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Albums of 2016

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  • Albums of 2016

    I thought I'd put up a list of some non-ambient albums released this year that I quite enjoyed, and maybe if you lot share your lists, I'll find some new music to investigate too Deal? Done.

    My favourite album this year without a doubt was Suuns - Hold/Still, a weird, schizophrenic guitar noise drums glitchfest. It's been on in the car every few days since I got it.

    Other albums I've really liked, in no real particular order really
    Swans - The Glowing Man
    Impulse Array - Deep Cold Environments EP ( - a kind of minimalist techno)Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker
    Aphex Twin - Cheetah EP
    Autechre - elseq1-5 (I enjoyed some of the "discs" better than others, but I don't remember which ones )
    Goat - Requiem
    Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop - Love Letter For Fire
    Nevermen - Nevermen
    65daysofstatic - No Man's Sky: Music for an infinite universe
    Nick Cave - Skeleton Tree

    Leonard Cohen's album is heartbreaking given the circumstances. The title track and both versions of Treaty are beautiful.

    Also got Explosions in the Sky's new one, which is ... pretty much what you'd expect, one or two nice tracks, but other than that pretty dull, I only got it because the engraved vinyl looked cool.
    Ghost Signs - Ambient tape loops and guitars :

  • #2
    I like this, but I would also like to know what your favorite album of the year was. Just my thoughts.

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    • #3
      These were my faves:

      1- Autechre "elseq 1-5"
      2- Zeal and Ardor "Devil is Fine"
      3- Myrkur "Mausoleum"
      4- Behexen "The Poisonous Path"
      5- Nothing "Tired of Tomorrow"
      6- Tim Hecker "Love Streams"
      7- The Body "No One Deserves Happiness"
      8- The Field "The Follower"
      9- Oathbreaker "Rheia"
      10- Sunn 0))) "No Life: Live in Russia"


      • #4
        1. Ugasanie – Border of the Worlds
        2. Astral & Sh*t – Exile
        3. Keosz – Be Left to Oneself
        4. Eric Holm – Barotrauma
        5. Krzyzis - sustainability
        6. Welcome back - Sun
        7. Duff Eagan - ghost dog
        8. Noctilucant - Buried alive in mud
        9. Vacant Stations - Doors
        10. Kammarheit - The Nest

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        • #5
          Originally posted by iainx View Post
          65daysofstatic - No Man's Sky: Music for an infinite universe
          I'm a big fan of the 65daysofstatic NMS album.
          I've probably listened to the album more than I played the game lol.

          I've currently got NIN's new EP on repeat this morning.

          Although most of NIN is probably outside the tastes of this forum, I've been a fan of Trent's various works since my first purchase of The Downward Spiral. The soundtracks with Atticus Ross are a big part of how I came to explore more ambient types of works.


          • #6
            The new NIN is simply awesome. My son and I have listened to it at least a half dozen times in the last two days.


            • #7
              I've bought two "commercial" CDs this year and I've listened to each of them probably twice each at the most.

              Salvation by Cult of Luna and Polaris by TeseracT. Both good CDs, if you are into that sort of thing.

              I've been so busy this year listening to stuff my ambientonline artists and my other SoundCloud chums and I've not really given much though at all to my so called "commercial" stuff.
              >]:| ~ > Bandcamp < ~ |:| ~ > SoundCloud < ~ |:| ~ > YouTube < ~ |:[<


              • #8
                There've only been a few releases this year that have really perked my ears, but they're from bands that have been around since the mid-80s to early-90s.

                Meshuggah's "The Violent Sleep of Reason" is by far my favorite this year, as it's a slab of super-technical rhythms and br00tal heaviness. It's also about a 180 from the music that I create these days, but I would like to create some more rhythmically complex ambient pieces (however that works).

                Crowbar's "The Serpent Only Lies" is pretty nice too, but it's what you'd expect from Crowbar (heavy sludge metal) because they went back and revisited their mid-90s work for inspiration. It definitely worked!

                Neurosis's "Fires Within Fires" is one I really wanted to like, but I haven't been able to get into it. I've been a big Neurosis fan since "Given to the Rising" came out, have gone back through their entire back catalog, and seen them five times live, so I was unfortunately disappointed with my inability to enjoy the new one. I'll try to come back to it soon.

                The only other stuff I've listened to this year is some albums from last year (Killing Joke's "Pylon" and 2814's "新しい日の誕生"), music from forum members here (I've got lots of catching up to do), and my own works (my ambient24 series - - was definitely clutch while completing NaNoWriMo this year).

                I'll probably stick with ambient and electronic for the future - I've spent enough time with more conventional music over the past 30 or so years. :razz:
                Homepage | Bandcamp | Instagram | SoundCloud | Spotify | Twitter | YouTube


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jvincion View Post
                  Meshuggah's "The Violent Sleep of Reason" is by far my favorite this year, as it's a slab of super-technical rhythms and br00tal heaviness.
                  That one has been on my wishlist since its release in October.

                  I was only introduced to Meshuggah around five~six years ago and I really took a liking to obZen, which was the first album I listened to.

                  I then bought some back catalogue stuff and I really loved Catch Thirtythree. That album is probably still my overall favourite simply because of the musical ground it covers. Absolutely brilliant piece of work.

                  I then bought Koloss when that came out and although I liked it a lot, my go-to Meshuggah stuff was still Catch Thirtythree and obZen.
                  >]:| ~ > Bandcamp < ~ |:| ~ > SoundCloud < ~ |:| ~ > YouTube < ~ |:[<


                  • #10
                    I'd say that Nothing was the album that really got me into them - friends introduced me to them in 1995 right after Destroy Erase Improve came out, and while I really liked Future Breed Machine, I didn't really "get" the rest of the album. It wasn't until I took a class at community college on the history of jazz in 1999 and started getting into Miles, Coltrane, and Herbie (who I've seen live twice) that I could revisit that album and figure out what was going on. Once I did, I picked up Chaosphere and those two albums were my favorites until Nothing came out in 2002.

                    I remember getting the album on the day it came out, going home, turning out all the lights, closing my eyes, putting on the AKG monitors, pressing play on the CD player and just focusing on everything that was going on with the album. Suffice it to say, it became my favorite album after that - at least until Catch Thirtythree came out.

                    While I enjoy obZen and Koloss a great deal, I'd have to agree that Catch Thirtythree is a stellar release and still my favorite of the Meshuggah oeuvre. Like you said, the musical ground it covers is rather vast and they employed some techniques that I was quick to try to replicate in my own work once I heard them - the Mind's Mirrors section in particular blew me away, especially since it syncs up with the Sum section at the end.

                    I'd need some more listens to The Violent Sleep of Reason to give it a proper placement in the Meshuggah pantheon for me, but it seems unlikely it will top Catch Thirtythree, though I think it surpasses obZen and Koloss for my tastes.

                    tl;dr: Meshuggah is awesome. :D
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                    • #11
                      OK, so some albums that I acquired during 2016 (but that were not necessarily released in 2016...) that I have particularly enjoyed are:
                      (In no particular order)

                      CD's - I'll go through Bandcamp albums later:

                      1. Frank Zappa - Roxy The Movie
                      2. Node - Node 2
                      3. Kronos Quartet and Wu Man - Terry Riley, The Cusp Of Music
                      4. David Helpling & John Jenkins - Beyond Words
                      5. Marta Mist - Scavengers
                      6. Philip Glass - The Complete Piano Etudes (Maki Namekawa, piano)
                      7. Numina & Zero Ohms - broken stars through brilliant clouds
                      8. Pyrroline- Ruins Outlast
                      9. Saltillo - Ganglion
                      10. Drombeg - Earthworks


                      1. Shining Pyramid - Shining Pyramid
                      2. Cousin Silas - Ballard Landscapes 6
                      3. How To Disappear Completely - Within Without
                      4. Various artists - Lost In The Humming Air-Music Inspired by Harold Budd
                      5. Abul Mogard - Circular Forms
                      6. Soriah (with Ashkelon Sain) - The Eztica Tour Colleciton
                      7. Haken - The Mountain
                      8. Tony Bennett - Duets II
                      9. Anathema - Distant Satellites
                      10. Opeth - Pale Communion
                      Only dead fish go with the flow.


                      • #12
                        Physical things:

                        Diorama: Zero Soldier Army - a german synthpop band, that I like very much. I did not like the album before ("Even The Devile Does Not Care"), but this is a bit more like "Her Liquid Arms" and "The Art Of Creating Confusing Spirits" - older albums, which I like very much. I also recommend their other works. Perhaps you could skip "Pale".

                        Klaus Schulze: Picture Music - I already have this on Vinyl, since the 70s, but now I wanted it as CD and as MP3 too.

                        Tangerine Dream: Reims Cathedral - No comment :listening:

                        Velvet Underground: The Complete Matrix Tapes - a so called "must-not-have". If you know the "Live 1969" double album, you can easily skip this one.

                        Suicide - Suicide (a classical album from the days, when I was young... Never owned it)

                        The Swans - The Glowing Man

                        Virtual things:

                        Solemn Embrace: Arc
                        Treha Sektori: Endessiah - I discovered him on the last Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig and was very impressed.
                        Treha Sektori: Severh Sehehn
                        Iron Cthulhu Apocalypse: Ghost Failure
                        Terra Relicta Presents: Vol. I Dark Ambient

                        That was all? Not very much...

                        Looking at the physical things, it seems, that I am slowly becoming old and get into a nostalgic mood...
                        Last edited by betadecay; 12-26-2016, 05:43 AM.
                        Latest Album (Nov. 2022): The Great Dark Spot (also on Winter-Light)
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                        • #13
                          4 - Radiohead - A Moon-shaped Pool
                          3 - King Crimson - Live in Toronto
                          2 - Suzy Callahan - See Through
                          1 - XTC - Skylarking (2016 Reissue)
                          Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello | Youtube


                          • #14
                            Wow. I've only purchased one CD this past year... Jean-Michael Jarre Oxygene 3. There's been so much good free music on-line that I just never felt the desire to buy anything. Jarre is one of the reasons I got into EM and felt that since I have Oxygene and Oxygene 2 (as well as most of his other works) that O3 was a no-brainer.

                            Despite the CD case being damaged by Amazons' piss-poor packaging the disc plays ok. As for the music, well, not exactly sure how I feel about it. I know his intentions were not to repeat the old stuff but to create new music. But there is something about the sound...I want to say its sort of 'flat - no real depth' to it, sonically speaking. Is it because he did it in Ableton Live? Or is it because he used ITB verbs and such? Hard to say. I've listened to it several times and it keeps growing on me. Maybe it's my older ears not working like they used to, lol. I'm looking to get Electronica 1 & 2 though...can't help myself.


                            • #15
                              Of the few 2016 releases I've purchased, Chris Connelly's New Town Nocturnes has been my fav.

                              I've been going back and listening to Suicide this year as well, since Alan Vega's passing. Their 'Way Of Life' cassette was my initial entry to their music in late 80's, through Wax Trax label iirc. In hindsight I can hear the drone qualities more, welded with the NYC art-punk, a really great live band too from the bootlegs I've come across. Pretty influential stuff(and some good solo works too).

                              This weekend, Suicide's Alan Vega entered the other dimension that he so often sounded like he was singing from, but his influence will remain immortal. From Springsteen to Bauhaus to M.I.A. to LCD Soundsystem, here’s a look at some notable names in thrall to Vega’s art of darkness.

                              Last edited by Ambire Seiche; 01-03-2017, 12:03 AM.
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