Although it’s hard not to jump on the bandwagon when talking about 2016 we still wish you a pleasant year’s end and a cheer for the new year. However, before we start the days that lay ahead with champagne and fireworks we counted our blessings which of course, also resulted in these two illustrious album year lists.
I have to say that the turmoil of 2016 had a strange effect on me, which in this case isn’t a good thing. Luckily The Shacks do offer some relief at this time of year which ultimately is not really strange… but still very likable. Continue reading
I always thought that building walls between places with a shared cultural history was a thing of the past. Guess I was wrong because new divides are rising up high again in for example the southern states of the US. Here the cultural exchange between north and south goes back for a long time and strongly echoes through in today’s society. A fine musical example of all of this comes from Austin based latin group Grupo Fantasma who in their turn laid the foundations for The Echocentrics that are under review right now. Continue reading
Earlier this year I talked a bit about about Anna Meredith’s move from the classical scene to the world of electronica. Nowadays this sort of crossovers are not that uncommon anymore. Naturally avant-garde rock band Deerhoof could not hang back with this hype going on and melted together with the classical outfit of Ensemble Dal Niente to chip in. And oh man, it’s exciting! Continue reading
When I was a toddler I often wondered what it would be like to be inside our washing machine. The spinning cycle was pretty hypnotizing to watch, so at the time I thought being inside a drum with all that warm soapy clothing would be a gentle experience. Of course my parents never allowed me to give it a try and I forgot all about it. Until I heard Anna Meredith that is.
As you might have guessed last solstice was reason enough for us to draw up a list with our best albums of 2016 until this day. Here goes!
Hinds delivers a stable fundament, a catchy upbeatness and a strong no-nonsense sentiment on their first studio album. A splendid achievement of a group of young friends who again prove that the future belongs to the young (WRM – SftDS review).
After an excellent, old school comeback, German metal machine Iron Savior shows that lightning can indeed strike twice. An excellent power metal album, with a host of varied and pumping tunes (RP).
Channel the Spirits – The Comet Is Coming
Channel the Spirits breaks through the traditional jazz swing and brings very danceable jazz funk. The ensemble taps into the work of free jazz pioneers such John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Sun Ra. Highly recommended (WRM). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Getting slightly less dark and more retro rocking with each new release, this American band is still a standout in the barrage of retro bands kicking about at the moment. Less heavy, but a little more mature than before (RP).
Finally The Heliocentrics definitely found their niche by bringing together all experience they have gathered around them in recent years. From The Deep is raw and conceptually challenging but moreover. It’s a piece of work to turn inside out over and over again (WRM – SftDS review).
The brothers Tolis return with another collection of their own particular brand of ethnic-upped black-ish metal. Which is something you’d not read on the back of the box very soon. Ethnic-upped probably isn’t even a thing. Still, a great album (RP – SftDS review).
Dutch musician Jameszoo combines Hip hop, jazz, dubstep, R&B and Brazilian music and also is inspired by the medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch. Jameszoo himself calls his debut album Fool a collection of “naive, computer jazz”. I fully agree, so I pitty the fool who doesn’t pick up on this album soon… (WRM – SftDS review).
King is the culmination of years of work for this Italian band, finally marrying classical music and black metal like a Rhapsody of Fire steroids. A triumph for Fleshgod Apocalypse, and an album to keep coming back to (RP).
A Man Alive is an adventurous album and offers listeners a record that is simply full of plain old fun and at the same time is interesting enough to keep playing throughout 2016. Outstanding job Thao (WRM – SftDS review)!
Almost half a year in, Blackstar is still the most intruiging, mysterious and downright fascinating record out there. Bowie’s last album is a masterpiece of jazz fusion and its dark as night itself, both musically as well as lyrically. Unsettling and brilliant (RP – SftDS review).
Indeed, jazz fusion, free jazz and jazz funk are gaining terrain. How about that!? Perhaps it has something to do with age, who knows. Anyway, have a nice summer and see you on the other side.
Ralph Plug & Wander Meulemans – 290616