tQ's Reissues Etc Of 2016, In Association With Norman Records
, December 15th, 2016 10:23
Here it is, our compilations, reissues, mixes, live albums & mixtapes top 100 of 2016 as voted for by John Doran, Luke Turner, Karl Smith and Christian Eede, with help from Paddy Clarke
I'm going to get straight to the point as I'm still recovering from a head injury received when I took on a car (and lost) while cycling to work three weeks ago.
I co-sign everything my friend and co-editor Luke Turner said in his eloquent introduction to the Albums Of The Year chart last week. The only thing I think bears repeating here is this, please do buy an album or two from Norman's if you like what you read about. Well over 90% of this chart is either made by marginal, independent (if not struggling) musicians or put out by marginal labels that make little in the way of profit - or both. And if you like this feature or the site in general, please do think about bunging us a few quid via the donate button, especially if you use an ad-blocker. 100% of this money goes to our freelance contributor base - with absolutely none of it coming to us here at tQHQ.
But just because I'm skimping on the word count (listen to those sighs of relief!) for once doesn't mean I don't have a point. I feel that the second of our big end of year charts is just as important as the albums of the year list that we ran last week - if not more so in my opinion. It is a top 100 of reissues, compilations, DJ mixes, live albums, splits, box sets, anthologies and the all important "etc." category, voted for by Christian Eede, Karl Smith, Luke Turner and myself. (Thanks to Paddy Clarke for doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes.) If you add these two lists together and then combine them with our top tracks list (due to run next week) then, in short, you get the clearest indication of what this site is actually about and the sort of musical avenues we're going to be exploring next year.
I don't have anything to say about the quality of 2016 as a year but these charts to me are a reminder, should one be necessary, of the psychic protection and healing offered by music. Recently, I was confined to the couch for a fortnight with the ridiculous (but apparently necessary) instruction from the hospital, not to watch any TV, read any books, use any computers or even to indulge in conversation. This left me incapable of doing anything other than becoming acquainted or reacquainted with various albums by Gas, Kemper Norton, A Tribe Called Quest, John Foxx, Hannah Peel, The Headhunters... Music remains the medicine for what ails us, I'm convinced.
Thanks for showing an interest in what we do; I hope you enjoy this music as much as we have this year; and please do have a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year. John Doran
100. Momus - Pubic Intellectual: An Anthology 1986-2016
"Pubic Intellectual is Momus in a nutshell: yes, in the literal sense, this compilation comprises the collected works of Scotland’s leading estoteri-pop star, but also – as a title – it’s about as fitting as they come for an artist named after the Greek god of satire. Momus’ entire output is self-deprecating: full of the highbrow influence of Continental philosophy, any danger of pretense or archness are neutralised by music with such a commitment to lo-fi production that it seems to chastise itself even as it plays. Celebrating his 30th anniversary as an artist, when Nick Currie named this 56-track retrospective it’s unlikely that he knew 2016 would be the year that the masses “had enough of experts” – that public intellectualism would not just be accused of the kind of elitism with which it has always been tarred (and with which Momus has dealt with so acutely, with such humour and deftness), but that it would be branded a kind of treachery against the People. As ever with Momus, Pubic Intellectual An Anthology 1986-2016 is a collection that manages to poke fun at elitism and philistinism at the same time, challenging the myth of both labels in the process."
99. GAS - Box
"Gas records hove like slow tornadoes, bearing with them the broken-down detritus of the epic achievements of past musical times and show how these can provide the mass of tiny building blocks for new musics in our own times. 20 years on, they still rage with unexplored future possibilities."
98. Suicide -Suicide: Alan Vega And Martin Rev
"The thing about Suicide is we knocked off about five sacred cows at one time. It wasn't just the name, it wasn't just what we did onstage. The fact that we were two guys, that's a sacred cow, then we had no guitars, no drums, so we're hitting it on three or four levels."
97. Arthur Verocai - Arthur Verocai
"You know most of these Holy Grail psych jazz folk whatever albums mastered from a shitty CDr of a tape of the third CD reissue of a bootleg of a demo which was found in a skip out the back of Greggs are guilty of many things, not the least conflating obscurity with quality... BUT Arthur Verocai, in terms of production and vibe to begin with, is the real deal."
96. Various Artists - Boogie Breakdown: South African Synth-Disco 80-84
(Cultures Of Soul)
"Probably like a lot of people, before this year I hadn't spent much time thinking about South Africa's ultra-fresh synth disco boom of the early 80s but thanks to Cultures Of Soul that has now been rectified."
95. Lena Willikens - Dekmantel Podcast 070
"A DJ with that vital ability to reshape and re-contextualise records that you might already be aware of - whether that be in the way she mixes them or in her trusty move of playing 45rpm records at 33rpm - as well as throwing up all kinds of eccentric new discoveries, Lena Willikens' contribution to the Dekmantel podcast series sees her tap into the more visceral end of her club sets weaving together industrial, and at times trippy, techno and electro with aplomb." Christian Eede
94. Conor Thomas - The Smoking Man
"All of the music featured was recorded between the years of 1993 and 2004 with Thomas throwing together grin-inducing hardcore with distinctly dark jungle as a tribute to a series of free parties he attended in Manchester between 2002 and 2006, stating himself that he had intended to pay closest attention to the more menacing “darkside” material emerging within the jungle and drum and bass scenes during the late 1990s." Christian Eede
93. Ernesto Chahoud - Jakarta Radio 011: Middle Eastern Heavens III
"Ernesto Cahoud always brings strong sartorial game to the world of Middle Eastern funk, not to mention heavy artillery and a good cheroot."
92. Joy Orbison - Dekmantel Podcast 081
Joy Orbison's entry into the Dekmantel podcast series begins rather ironically. With a spoken word intro from his uncle Ray Keith bemoaning how too many DJs play their own music and their friends' music, the DJ and producer launches into a one-hour long collection of brand new and mostly unreleased material from, you guessed it, his peers and close affiliates. It's a neat summation of excellent house and techno in 2016 before the second hour sees the DJ indulge the more esoteric side of his record collection much in the same way as his Rush Hour cassette mix did in 2015 with music from Yo La Tengo and Haruomi Hosono, among others, getting a look in. Christian Eede
91. Third Eye Foundation - Semtex
"Twenty years have passed since Bristol based Flying Saucer Attack and Movietone associate Matt Elliott released his four track recorded, industrial and post rock leaning 'drum & bass album', Semtex and little has come along since that sounds much like it."
90. Chi - The Original Recordings
"Originally recorded at a farm in The Netherlands in 1985 and reissued early in 2016 by Astral Industries, this collection of material from the Chi collective offers a psychedelic, almost paganistic take on ambient music - deep and greatly comforting." Christian Eede
89. Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus - Promised Land Sounds (Rockin’ Live Ruff N Tuff)
"A far out excursion through roots reggae sounds dating back to the 1980s, Dug Out's reissue of Promised Land Sounds once again puts these excellent, dubbed out cuts back into circulation." Christian Eede
88. Evan Baggs - RA.531
"Still such an underrated DJ outside of his specific field, Evan Baggs steps up with an hour-long mix of deftly-sequenced, spacey minimal techno comprising music from Binh, Biosphere and all manner of unidentifiable unreleased and old material." Christian Eede
87. Michal Turtle - Phantoms Of Dreamland
(Music From Memory)
"Music From Memory showed no signs of stopping in 2016 keeping up a busy release schedule and digging up all kinds of treats mostly originally released during the 1980s. Phantoms Of Dreamland is a compilation of some of Michal Turtle's finest works, much of it having been previously unavailable, sounding like a blueprint for much of the music emerging now from the apparent 'Balearic revival'."
86. Lena Platonos - Sun Masks
"Keeping up an astonishingly frequent release schedule in 2016 as ever, a sure highlight from Dark Entries' many reissues this year was their second release of material from Lena Platonos, a reissue of her 1984 album. Combining her vocals, at times dry and spoken word and at others soft and sung, the album's 10 tracks are an insight into some of Platonos' first recorded experiments with the CS-60 synth and TR-808 drum machine."
85. Erasure - The Innocents
"People have grown older with us, and tell us that our songs have changed their lives, which is kind really heartwarming."
84. Ludus - Nue Au Soleil (Completement)
(Les Disques Du Crepuscule)
83. Gwenan - JustCast 01: Live At Freerotation 2016
"Rounding up the penultimate night of Freerotation back in July, Gwenan’s two-hour trip through the more minimal, tech-y corners of house music was certainly the weekend’s highlight. Traversing a bulk of mostly unidentifiable material, to me at least, Gwenan subtly shifts between a wealth of hypnotic, groove-laden cuts, proving just why she is one of the UK’s most underrated DJs." Christian Eede
82. Betty Harris - The Lost Queen Of New Orleans Soul
(Soul Jazz Records)
"The title says it all. Why Betty Harris isn't a household name is a question worth asking but hopefully this typically great Soul Jazz primer will go some way to redressing this issue."
81. Manuel Gottsching - E2-E4
"Released this year to celebrate the album’s 35th anniversary, Manuel Göttsching’s E2-E4 is testament to the fact that – unlike telephones, televisions and various other gadgetry aesthetically and functionally very much of their time – electronic music doesn’t become dated just because the date itself advances. The axis of Ash Ra Tempel, and subsequently no stranger to experimentation, his E2-E4 suite oscillates between chill out and fervour: harmonics and synthetic bass, like the last rays of light, bounce back and forth for the best part of an hour – trapped in a wild maze of sonic prisms – somehow both grounded and lifted by a rising guitar squall."
80. Rexy - Running Out Of Time
"It's fair to say that Running Out Of Time, the first and only album from Rexy, is very of its time, having originally emerged in 1981. The coming together of singer 'Rex' Nayman and Eurythmics band member Vic Martin, the record is packed with funk and has a charming element of chintz about it, especially in album highlight 'Alien',dan the intro of which you could imagine soundtracking the credits for an '80s daytime TV show." Christian Eede
79. Colin Newman - Various Reissues
Colin Newman's under-regarded solo material from the 1980s has started to make its way out in a year that has seen him continue to assert a still-thriving creative spirit, with Wire remaining on form and the return of Immersion, the project with Malka Spigel that was a highlight of the Pop-Kultur Festival. A-Z saw Newman start to find his feet following the first demise of Wire in a collection of odd and experimental pop songs, continued on the pleasingly off-kilter Provisionally Entitled The Singing Fish.
78. Tee Mac featuring Marjorie Barnes - Night Illusion
(Soul Jazz Records)
"Keeping abreast of dancefloor fashions, he adopted a slick boogie style for 1980’s stunning Hit Hit – which clearly would have been as suitable for Manhattan’s Studio 54 as it was in his own Black Pussycat club in Yaba. As much as Tee Mac was a great band leader and flautist, his real secret weapon in the Nigerian boogie period was his powerhouse lead vocalist, Marjorie Barnes, who carries this track effortlessly across a heaving, underlit dancefloor. Tee Mac remains a successful businessman and one of the most in-demand and highly paid flautists in the world."
77. Powder - Juno Plus Podcast 140
"Powder’s 52-minute mix for the now sadly defunct Juno Plus (RIP) is something of a blank map: cartography with no discernable legend, for the better part of an hour, Moko Shibata proceeds on a tour of the humid landscape of her influences. Spacious, psychotropic, wooded bass – insistent and burrowing – throbs from what feels like inside the temples, before taking a detour through the coiled-spring claustrophobia of the 80s and emerging into a vast sonic landscape. Empty at first, the unoccupied space is slowly populated over time until the point of spilling over with life. There are no signposts here, but in persevering (with what can seem at times like an auditory vision quest) the key reveals itself and points emphatically to the fact you should listen to more Powder."
76. Nurse With Wound - Dark Fat
"Being a reliably awkward band, Dark Fat isn't quite a live album in the regular sense, but is formed from recordings of their shows and rehearsals, all meticulously collaged together by Stapleton and Waldron into a generous two-hour dose of brimming excitement, equal parts danger and delight."
75. Daniel Schmidt - In My Arms, Many Flowers
"Comprising early American experimentations into gamelan music by Daniel Schmidt and some fellow composers recorded between 1978 and 1992, the four pieces on In My Arms, Many Flowers were produced by Schmidt with instruments made from aluminium rather than bronze as there was no authentic gamelan available to him in his base of Berkeley. The pieces take in avant-garde, minimalist influences from the time in which they were produced and offer a deeply touching take on the sound of gamelan music." Christian Eede
74. Xoli Ngcoza - African Roots Mix
"She moved to the US in 2004 and has been DJing Stateside for the last decade, making a name for herself as a house DJ, but this heavy and deep exploration of her Afro roots knocks chunks out of all comers, featuring as it does, Miriam Makeba, King Sunny Ade and Ali Farka Toure among many others."
73. Various Artists - Absence
"The tracks collected for this compilation are a perfect example of art that is not "newsworthy". And in this way they act as a gateway to the ignored and overlooked landscape of experimental electronic music in Iran. It is helpful to listen to all of the pieces in this compilation in contrast to the established language of what is now an Iranian musical mainstream."
72. Colored Music - Colored Music
"An original copy of the full Colored Music album will set you back hundreds of pounds on the resale market having built a strong cult following via word of mouth and Discogs wantlist hype. Chee Shimizu's release of edits of two tracks from the album gives modern audiences a chance to own some of the original album's colourful flirtations with new wave, mostly in their original form, without having to break the bank too much."
71. Larry Levan - Genius of Time
"Genius Of Time, being a compilation of some of Larry Levan's finest club mixes built to be played at New York's Paradise Garage, speaks for itself really. The compilation collects together his sleek edits of tracks from Loose Joints and Grace Jones amongst others before bowing out on my personal highlight, Gwen Guthrie's 'Seventh Heaven'."
70. Various Artists - The Microcosm: Visionary Music of Continental Europe, 1970-1986
(Light In The Attic)
While there are a lot of unsavoury (and absolutely correct) words that could be used to describe the events and general atmosphere of 2016, it’s also been a big year for compilations with a mandate to connect the dots: psych and electronica have had their retrospectives with varying successes and, in The Microcosm, so has the broad church of European synth music – or, rather, the Visionary Music of Continental Europe, 1970-1986, to give it its full subtitle. Bouncing between Popol Vuh, Vangelis, Suzanne Doucet and Roedelius (to name but four), the music on this compilation ranges from the broadest and most spacious of soundscapes, through twinkling ethereality, to music with the kind of frenetic potential of a water main just on the very edge of (and promising to) bursting. For all their differences, though, Visionary is certainly Ronseal."
69. Jaures - Mix for Hessle Audio, Rinse FM, May 12
"Jaures' hour-long mix for the Hessle Audio show on Rinse FM is unrelentingly murky, pulling together various industrial sounds ranging from sleazy EBM to cacophonous electronic experimentations, even throwing in some sounds from Pinch that sit somewhere on the dubstep axis along the way."
68. William Basinski - 92982
"Performing in almost total darkness, Basinski made good use of sparse visuals which, projected against the back wall of the church, reflected the moody atmosphere of the music, as gossamer images of the full moon faded in and out of a blurry haze."
67. Xiu Xiu - Plays The Music Of Twin Peaks
"Enough of the original material is played straight to make this a pretty perfect marriage of styles, and when guitar squawls, skitter percussion and random beeps complicate the mix, it sounds jazzy but never like a cacophony, because those Badalamenti vibraphone and piano motifs guide us through."
66. Various Artists - Late Junction Sessions: Unpopular Music
"All credit must go to Late Junction for assembling and curating such a fabulous array of talent with what feels like the lightest of hands on the tiller. It somehow warms the cockles to think of the material for this record being patiently collated, and guided, and then presented in good old-fashioned album format. Lord Reith’s not dead, kids!"
65. Various Artists - Music Of Morocco Recorded By Paul Bowles 1959
(Dust To Digital)
"Music Of Morocco jumps around the country in ways that would be impossible in the physical world, veering gently between the most trance-inducing, celebratory, and heart-rending sounds with little regard to one track's geographical relationship to the next."
64. Bruce - Juno Plus Podcast 148
"The idea of latching onto a single piece of sound and fucking with it and just manipulating it in different ways is what I try to do. Just compelling it, controlling it and that amazing feeling you have when you play with that elastic putty stuff; just seeing how it moulds yet has a form."
63. Gemini - Imagine-A-Nation
"'It’s The Inside That Counts' exquisitely captures the kind of grooves that really made dance floors tick at the time of this album’s release, spotlighting that unrivalled swing of the beats so symptomatic of Kincy’s work."
62. Malcom Pointon - Electromuse
"The excellent Public Information label continue to mine the cult masters of electronic inspiration past with this collection of music by Malcolm Pointon, composer turned tape and synth tinkerer. This is gloriously immersive stuff, like being on a submarine mission at the declaration of world piece and hearing the parties on the ships of your former enemies booming through the water. A decade ago Pointon came to wider attention after his long battle with Alzheimers was made into a TV documentary, and this collection comes with a moving tribute from his wife Barbara."
61. Marc Almond - Trials Of Eyeliner: Anthology 1979-2016
"We tried to be an antidote to what was being presented as the clean, wholesome side to Conservative Britain. We weren't political in the sense of waving banners and doing Rock Against Racism and all of that, but we tried to be a little bit more subversive, purely by being what we were. Us getting a record on the radio felt like a triumph in itself."
60. Jon K - Dekmantel Podcast 051
"Arriving early in the year, Manchester DJ Jon K's contribution to Dekmantel's mix series truly represents his idiosyncrasies as a DJ and shows off why he is such a respected selector acting as a kind of introduction to the depth of his record collection, dipping between some sounds suited to home listening and others centred around the dance floor. The mix may have also served as the first introduction to many to Equiknoxx whose Bird Sound Power album was one of the year's best."
59. Various Artists - More Better Days: Avant-Wave
"Another release courtesy of Chee Shimizu, this compilation collects together a number of Japanese fusion rarities in one neat package. Some tracks bear jazz influences while others call to mind disco and boogie. Pecker's 'Kylyn' gives us a sense of Japanese forays into dub and jazz fusion as composed by Yellow Magic Orchestra's Ryuichi Sakamoto."
58. Perc & Truss - 404 Festival Mix
"Our collaborative tracks, much like our Perc and Truss DJ sets, allow us to indulge in slightly more ‘overt’ music than perhaps we would do with our solo productions - and that’s a lot of fun."
Perc & Truss
57. Batu - Juno Plus Podcast 142
"There's a kind of futuristic energy to UK stuff that is quite unique, and it's something that is lacking in techno and other dance music sometimes, for me. I'm looking to capture and transfer that energy to my own work."
56. Bruce Langhorne - The Hired Hand OST
"There's barely any music really, just these gorgeous sounds, like wind and other atmospherics. There are some really beautiful compositions and I just really like the soundtrack. It was released on Blast First and I don't think the original tapes exist to The Hired Hand so they had to take the recording off of the actual soundtrack on the celluloid, and there's something that I really like about that; the fact that it hasn't been digitally re-mastered, mixed and made “super-bling” in a way. It just exists because of the actual film itself."
55. V.O. - Mashisa
"The lead track, which appears here alongside an additional ‘Dub Mix’ stripping back some of the elements of the original, is a slice of boundless joy bursting with pure energy in its grin-inducing synths and sprightly vocals. It’s not often that you discover tracks with the sheer ability that ‘Mashisa’ has to make one smile." Christian Eede
54. The Units - Animals They Dream About
"Regular readers of the site will know that I’m a fan of San Franciscan synth punks the Units but I still had some trepidations about hearing their never before released second album Animals They Dream About. However I needn’t have worried as it’s great. ‘More Alive’ reveals that by 1982, Units had become much more at home in the studio without completely sanding down and polishing off their rough edges (although this album is notably more synth than punk)."
53. Suzanne Ciani - Buchla Concerts 1975
"In those days I had the good fortune to to study with the father of computer music, Max Mathews. He died a couple of years ago. In those days, computers were the size of deep freezers and you had to go to a facility to use them. But the concepts, really, were clear."
52. Autechre - Amber
"Amber and the preceding Incunabula too bore moderate resemblances to then-contemporary styles like ambient, breakbeat, and techno such that they weren’t automatic aural deterrents. The rhythms could be unconventional in places, but overall were still largely tethered to subgenres with relatability. A DJ could find a place for ‘Basscadet’ or ‘Bike’ in a set precisely because Booth and Brown understood and respected the rave scene, going so far as to defend it with their protest EP Anti. Autechre didn’t exist in a vacuum - at least, not yet."
51. Zos Kia / Coil - Transparent
"What we try to do is make music that permanently and fundamentally changes the way people feel and people understand their environment and the place they're at in the world - and hopefully not do it in a way that's damaging to their health."
50. Avalon Emmerson - Groove Podcast 52
"Massive respect to all of the heavily touring DJs who still travel with heavy bags of vinyl and stuff but in my opinion that’s not what makes a good or bad DJ – how well you can or cannot beat match or what medium you play. When I play, I think of things in terms of words I’ll string together to make a sentence which can develop into an idea or a feeling."
49. Aidan Moffat - Where You're Meant To Be
(Kiss My Beard Productions)
"After a few studio sessions, I realised that if I wanted to truly capture the spirit of my endeavour, we could only really do a live record, which would also echo some classic folk albums, many of which were recorded with an audience to prove their authenticity. The obvious thing to do (and the original plan) was to mix the Barrowlands show and release that – the audience was about fifteen times the size of the other gigs, for one thing, so my ego would’ve been sated – but, as much as I love the place and was excited to finally play a headline show in such a prestigious venue, there’s already plenty of recordings from the Barras out there, but I’m pretty sure we’ve made the first ever live album recorded in Drumnadrochit Village Hall. And also, simply, it was a great gig; the Drumnadrochit crowd blew us away and reinvigorated the tour. We all loved that night, and if you were part of the audience – and maybe even bought us a pint in the Benleva afterwards – we thank you." Aidan Moffat
48. Jessy Lanza - FACT Mix 543
"Choosing music as a career path, if you’re prone to depression or anxiety, it’s kind of one of the worst paths you could choose. So I think routine for me is important, and that’s what the studio is, that keeps me sane and feels alright."
47. Sun Ra - Singles: The Definitive 45s Collection
"For Sun Ra, born in a time a place when a black person was taught to expect to amount to no more than nothing, his philosophy, as successfully realised in his music, was a triumph. He saw that history was just his story - that black people could lay claim to a past heritage, even a mythical one, and, it followed, lay claim to the future. Along came Ra and so it came to pass. New worlds in his music await the unborn."
46. Susumu Yokota - Sakura
"Susumu Yokota's best album, Sakura is a warming display of his ability as one of the greats of ambient music, while also taking in some further downtempo, non-ambient excursions along the way. 'Gekkoh' and 'Tobiume' offer two of the LP's most striking moments."
45. The Bug - The Bug Presents Killing Sound Chapter 4: Poems & Drones
"I love the idea of confrontation, like when Suicide or Mikey Dread played with The Clash, I like the idea of 'you don't know what's hit you and I'm going to administer it'."
44. Cluster - 1971-1981
"The earliest recordings are focused on raw, unfiltered noise forms which make no attempt to communicate on any pre-conceived wavelengths or lay search for notional audiences. They are instead spat out into existence as if daring would be listeners to interpret and understand their violent breach of space and time. Yet, nearly ten years pass and Steinway pianos plaintively tinkle in lush pastures while hollow and disconsolate melancholy beckons ahead."
43. Young Thug - JEFFERY
"Thankfully, this lean release showcases several of the cult rapper’s strengths and none of his on-record weaknesses."
42. Anthony Child - The Transcendence Orchestra Live At Freerotation
"I'm still quite confused about Freerotation, the annual dance music festival that takes place somewhere in Wales each summer. People come back wide-eyed and sunburned, tweely abbreviating it to "FreeRo" - the whole thing sounds like a Woodcraft Folk for people who went to university in Bristol and like drugs. Perhaps, then, Anthony 'Surgeon' Child is it's guru. His annual ambient sets at the festival, usually emerging some time after on Soundcloud like testaments from a prophet for taking acid in the Welsh landscape, are always wonderful affairs. Here, Child's Buchla breaths with Daniel Bean's harmonium in a satisfyingly fuggy electronic OMMMMMMM."
41. Gazelle Twin - Fleshed Out
(Anti-Ghost Moon Ray / Last Gang)
"It's not a persona, I don't talk in that character unless I'm making a song. A lot of it is trying to be honest, and face demons and chuck them out. I'm going to run with the character for a bit, and like I said maybe take it out of the musical context and start using it as an actual character."
40. Various Artists - Space Echo - The Mystery Behind The Cosmic World Of Cabo Verde Finally Revealed!
"According to the essay that accompanies this compilation from the Analog Africa label, the Cape Verde musical scene was forever revolutionalised by the mysterious disappearance of a ship carrying musical instruments bound for South America that somehow found it on an space voyage before coming to earth containing cosmic particles alongside the latest products from Moog and Rhodes. It's a tall tale, but the glowing synthesisers that recontextualise traditional sounds from these remote islands and beyond rather suit such far-out yarns."
39. Camberwell Now - The Ghost Trade
"Camberwell Now, Camberwell Now! I knew I knewIknewIknewIknew I knew them. A This Heat spin-off band, formed in south London when This Heat disbanded in '82. But how to describe the complex dissonant beauty of This Heat? It was This Heat I was watching - in support to The Slits - arguing with some skins in front to shut up, when one of the skins turned round and stabbed the guy next to me. Whatever. Camberwell Now were equally as rad." Everett True
38. Nina - Mix For Hessle Audio, Rinse FM, October 6
"As resident for Hamburg's currently closed Golden Pudel club, Nina Trifft has stood out as one of Europe's most interesting club resident DJs with her regular nights having torn apart what one might traditionally expect to hear on some dance floors. This mix for Hessle Audio's Rinse FM show affords her 50 minutes to showcase aspects of that, weaving together various pieces of brooding, dark ambient music into what sounds like one coherent piece of music."
37. Hey Colossus - Dedicated To Uri Klangers
"There is no “right” way to listen to Hey Colossus – every album is its own unique, heaving beast – meaning that this compilation doesn’t lessen their past releases, or pilfer the best bits like a psych rock vulture. Every song feeds into that which came before, reappropriated into a homunculus of fevered fury, a pagan legacy to a band that have slaved and suffered, have given as good as they’ve got, and have the shit-eating grin to prove it. Long may they reign."
36. Roberto Musci - Tower Of Silence
(Music From Memory)
"The music was produced at a time that Musci was “travelling extensively across Asia and Africa” where the multi-instrumentalist collected a number of instruments that he would go on to combine with the synths that would form much of his work. This can be heard across Music From Memory’s retrospective - wind chimes combine with horns and tranquil percussion on ‘Nexus On The Beach’ and field recordings also presumably collected during Music’s travels are put to stunning use. Tower Of Silence serves as a tantalising introduction to Musci’s work."
35. African Headcharge - My Life In A Hole In The Ground
"From that day to this day, people really are scared of African music. You don’t hear loads of mental African drums in conjunction with big fat b-lines, do you? And I think it sounds great, with the hi-life guitars. So I entered that area and I used Bonjo, who’d been in Creation Rebel and is a great percussionist. I built the thing around his percussion playing and the idea of making some really spaced out African dub."
Adrian Sherwood, On-U Sound
34. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani - FADER Mix
"I've never been diagnosed with this, but for my whole life I've experienced a form of synaesthesia, like a crossing of senses. So I have a very visual experience when I'm making music or hearing sounds. And I sometimes get a very physical sensory reaction as well."
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
33. Mogwai - Atomic
(Rock Action / Temporary Residence)
"'Bitterness Centrifuge' and 'Tzar' could be viewed as the most Mogwai-esque tracks here, deliberate ostentatious squalls, in thrall to the magisterial nightmare of nuclear fission at its most dire – yet there is not a guttural dirge or apocryphal roar in sight. It's here that the gloss and veneer of latter-day Mogwai and the cineaste ideal of sweeping scores merge – Barry Burns and Stuart Braithwaite's burgeoning predilection for lurking electronica manifest."
32. Julian Eastman - Femenine
"This recording of ‘Femenine’, lovingly reissued in 2016 by Frozen Reeds, as performed by the S.E.M. Ensemble in 1974, with Eastman on piano, is the only known recording of the work in existence and finally shines a light on an extraordinary, and rather controversial, composer."
31. Ganimian & His Oriental Music - Come With Me To The Casbah
"The one and only album record by Charles 'Chick' Ganimian has been mislabelled in the past as a bit of 'fake sheikh' Middle Eastern belly dance-craze exploitation exotica, whereas it's more of a genuine East/West hybrid - American/Armenian to be precise. Boring questions of authenticity aside, this will be loved by anyone who has a taste for slamming oud jams."
30. Call Super - Live At Dekmantel Festival
"A small paragraph of text accompanying the sharing of the mix written by the DJ himself describes his own intentions for the set, reading: 'It was only about reaching a vibe and switching through the emotions I would want to experience towards the end of a festival. I was not concerned about each mix being smooth as a petal, my concern was only where we were going.' It’s this recognition that makes the set such a standout for me with the DJ eschewing tight, often clinical constraints set out by the expectation of absolutely perfect beat-matching for something more human."
29. Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks Original Score
"Primed to return for a new series on Showtime next year, the foam-mouthed demand for this lovingly-assembled vinyl reissue of its soundtrack – in "damn fine coffee" coloured wax no less – only serves to confirm that, as we collectively bide our time, much of that appeal still firmly resides in the profound and beautiful dreamscapes that brought the original enigma to life."
28. Helena Hauff - In Session For Mixmag
"I like limitations. I make things hard for me on purpose almost, but I live like that anyway. I do things very differently to other people. I've got a very idiosyncratic way of handling even everyday life."
27. Betty Davis - The Columbia Years 1968-1969
(Light In The Attic)
"Once you’ve heard Betty Davis’ astounding vocal power, lyrical frankness and heavy, heavy funk on record, it’s exceptionally difficult to listen to anything in the same way again. Whether it's the throat-shredding vocal and lyrical intensity of Kelis’ brutal debut track (‘Caught Out There’) or Erykah Badu’s reluctance to follow the path most-travelled I'm faced with, my thoughts immediately turn to Davis’ role in kicking down doors that were designed to prevent mould-breaking black female artists from reaching much wider audiences."
26. Ben UFO - Live At Unit for the Club Museum 13th Anniversary
"Over the past half-decade Thomson, aka Ben UFO, has acquired a deserved reputation as one of the UK's most daring and wide-ranging club music selectors, with his keen ear and technical ability enabling him to cut between eras, dance lineages and mixing styles with dazzling ease."
25. Mutado Pintato / Zsa Zsa Sapien - Musical Confrontation
"I recently listened to this album ten times in a row and the very next day I discovered I was a skilled glass blower, could tap dance and had also picked up some conversational Portuguese. A coincidence? Listen and find out. May contain traces of Meat Raffle and Warmduscher."
24. Carly Rae Jepsen - EMOTION SIDE B
(School Boy / Interscope)
"Pop music in its truest form, EMOTION SIDE B is what might lazily be referred to as "infectious": 'First Time', 'The One' are inception-like in their simplicity as titles and ideas — phrases that out of context are meaningless but upon listening become riddled with significance. 'Cry', too, exists in the world of the "You" and the "I" that EMOTION so meticulously built with just enough (and just little enough) detail to leave room - not for interpretation, but for inhabitation."
23. Regis - The Boys Are Here
(Blackest Ever Black)
"With digital technology anything is playable now, because you can chop it up, digitise it, beatmap it, which is fantastic for artists. If record sales are down as well, surely people have to go and make brave attempts? It's telling that people don't do that, it's telling about their motivation for making music in the first place. You can tell when people are making music from a totally artistically bankrupt place."
22. Babyfather - 419
"Reviewing the full-length outing (BBF Hosted By DJ Escrow) of Dean Blunt’s Babyfather’s earlier this year, Ben Cardew noted “it can be hard to enjoy his work without wondering if the joke isn't somehow on you.” Where the mock mawkishness of BBF’s (appropriately titled) ‘Stealth Intro’ – repeating “This makes me proud to be British” ad infinitum – sat somewhere, somehow, between being too much for chin stroking and too on-the-nose to actually be subversive, 419 adopts its themes and sits on the chest of the British urban landscape like the demon of sleep paralysis. Heavy with grime – both in terms of genre and the images it conjures - 419 transitions seamlessly between Atari Lounge that is neither relaxing nor nostalgic, R’n’B made powerfully disconcerting by its reverse melody, and the kind of unsettling skits and sound effects that Skepta couldn’t quite reach on Konnichiwa. The smog isn’t just in your lungs, it’s in your ears too."
21. Arab Strap - Arab Strap
"Love songs were always a big part of my life when I was young. But if you grow up with that, it gives you a pretty skewed and unrealistic idea of what to expect. So what I always wanted to do when I started Arab Strap – and this wasn't clear to me at the time; I can articulate these thoughts now much better than when I was young of course – was that I wanted to write love songs that were real. And that said things people actually said in real life. And not to poeticise the feelings and emotions too much." Aidan Moffat
20. Barış Manço and the Kurtalan Ekspres - Sözüm Meclisten Dışarı(Pharaway Sounds)
"Another of Pharaway’s Barış Manço reissues is the super low slung Sözüm Meclisten Dışarı from 1981, again with backing from the Kurtalan Ekspres, slinging more disco twisted maqams, demented Oompah Loompah tavern tunes and Anatolian folk giddily toward the underlit dancefloor."
19. Mike & Rich - Expert Knob Twiddlers
"Given that Richard D. James brought humour to his electronica as Aphex Twin, there is the question of what makes Expert Knob Twiddlers in any way distinct from that output. The difference here, with the added and strong presence of Mike Paradinas, is in its sonic illusion of lightness – the humour found in the pronounced acid jazz, lounge and in some ‘70s electronic influences – where the funny side of Aphex Twin material was always more visual or linguistic, the musical content leaning toward ambient melancholy regardless of the beats underpinning it. While, on Expert Knob Twiddlers, humour is the garish musical centrepiece it is important to stress that this is a surface illusion: the fact that James and Paradinas can make what is going on here sound easy is a result of musicianly skill."
18.Nina Kraviz - Fabric 91
"Fabric 91 deserves to linger in the public consciousness: it feels like a statement, a carefully curated bridge between past and present that evokes atmosphere and emotion. Whether you’ll reach for it when summer comes is another matter. But right now, as November extends its chilly reaches, Fabric 91 sounds just about perfect."
17. Earl Brutus - Tonight You Are The Special One
"Removed from their environment of time and place, the focus is sharply on the music and this is a collection of material that holds up remarkably well. You can hear echoes of Earl Brutus in both Sleaford Mods and Fat White Family, two bands that marry confrontation with an angry yet frequently hilarious intellect."
16. Stara Rzeka - Cień chmury nad ukrytym polem
"The album is both astonishing and beguiling, composed on an acoustic guitar but broadening to draw from a wide mix of styles - folk, krautrock, black metal - with a radical and open-minded attitude that makes the resultant music impossible to pigeonhole."
15.Objekt - Kern Vol.3
"As Objekt says, 'there's a lot of stuff at different tempos that I want to play, and I don't always want to spend 45 minutes ramping the tempo in between.' This is no more clear than on Kern Vol. 3 as he bounds dramatically through 36 tracks in 75 minutes. The results are dizzying with beatless cuts from Ondo Fudd, Bee Mask and Anna Caragnano & Donato Dozzy among others put to use seemingly as resting points amongst the frenzy of bleep-y electro and techno taken from various different points over the last couple of decades."
14. Bruce Haack - The Electric Lucifer
"The album is a concept album about making a new God, whose main function is to end war and pain. What Bruce failed at with acid, stoner, hippy crap, he certainly made up for in bonkers outsider practical electronics and psychedelic nonsense. It’s an essential album."
Adrian Flanagan, The ERC
13. John Foxx - The Complete Cathedral Oceans Box Set
"A beautiful 'photo album'-style collection of Foxxy's three superior ambient Cathedral Oceans LPs spread over five 12"s. JF imagines the post human world in a typically lush and aesthetically pleasing manner."
12. ArşivPlak - Turkish Moog Edits
"Despite us not being able to find out a single thing about the record label/artist ArşivPlak, above and beyond various reissues by Baris Manco, Ozdemir Erdogan and Honki Ponki, Turkish Moog Edits is our Anatolian album of the year. And our enjoyment is not hampered by the fact that's clearly a Korg on the front cover."
11. Various Artists - Kenya Special Vol.2: Selected East African Recordings From The 1970s & ‘80s
"Back in 2013 the first Kenya Special compilation from Soundway topped the Quietus' reissues list at the end of the year, and while this hasn't reached those dizzy heights (as much due to our bizarre, arcane, foggy, inscrutable voting process as the quality of the thing) this is another masterpiece from the masters of trans-global crate-digging. Many of these artists were long-forgotten, released only on 7" single in hyper-limited runs of a few hundred copies and their rescuing from obscurity gives the already gloriously unwinding melodies from the likes of The Rift Brothers and The Lulus Band another joyous lift."
10. Sandoz - #9294 (Collected Works 1992-1994)
"Mute have gathered his solo work, some of which precedes the first Cabaret Voltaire material, into the Richard H. Kirk – #7489 and
Sandoz – #9294 sets which secure his achievements as one of British electronic music's darkest outliers, a producer of contrary and clangorous noise which has kept an otherworldly and at times scary appeal over the course of more than 40 years."
9. The Membranes - Inner Space / Outer Space Remixes
(Louder Than War)
"One can only guess at what Membranes will do next, but right now they are in a very special place, creatively, and deserve your full attention."
8. The Headhunters - Survival Of The Fittest
"A massively varied album from one of the funkiest bands in history. Fat funk, psych rock-outs and meditational mellow soundtrack-style tunes all sit happily together. Mike Clark's drums and Paul Jackson's bass lock together like glue, Bill Summers comes over like a more African Airto and Blackbyrd McKnight's guitar freak-outs take it somewhere else. Bennie Maupin's wind instruments add more spice - check out the interplay between the bass guitar and the bass clarinet on 'If You've Got It, You'll Get It'. Filthy!"
7. Odion Iruoje - Down To Earth
"The self-styled “sound president” teamed up with Akika Omodele in 1983 to write the lyrics for this roots-conscious piece of disco-rap, directed at the African global diaspora. This glorious slice of ultra freshness spreads a positive message to African men and women the world over via rhyme schemes that paint Iruoje as the Nigerian Funky 4 + 1 or Sugarhill Gang. Except it should be pointed out that there can’t be too many old school US rap jams featuring a masterly, lengthy talking-drum breakdown."
6. GAIKA - Security
"GAIKA’s music shows not only an awareness of reality at its most disconcerting – his own predicament, geographically, racially, personally, and the present mire of events and attitudes worldwide – but also a refusal to accept that this is the way it has to be. It’s provocative and absorbing ... both imminent and distant, it compels connection even as it pulls away in righteous self-preservation."
5. Various Artists - Nigeria Soul Fever (Afro Funk, Disco And Boogie: West African Disco Mayhem!)
"This excitably titled compilation on the always reliable Soul Jazz helped keep temperaments sweet and boogieful on an otherwise uneventful 12 hour bank holiday car journey this August. As you would expect, this is liberally sprinkled with dancefloor gold dust."
4. Coil - The Ape Of Naples
"Viewing things backwards, or from a different angle, represents the very essence of Coil. They referred to their music as sidereal sound, its double meaning of astrological time and a sideways perspective neatly encapsulating their mission to seek out the hidden mechanisms of the universe through unconventional practice."
3. Beatrice Dillon - 43:44
"Dillon's contribution encapsulates just what has considerably boosted her profile this year as a terrific selector taking in ambient treats from Slow Riffs and Kassem Mosse’s Seltene Erden side project as well as a number of sparse experimental works, reggae and big band jazz, all topped off with a track from Rezzett. Drawing on Dillon’s divergent tastes, as evidenced by her must-listen monthly NTS shows, while maintaining an all-important sense of cohesion, the mix is one of 2016’s most fascinating.."
2. Various Artists - Close To The Noise Floor: Formative UK Electronica 1975-1984
"So much of this music is as distant to us now as the scratchy, unusual-to-later-ears country blues and early jazz of the 1920s was to 1950s and 1960s listeners wondering what strange world seemed lost to them. Play this off an iPhone while you’re busy Snapchatting and you might get the same frisson of the unusual -- not alien, all human, then and now."
1. Various Artists - Sherwood At The Controls Volume 2: 1985-1990
"Adrian Sherwood has a phenomenal CV. Inspired by reggae to teach himself sound engineering in his teens, Sherwood has forged a career that has epitomised the inter-racial trajectory of dub through England, from putting UK production on the map, right through the mutually inspiring transfusion of reggae and punk, acid house and experimental hip hop."
The Quietus Reissues Mixes And Compilations Of The Year 2016
ONE: Various Artists - Sherwood At The Controls Volume 2: 1985 - 1990
TWO: Various Artists - Close To The Noise Floor: Formative UK Electronica 1975-1984
THREE: Beatrice Dillon - 43:44
FOUR: Coil - The Ape Of Naples
FIVE: Various Artists - Nigeria Soul Fever (Afro Funk, Disco And Boogie: West African Disco Mayhem!)
SIX: GAIKA - Security
SEVEN: Odion Iruoje - Down To Earth
EIGHT: The Headhunters - Survival Of The Fittest
NINE: The Membranes - Inner Space / Outer Space Remixes
TEN: Sandoz - #9294 (Collected Works 1992 - 1994)
ELEVEN: Various Artists - Kenya Special, Vol. 2 (Selected East African Recordings From The 1970's & 80's)
TWELVE: ArşivPlak - Turkish Moog Edits
THIRTEEN: John Foxx - The Complete Cathedral Oceans box set
FOURTEEN: Bruce Haack - The Electric Lucifer
FIFTEEN: Objekt - Kern Vol. 3
SIXTEEN: Stara Rzeka - Cień chmury nad ukrytym polem
SEVENTEEN: Earl Brutus - Tonight You Are The Special One
EIGHTEEN: Nina Kraviz - Fabric 91
NINETEEN: Mike Paradinas & Richard D James - Expert Knob Twiddlers
TWENTY: Barış Manço and the Kurtalan Ekspres - Sözüm Meclisten Dışarı
TWENTY ONE: Arab Strap - Arab Strap
TWENTY TWO: Babyfather - 419
TWENTY THREE: Regis - The Boys Are Here
TWENTY FOUR: Carly Rae Jepson - EMOTIONS B SIDES
TWENTY FIVE: Mutado Pintado / Zsa Zsa Sapien - Musical Confrontation
TWENTY SIX: Ben UFO - Live At Unit
TWENTY SEVEN: Betty Davis - The Columbia Years 1968 - 1969
TWENTY EIGHT: Helena Hauff - In Session For Mixmag
TWENTY NINE: Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks OST
THIRTY: Call Super - Live At Dekmantel
THIRTY ONE: Ganimian & His Oriental Music - Come With Me To The Casbah
THIRTY TWO: Julius Eastman - Femenine
THIRTY THREE: Mogwai - Atomic
THIRTY FOUR: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani - FADER Mix
THIRTY FIVE: African Headcharge - My Life In A Hole In The Ground
THIRTY SIX: Roberto Musci - Tower Of Silence
THIRTY SEVEN: Hey Colossus - Dedicated To Uri Klangers
THIRTY EIGHT: Nina - Mix For Hessle Audio, Rinse FM, October 6
THIRTY NINE: The Camberwell Now - The Ghost Trade
FORTY: Space Echo - The Mystery Behind The Cosmic World Of Cabo Verde
FORTY ONE: Gazelle Twin - Fleshed Out
FORTY TWO: Anthony Child - The Transcendence Orchestra Live At Freerotation
FORTY THREE: Young Thug - JEFFEREY
FORTY FOUR: Cluster - 1971 - 1981 box set
FORTY FIVE: The Bug Presents Killing Sound - Chapter 4: Poems & Drones
FORTY SIX: Susumu Yokota - Sakura
FORTY SEVEN: Sun Ra - Singles: The Definitive 45s Collection
FORTY EIGHT: Jessy Lanza - FACT Mix 543
FORTY NINE: Aidan Moffat - Where You're Meant To Be
FIFTY: Avalon Emmerson - Groove Podcast 52
FIFTY ONE: Zos Kia / Coil - Transparent
FIFTY TWO: Autechre - Amber
FIFTY THREE: Suzanne Ciani - Buchla Concerts 1975
FIFTY FOUR: The Units - Animals They Dream About
FIFTY FIVE: V.O. - Mashisa
FIFTY SIX: Bruce Langhorne - The Hired Hand OST
FIFTY SEVEN: Batu - Juno Plus Podcast 142
FIFTY EIGHT: Perc & Truss - 404 Festival mix
FIFTY NINE: Various - More Better Days: Avant-Wave
SIXTY: Jon K - Dekmantel Podcast
SIXTY ONE: Marc Almond - Trials Of Eyeliner Anthology 1979-2016
SIXTY TWO: Malcolm Pointon - Electromuse
SIXTY THREE: Gemini - Imagine-A-Nation
SIXTY FOUR: Bruce - Juno Plus Podcast 148
SIXTY FIVE: Various Artists - Music Of Morocco Recorded By Paul Bowles 1959
SIXTY SIX: Various Artists - Late Junction Sessions: Unpopular Music
SIXTY SEVEN: Xiu Xiu - Plays The Music Of Twin Peaks
SIXTY EIGHT: William Basinski - 92982
SIXTY NINE: Jaures - Mix For Hessle Audio
SEVENTY: Various Artists - The Microcosm: Visionary Music of Continental Europe, 1970-1986
SEVENTY ONE: Larry Levan - Genius Of Time
SEVENTY TWO: Colored Music - Colored Music
SEVENTY THREE: Various Artists: Absence Compilation of Iranian experimental music
SEVENTY FOUR: Xoli Ngcoza - African Roots Mix
SEVENTY FIVE: Daniel Schmidt - In My Arms, Many Flowers
SEVENTY SIX: Nurse With Wound - Dark Fat live
SEVENTY SEVEN: Powder - Juno Plus Podcast 140
SEVENTY EIGHT: Tee Mac featuring Marjorie Barnes - Night Illusion
SEVENTY NINE: Colin Newman - Commercial Suicide
EIGHTY: Rexy - Running Out Of Time
EIGHTY ONE: Manuel Gottsching - E2-E4
EIGHTY TWO: Betty Harris - The Lost Queen Of New Orleans Soul
EIGHTY THREE: Gwenan - JustCast 01: Live At Freerotation 2016
EIGHT FOUR: Ludus - Nue Au Soleil (Completement)
EIGHTY FIVE: Erasure - The Innocents
EIGHTY SIX: Lena Platonos - Sun Masks
EIGHTY SEVEN: Michal Turtle - Phantoms Of Dreamland
EIGHTY EIGHT: Evan Baggs - RA.531
EIGHTY NINE: Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus - Promised Land Sounds (Rockin’ Live Ruff N Tuff)
NINETY: Chi - The Original Recordings (Astral Industries)
NINETY ONE: Third Eye Foundation - Semtex
NINETY TWO: Joy Orbison - Dekmantel Podcast
NINETY THREE: Ernesto Chahoud - Jakarta Radio 011: Middle Eastern Heavens III
NINETY FOUR: Conor Thomas - The Smoking Man
NINETY FIVE: Lena Willikens - Dekmantel Podcast
NINETY SIX: Various Artists - Boogie Breakdown: South African Synth-Disco 80-84
NINETY SEVEN: Arthur Verocai - Arthur Verocai
NINETY EIGHT: Suicide - Suicide: Alan Vega And Martin Rev
NINETY NINE: GAS - box set
ONE HUNDRED: Momus - Public Intellectual: An Anthology 1986 - 2016