Posts Tagged Best of 2016

#Bestof2016 Top 100 Tracks (25-1)

Our review of 2016’s finest songs has reached its final part, and with it our favourite songs of the year. Amongst them, alternative folkies; electronica producers sampling Brazilian classics; hip-hop discoveries; veteran rockers; comebacks and departures; swan songs and debuts; conceptual songs about sex and death; life and hopelessness.

And our Top 25 songs of the year are: Read the rest of this entry »


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#Bestof 2016 Top 100 Tracks (50-26)

The third block of our best tracks of the year begins with New York artist of Hispanic descent Xenia Rubinos. She puts together a colourful melting pot of Latin and rock influences in ‘Mexican Chief,’ a powerful defence of the role racial diversity plays in American society.

Also in this block we’ll find Mods; Tropical Lo-Fi; the new project by Belfast’s most popular DJ and soundtrack composer; a solo musician out of the Woods; R&B divas; melodic hardcore; Compton greatest appearing as a guest in two of the tracks; Canadian electronica and the return of several soul and hip-hop legends.

Check our Top 50 favourite tracks of 2016 here: Read the rest of this entry »


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#Bestof2016 Top 100 Best Tracks (75-51)

We begin the second block of our tracks of the year going all the way to the streets of Deptford in South London, with the debut track of up and coming grime artist Elf Kid, the irresistibly energetic ‘Golden Boy,’ which benefits from cleverly sampling Amerie’s Rober Award winning track ‘1 Thing.’

Also coming up debutante female rappers; garage rockers; queer R&B singers; Gotham boy-girl duos; Welsh songwriters; French psycho-popsters; the band formerly known as Viet Cong and formerly as Women; the first of two ‘Boyfriends’; Portuguese fado; Canadian twins and many more.

All of this and more after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »



#Bestof2016 Top 100 Tracks (100-76)

FDT (Fuck Donald Trump) Part 2
(Def Jam)

In our best of 2016 review it is turn for the countdown of our favourite Top 100 tracks, beginning as it is tradition with the symbolic position 101, usually reserved for the guilty pleasure of the year which didn’t make it into the final selection. Many of the year’s most popular songs were left bubbling under, and therefore were considered for this slot. Among them, Drake’s ubiquitous ‘One Dance’; Rihanna’s ‘Work’; the hook-filled Latin electropop of Bomba Estereo’s ‘Soy Yo’ or Sia’s dancehall infused -courtesy of Sean Paul- ‘Cheap Thrills.’

We decided, however, to park all frivolity aside and give the slot to the track that better conveyed the thoughts of every decent human being in the planet after the latest US election. YG joined forces with G-Eazy and Macklemore in a powerful statement giving the two fingers to the new American president and his ultraconservative tactics of bigotry, xenophobia and racial hatred, ‘FDT (Fuck Donald Trump).’ The rapper from Compton followed this track with a whole US tour named after it.

As it is also habitual, we split our Top 100 best tracks of the year in four blocks, the first of which features a sonic tribute to Prince by a current TV star; robots producing an R&B singer; British grime; Asian pop idols; US Hardcore; Tuareg rockers; the respective returns of Acid House and Brazilian samba legends; New-York hipsters; nu-soul crooners; Two different British takes on krautrock; two Russian female electronica artists -one local and one expat-;a Romani brass band joining forces with a Colombian combo; a false reverend; a ex-Disney club poppet and a experimental composer based in LA. Eclectic, us?

Altogether, they form a richly diverse sonic mosaic proving that there’s plenty of life beyond the reductive formulas of the Top 40.

And our Top 100 tracks of 2016 are: Read the rest of this entry »



2016: My Idols Are Dead And My Enemies Are In Power

This image posted in a web page owned by Paul Darling has circulated in social media around the world. A tweet containing it sent by Cambodian film director Rithy Panh cached our attention. Nothing has summarised better the ghastly vibe of 2016.

A year that begins with the dead of one of the most iconic popular culture artists of all time does not forecast anything good, and David Bowie passing away was a devastating first taste of things to come, making us more aware of the ones who followed him over the course of the last twelve months. Prince; Leonard Cohen; A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg; Sharon Jones; Dead or Alive’s Pete Burns; This Mortal Coil’s Carolyn Crawley; Alan Vega; P.M. Dawn’s Prince Be; Vanity; Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White; Colin Vearncombe aka Black and many others have formed a long black list that leaves the sour impression of having arrived to the end an era whose cultural achievements no one seems able to better, not even repeat.

Politically, the rise of populism came in many shapes, from the repetition of the Spanish general elections and subsequent negotiations concluding with the same, corrupt popular party and leader in power; to the vaguely surprising “Yes” Brexit vote in the UK, leaving the country in a muddling situation the new formed crisis government doesn’t seem to know how to deal with. Yet it was all crowned in the autumn by the US referendum, when against all odds billionaire Donald Trump won, using bigotry and other repugnant strategies to manipulate the prejudices of a growing percentage of disenfranchised population.

Despite all those shadows planning over us, music has not just reflected well the state of things but in 2016 has risen over the doom and gloom and offered us another surprisingly excellent crop, crammed with so many notable records that our usual Top 50 could not accommodate them all. That’s why once more we begin our Best of 2016 review with an honourable mentions section, selecting 30 albums that didn’t make our final cut but equally deserved our full attention.

Among them long awaited returns (Kristin Hersh; Maxwell; Brazilian singer Elza Soares); new psychedelia explorers (King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard; Sex Swing; Drugdealer); the band formerly known as Viet Cong and before that as Women (Preoccupations); Trash metal J-Pop idols Babymetal; A band (Woods) coincides with one of his member’s solo effort (Kevin Morby); a large number of female voices coming from all genres (Emma Pollock; Julia Jacklin; Weyes Blood; Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith; Jessy Lanza) and an ever larger number of urban and hip-hop artists pushing the boundaries of a genre that is still carrying the weight of popular music forward. Schoolboy Q; R&B revelation Jamila Woods; British grime star Skepta; hip-hop newcomer Noname; Atlanta TV series star Childish Gambino and the side project of ubiquitous newcomer anderson.paak (NxWorries) are some of them.

And the 30 Bubbling Under albums of the year are: Read the rest of this entry »


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