of consideration for something sometime: Cobalt- Slow Forever, Palace of Worms- The Ladder, Alaric- End of Mirrors, Cough- Still They Prey, and Camel of Doom- Terrestrial. (Has Camel of Doom appeared in The Quietus yet?) Inter Arma's latest was released one week into July, otherwise I would throw that in there also. Finally, honourable mention for an album released in the last week or two of 2015 (thereby missing those year-end lists), but not technically eligible for this kind of list: Batushka- Litourgiya (because the world needs to realize more clearly how much it really does need Gregorian chant inflected Black Metal from Poland).

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John Doran
Jul 29, 2016 11:38am

In reply to Grioir:

The vocals on the new Cobalt are terrible. As are the drums. And the riffs. And the production.

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curley_ted
Jul 29, 2016 11:59am

Bloody love your mid-/end of year lists! Loads to catch up on - particularly Big Business, no idea how that record passed me by. While not his best work, surprised Aphex's 'Cheetah EP' didn't make the list.

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Ramon Mayor
Jul 29, 2016 12:41pm

In reply to John Doran:

Fair enough. I've tried to tell the group that they've gotten some praise from The Quietus and The Wire but no acknowledgement so far. It's kinda weird, especially now that you say you've tried to get in touch.

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deadly_doris
Jul 29, 2016 3:17pm

2 recordings from wand, both are excellent. caught them in portland and they were fantastic!

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John Doran
Jul 29, 2016 5:43pm

In reply to Ramon Mayor:

For the record we're definitely up for doing a feature on them.

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bommi
Jul 29, 2016 6:17pm

JaKönigJa - Emanzipation im Wald

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Mike Murphy
Jul 29, 2016 8:22pm

In reply to John Doran:

iiiDrops is pretty good n'all

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Jhon_III
Jul 29, 2016 11:48pm

In reply to John Doran:

hahahahaha! calm down bitch! your anger just proves my point... I really don't care if you are a stupid music racist or just don't have identification with some genres. I know it's hard for some people to admit that Michael Kiwanuka made a far more consistent album than Radiohead, Arabrot and/or David Bowie, hard to admit that Beyoncé's Lemonade is a breakdown of standards and a top three best albums of 2016 (until now)... Free your mind of preconceptions and stereotypes if you want make a fair list of best albums ;). Never ignore the "pop" music... I mean, I'm pretty sure I heard more albums released this year than you, ALL KIND OF MUSIC, from Mitski to The 1975, form "Grindcore" to "synthpop"... So, go listen "The Dreaming Room" by Laura Mvula, "Infinite Summer" by NZCA Lines, "Too Much of Life is Mood" by Scallops Hotel, "Rain Temple" by 2814, "SVIIB" by School of Seven Bells, "Too Many Voices" by Andy Stott, "Junk" by M83 e etc... And, most important, Don't fool yourself your lil cunt

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Grioir
Jul 30, 2016 3:39am

In reply to John Doran:

Uh, alright-- but it's your thoughts about Camel of Doom I am most interested in-- as well as the new Slugdge after it comes out in a few weeks...

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Wabzgazm
Jul 30, 2016 2:06pm

In reply to Jhon_III:

The 1975???
You just mugged yourself off, mate. Life must be hard when no one takes you seriously.

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Train Dragon
Jul 30, 2016 5:19pm

RE: Brood Ma - Daze (100)
"Like being shouted at by an angry teenager who has something he really objects to but can't tear his eyes away from Minecraft for long enough to really articulate."
Joseph Burnett

What the fuck is that supposed to sound like? This is pretentious NME standard writing. Jesus wept...

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Jhon_III
Jul 30, 2016 11:49pm

In reply to Wabzgazm:

hahahaha! Life must be hard when you follow the musical tastes of others just to get acceptance... pls, go buy a personality

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surfling
Jul 31, 2016 12:45pm

as always, a pleasure to read through the quietus' lists.
plenty of stuff to search out. thanks for these, and for linking to at least some of the online listening options!

a few albums that might not fit your tastes but i enjoyed listening to a lot this year so far:
THE CLAYPOOL LENNON DELIRIUM - Monolith Of Phobos
KING CRIMSON - Live In Toronto
IGGY POP - Post Pop Depression
IGGY POP / TARWATER / ALVA NOTO - Leaves Of Grass
ARNAUD REBOTINI & CHRISTIAN ZANESI - Frontieres
THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - Pages Of Aquarius
MOTORPSYCHO - Here Be Monsters

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Leo L
Jul 31, 2016 6:07pm

Appreciate the tremendous effort required to compile this list for your readers. Would humbly suggest Stian Westerhus - Amputation be reconsidered for the year-end list.

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Aug 1, 2016 12:45pm

I think you should throw a few bands you've made up into these lists, just to keep people on their toes. Tbf I was side eyeing 'The Dwarfs of East Agouza' they were totally made up. I would suggest 'Gimme Gertcha & The Agrophobic Fridge Magnets' or 'Toblerone Dichotomy'. You can have those for free.

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Aug 1, 2016 12:46pm

Agoraphobic.....you get the idea

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Oli Gray
Aug 1, 2016 2:52pm

Just went to the effort of doing this so thought I should share.

Spotify playlist of all available content on this list: https://open.spotify.com/user/olig1905/playlist/0yM0Meh6HmKNrwfe1CVX7p

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Tim
Aug 1, 2016 6:44pm

I was hoping Zeal and Ardor's "Devil is Fine" might have made the cut, but still a solid list overall.

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al
Aug 1, 2016 7:38pm

Great list, lots of stuff to check out, been a great year of music so far. Some stuff I liked that wasn't on the list:
Anderson Paak - Malibu
Horse Lords - Interventions
Heron Oblivion - Heron Oblivion
Badbadnotgood - IV
Jenks Miller & Rose Cross NC - Blues from What
Jim O'rourke / Fennesz - I Wonder If you noticed
Maria Usbeck - Amparo
Africans with mainframes - K.M.T
Margo Price - Mid-west farmers daughter
William Fowler Collins & James Jackson Toth - Under Stars
Chris forsyth - Rarity Of Experience
Rangda - Heretics bargain
Mark Wynn - Singles
Bitchin Bajas & Bonnie Price Billy - Little ditties and epic jammers

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bdc
Aug 2, 2016 10:55am

The only clear issue with this list (other than omitting more highly publicized albums in general) is the placement of Radiohead's new album at #29. C'mon Quietus, the review you published for that album in no way reflects it being ranked that high whatsoever. If anything, it should fall somewhere in the 100-70's mark. The review was really great and wasn't blind, obligatory praise, rather criticizing the album for being a portrait of the band's stagnating creativity and ultimately disappointing. So why is it ranked as high as it is?

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Aug 2, 2016 5:56pm

In reply to Jhon_III:

1975? you fucking spoon.

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Aug 2, 2016 9:04pm

Good list, but I'm just glad that comments are on for this. I've missed you, tQ commenters!

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John Doran
Aug 2, 2016 10:02pm

In reply to bdc:

The only problem here is that you've fundamentally misunderstood how charts work. Not just this one but nearly any magazine's chart. Six people voted for this music and out of them, two really like the Radiohead album. I'm not going to point fingers in an attempt to embarrass them, it's their choice and I respect that. If the chart was solely up to me - rest assured, Radiohead, and several other acts, would not be on it but the chart would also be much weaker as I have certain blindspots due to taste and age etc. In the strictest possible terms, we're not actually saying these are the best albums - any claims towards objectivity, like P4k's percentage score are daft - we're saying these are the albums our staff have listened to the most. Also, you'll notice that Mike Diver, who wrote the review, is not one of the staff members who voted here - so what makes you think there would be any correlation between the review and the chart? But yeah, it's a bit boring isn't it? The one that sounds like Fairport is great though.

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Aug 4, 2016 5:18pm

In reply to John Doran:

Shut up John Doran!! You just "forgot" to mention (conveniently) that most of these people who write reviews and create charts for magazines have compromising links with some bands / producers / entrepreneurs / record labels... That's why reviews of major magazines are totally inaccurate garbage. But "A Moon Shaped Pool" is truly a great album! Radiohead is one of the few Rock bands that's still worth listening to... Tracks like "ful stop" and "Identikit" reminds me the Radiohead of the '90s. By the way, good call on Elza Soares' album, it was a pleasant surprise.

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Winston
Aug 5, 2016 10:58am

Did you give Hella Personal Film Festival by Open Mike Eagle & Paul White a listen ? Innovate stuff, surprised that it didn't sneak in under the wire...

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Mattie
Aug 6, 2016 4:43am

Great list. Dipped into a few releases I hadn't heard and liking most so far,
with Klara Lewis just blowing my mind.
Also just wanted to give a shoutout to EATQS(Ethereal and the Queer Show)'s latest:
FAIRY SUPER CRYSTAL BLUE
Great, great stuff.

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stefan
Aug 10, 2016 12:04pm

Fully agree on the top 20 being the easy part. My 300 saved vaguely sorted are here. https://open.spotify.com/user/1116730677/playlist/4aCaAUc4n2XsOPTFOgra0w

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Jeff
Aug 12, 2016 7:41am

AUTECHRE - elseq 1-5 (easily)
Second Woman - Second Woman
Ariisk - Mode Bionic & Fatal Errors

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TheRingshifter
Aug 17, 2016 12:27am

Love this list! Listening to Arabrot - The Gospel on repeat now and love it! First listen I thought it was a bit simple and repetitive, but on repeats the amazing choruses and great sludgy instrumentation has grown on me and it's now one of my favourites of this year! My top 10:

1. Horse Lords - Interventions (this felt missing from the list!)
2. The Drones - Feelin Kinda Free
3. Årabrot - The Gospel
4. John Zorn - The Painted Bird
5. Death Grips - Bottomless Pit
6. Matmos - Ultimate Care II
7. David Bowie - ★
8. Nails - You Will Never Be One of Us
10. Brian Eno - The Ship

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James Kitchen
Aug 17, 2016 12:51pm

You simply can't miss out Sunwatchers, bloody ridiculous. Also Myrrors, Idris Ackamoor, Soft Gang, Mythic Sunship, Cate le Bon, Chris Forsyth, RONiiA, James Holden & Camilo Tirado, Mary Lattimore, Quadraceratops. my two pence that was, the best two pence imho.

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James Kitchen
Aug 17, 2016 12:58pm

In reply to James Kitchen:

Apols, Idris is in there and well he might be as such. Thanks for the list btw, interesting and informative.

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Mary Kelly
Aug 19, 2016 10:38am

Ok, I've listened to nearly all of these and I have to say it is almost all total shite. I used to like your lists and the general taste of Quietus but it seems to have turned to shit. Årabrot is utter tripe, utter utter tripe. Jessie Lanza, seriously?

More than anything else this list portrays total boredom. Boring and precious 'artists' whose concepts are far loftier than their talent. Dull as dishwater.

You have wasted my time Quietus, sack someone.

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rex
Aug 20, 2016 11:45am

ive only got 6 of these and 4 of those are in your top 20------so well done -ill bee keeping you lot on

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Melvin
Aug 30, 2016 2:28pm

Love the list and can't wait to dive into so much of what I haven't yet heard! For my own part, I have been bananas for Mount Moriah's "How to Dance" since it came out in February!

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Barry
Sep 4, 2016 6:01pm

Shearwater - Jet Plane And Oxbow, where the fark is it.

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~ramdom
Sep 7, 2016 9:46am

In reply to John Doran:

uh..."we’re much more likely to respond favourably to a post where we don’t get referred to in either rude or downright offensive terms."

Geez...that's an understatement in yer response to both Margaret & that literal reductionist, Jhon_III dude. But man, yr responses tending towards the mean, over-reactive, super-sensitive, self-defensive, tad-more-than-slightly-cruel kind of tract just looks like you got baited and showed this real nasty temper and harsh realm mode...

I love this website, i really do. There's just so much to...digest and discover. I can tell it's a labour of Love - it's apparent fucking everywhere! But John, please take it easy on these plebeian, under-bridge dwellers and "I like all kinds of music: Coldplay & RHCP rock!" posters: "they know not what they do." I get that some people don't get shit, I really do & I'm defending nobody - just chillin' n checkin' the posts...but "get(ting) referred to in either rude or downright offensive terms" kinda flows downstream as well. So, whoa.

" I forgive what you did to me, but that you did it to yourself - how could I forgive that?"- FN

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~ramdom
Sep 7, 2016 9:46am

In reply to John Doran:

uh..."we’re much more likely to respond favourably to a post where we don’t get referred to in either rude or downright offensive terms."

Geez...that's an understatement in yer response to both Margaret & that literal reductionist, Jhon_III dude. But man, yr responses tending towards the mean, over-reactive, super-sensitive, self-defensive, tad-more-than-slightly-cruel kind of tract just looks like you got baited and showed this real nasty temper and harsh realm mode...

I love this website, i really do. There's just so much to...digest and discover. I can tell it's a labour of Love - it's apparent fucking everywhere! But John, please take it easy on these plebeian, under-bridge dwellers and "I like all kinds of music: Coldplay & RHCP rock!" posters: "they know not what they do." I get that some people don't get shit, I really do & I'm defending nobody - just chillin' n checkin' the posts...but "get(ting) referred to in either rude or downright offensive terms" kinda flows downstream as well. So, whoa.

" I forgive what you did to me, but that you did it to yourself - how could I forgive that?"- FN

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John Doran
Sep 7, 2016 8:10pm

In reply to ~ramdom:

You're completely misunderstanding how this works. I spent three fucking days building this chart - and I mean working round the clock. So if someone rocks up and goes, 'Hey man, what about xxxxxx?' I'm going to say, 'Nice recommend, I'll check it out.' But if they start acting like a dick I'm going to call them a massive fucking whopper and tell them to jump out of the nearest fucking window. Because that's how it works. You dig? You want to call the shots, start your own website.* (Genuinely though - don't, it's like spending a decade headbutting a wall.)

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ramdom
Sep 8, 2016 1:11am

In reply to John Doran:

I'm misunderstanding fuck all, thought i made that clear. I'm just gonna back away slowly & merely read the comments. Watch your blood pressure though, John. Nice job on the list btw!

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James C
Sep 9, 2016 11:11am

It never ceases to amaze me the level of ire these endeavours engender. Like you've breached some statutory duty resulting in the death of a child. For the record I enjoyed reading it and agreeing and disagreeing in about equal measure.

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John
Sep 11, 2016 8:34pm

why snub the Avalanches? they made the album of the year!

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Mike
Sep 23, 2016 12:58pm

Good list. I'm very surprised Kevin Morby's Singing Saw isn't in there though, a great album.

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James H
Sep 29, 2016 11:47am

King have moved on a bit since 'Love and Pride' eh? I like the new direction.

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huw roberts
Oct 4, 2016 3:00am

wow what a list I only have black star, Barbara, Barbara and a moon shaped pool am I boring is my listening life in crisis

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huw roberts
Oct 4, 2016 3:00am

wow what a list I only have black star, Barbara, Barbara and a moon shaped pool am I boring is my listening life in crisis

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Edwod
Oct 10, 2016 5:18pm

Camp Cope - CAMP COPE

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Kzen Muug
Nov 7, 2016 3:05pm

" Instead I like to think of this top 100 in terms of a three dimensional computer mode" ==> I like this ! Ever read Neuromancer? ;-)

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broos
Nov 27, 2016 10:08pm

Marissa Anderson "Into the Light"
75 Dollar Bill "Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock"
Spacin' "Total Freedom"
Roy Montgomery "RMHQ"
...just off the top of my head

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stonepoem
Dec 5, 2016 2:48pm

I have great difficulty understanding why this album is not on anyone's (let alone The Quietus) radar as these zombie art teens have made one of the most astonishing debuts in years. It's a suburban concept album about (I think) the current teenage condition. Think Beefheart meets Beach Boys meets Radiohead meets Vangelis joining The Pop Group, beamed into space but returned with a secret code embedded within.

Please have a listen and tell me I'm wrong.

https://diagonalpeople.bandcamp.com/

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Westicle
Dec 12, 2016 1:41pm

you guys always have to stick some weird-ass crap in there to make me roll my eyes and actually doubt the authenticity of everything else on the list.

right, I mean Kanye. feeding his ego does no good for any of us. did you actually listen to Life Of Pablo? omfg, it's unlistenable. awful nonsense that's literally on par with Justin Bieber, and nowhere near the Swans or Bowie. yet, you put it there.

are you guy really so desperate for clicks that you'd do that to the rest of us?

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Ron
Dec 12, 2016 1:44pm

In reply to francois:

and, saddest of all: no Kid Congo. that's just unforgivable. jeez.

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Chicken Lips
Dec 12, 2016 1:55pm

In reply to John:

"why snub the Avalanches? they made the album of the year!"

because it sucks. it's nowhere near as interesting as the first one, and is over packed with "guest artists" who only distract from the proceedings. ugh.

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