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2017 Best of Lists: Reckless Employees

RECKLESS RECORDS 2017 BEST OF LISTS

Philip Cerza
My favorite album of 2017 is The Navigator by Hurray For The Riff Raff. My favorite EP is Harmony of Difference by Kamasi Washington. Best 7″ is Superchunk’s “I Got Cut” b/w “Up Against The Wall.” Song of the year and the decade is “Bodak Yellow”

More music from this year I’ll love forever:
Everybody Works – Jay Som
HEAVN – Jamila Woods
Laila’s Wisdom – Rapsody
Ctrl – SZA
Silver Haze – Aye Nako
Uyai – Ibibio Sound Machine
The Ride – Nelly Furtado
What Now – Sylvan Esso
Pleasure – Feist
Antisocialites – Alvvays
MASSEDUCTION – St. Vincent
Tourist In This Town – Allison Crutchfield
Out In The Storm – Waxahatchee
Created In The Image of Suffering – King Woman
Hiss Spun – Chelsea Wolfe
Nightmare Logic – Power Trip
Prisoner – Ryan Adams
4:44 – JAY-Z
DAMN – Kendrick Lamar
Brick Body Kids Still Daydream – Open Mike Eagle
“Slide” – Calvin Harris, Migos, & Frank Ocean
“Love Yourself” – Mary J. Blige & Kanye West
“I’m Better” – Missy Elliott
“Green Light” – Lorde
“Cut To The Feeling” – Carly Rae Jepsen
“Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again)”

Jamie Drier
Loke Rahbek – City of Women (Editions Mego)
Bjork – Utopia (One Little Indian)
Cosey Fanni Tutti – Time to Tell (Conspiracy International)
Rafael Anton Irisarri – The Shameless Years (Umor-Rex)
Max Richter – Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works (Deutsche Grammophon)
Shit & Shine – Some People Really Know How To Live (Editions Mego)
Dion – Kickin’ Child: Lost Album 1965 (Norton Records)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Kid (Western Vinyl)
Ennio Morricone – Un Uomo Da Rispettare (Superior Viaduct)
JK Flesh – Suicide Estate – (Hospital Productions)

Benjamin Hegy
Creation- action painting [numero]
Midori Takada- through the looking glass [wrwtfww]
Arthur Russell- instrumentals [audika]
Other People Place- lifestyles of the laptop cafe [warp]
Various- outro tempo: electronic and contemporary music from brazil 1978-1992 [music from memory]
Gaussian Curve- distance [music from memory]
Julie Byrne- not even happiness [ba da bing!]
Le Car- auto-reverse [clone classic cuts]
Jaimie Branch- fly or die [international anthem]
Slowdive- s/t [dead oceans]
Drexciya- grava 4 [clone]
Alice Coltrane- the ecstatic music of alice coltrane turiyasangitananda [luaka bop]
Bill Orcutt- s/t [palilalia]
War On Drugs- a deeper understanding [atlantic]
Sza- ctrl [top dawg entertainment]
Neil Young- hitchhiker [reprise]
Kurt Vile & Courtney Barnett- lotta sea lice [matador]
Patrick Cowley- afternooners [dark entries]
Various- space, energy & light (experimental electronic and acoustic soundscapes 1961-88) [soul jazz]
Kelela- take me apart [warp]
Richard Horowitz- eros in arabia [freedom to spend]
Makaya McCraven- highly rare [international anthem]

Jake Lingan
Oren Ambarchi & Crys Cole- “Hotel Record” (Black Truffle)
Ariel Pink- “Dedicated To Bobby Jameson” (Mexican Summer)
Felicia Atkinson- “Hand In Hand” (Shelter Press)
Ka Baird- “Sapropelic Pycnic (Drag City)
William Basinski- “A Shadow In Time” (Temporary Residence)
Billington/ Shippy/ Wyche- “Billington/ Shippy/ Wyche” (Astral Spirits)
David Bowie- “New Career In A New Town” (Parlophone)
Brother Ah- “Divine Music” (Manufactured Recordings)
Bucket Brigade- “Frozen Flags” (No Index) & “Mnemosyne” (Love All Day)
B12- “Electro-Soma” reissue (Warp)
Alice Coltrane- “World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane” (Luaka Bop)
Tony Conrad- “Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain” (Superior Viaduct)
Dead Rider- “Crew Licks” (Drag City)
Aaron Dilloway- “The Gag File” (Dais)
Crazy Doberman- “Hell Is Within Us” (Castle Bravo)
Dub Syndicate reissues (On-U Sound)
John Duncan- “Klaar” reissue (Black Truffle)
Ian Dury- “New Boots And Panties!!” reissue (Edsel)
Charles Duvelle & Hisham Mayet- “The Photographs of Charles Duvelle” (Sublime Frequencies)
Luc Ferrari- “Heterozygote/ Petite Symphonie” (Recollection GRM)
Gas- “Narkopop” (Kompakt)
Keiji Haino- “Watashi Dake?” (Black Editions)
Laurel Halo- “Dust” (Hyperdub)
Jon Hassell- “Dream Theory In Malaya Fourth World Music” reissue (Glitterbeat)
Joe Henderson with Alice Coltrane- “The Elements” reissue (Milestone)
Husker Du- “Savage Young Du” (Numero)
Irreversible Entanglements- “Irreversible Entanglements” (International Anthem)
Mary Jane Leach- “Pipe Dreams” (Blume)
Arto Lindsay- “Cuidado Madame” (Northern Spy)
Makaya McCraven- “Highly Rare” (International Anthem)
Roscoe Mitchell- “Bells For The South Side” (ECM)
Mukqs- “11,666,666,666,666,666,666” (Midwich)
Oneohtrix Point Never- “Good Time” Soundtrack (Warp)
Yoko Ono- “Fly”/ “Approximately Infinite Universe” reissues (Chimera)
Bill Orcutt- “Bill Orcutt” (Palilalia)
Giusto Pio- “Motore Immobile” reissue (Soave)
Plastic Crimewave Syndicate- “Thunderbolt of Flaming Wisdom” (Eye Vybe)
Prince & The Revolution- “Purple Rain Deluxe (Expanded Edition” (NPG)
Steve Roach- “Structures From Silence” reissue (Telephone Explosion)
Sampha- “Process” (Young Turks)
Pharoah Sanders- “Izipho Zam (My Gifts)” reissue (Everland/ Strata East)
Yasuaki Shimizu- “Kakashi” reissue (Palto Flats)
Shit & Shine- “Some People Really Know How To Live” (Editions Mego)
Sleaford Mods- “English Tapas” (Rough Trade)
Pauline Anna Strom- “Trans-Millenia Music” (Rvng Intl)
Midori Takada- “Through The Looking Glass” reissue (Palto Flats)
Norm Talley- “Norm-A-Lize” (FXHE)
TALsounds- “Love Sick” (Ba Da Bing!)
Thundercat- “Drunk” (Brainfeeder)
Cosey Fanni Tutti- “Time To Tell” reissue (Conspiracy International)
Jaap Vink- “Jaap Vink” (Recollection GRM)
Wolf Eyes- “Undertow” (Lower Level)
Danny Wolfers- “Unfolding The Future With Amateur Space Jazz” (Nightwind)
ZRL- “ZRL” (No Index)
V/A- “Tokyo Flashback” (Black Editions)
V/A- “Outro Tempo: Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil – 1978-1992” (Music From Memory)

Gary Errera
Top 3 Releases(Couldn’t come up with 10 to save my life)
Kedr Livanskiy – Ariadna ()
This is my number one for the whole year. Just listen to it.
Slowdive – Slowdive
Fine addition to their discography.
Death Grips – That first song on the new one
That first song is kinda ok, if you can put aside the large 12 year old hater fanbase.

Top 3 Reissues
John Frusciante – Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt
Finally on vinyl, about flippin time.
Throbbing Gristle – The Taste of TG
Arguably better than Greatest Hits, a fine primer for the TG illiterate.
The Replacements – For Sale: Live at Maxwells 1986
Awesome of them to release a show superfans have had for years. Demand
for the cutouts continues.

Jacob Kart
Laraaji – Celestial Vibration – soul jazz
Brett Naucke – Multiple Hallucinations – Hausu Mountain
Gel set- Body Copy – 2MR
Tal Sounds – Love Sick – Ba Da Bing
Jaimie Branch – Fly or Die – International Anthem
Matthew Lux’s communication arts quartet- contra-fact – Astral Spirits
Bitchin Bajas- Bajas Fresh – Drag City
駄女神 – Mukqs – Hausu Mountain
Visible Cloaks- Reassemblage – RVNG International
Laurel Halo- Dust – Hyperdub

Dave Hofer

2016 Late Additions
Invisibl Skratch Piklz – The 13th Floor
First proper album of turntable wizardry from this legendary crew. Three guys, three mixers, three turntables.
Run the Jewels – RTJ3
The best hip-hop group in some time keeps their momentum pushing forward with El-P’s production anchoring some serious lyrical fire.

Best Albums of 2017
Mutoid Man – War Moans
How this band isn’t huge is beyond me. Members of Cave In and Converge as a power three-piece with riffs, riffs and more riffs. Stephen Brodsky can sing/scream his ass off and they have to be one of the tightest live bands I’ve ever seen. My favorite album of 2017.
Artificial Brain – Infrared Horizon
Outer space death metal with subliminal melodies amidst the blasting and guttural vocals.
All Pigs Must Die – Hostage Animal
Ex and current members of the Hope Conspiracy and Converge deliver another batch of what can only be described as pure, pissed off hardcore. Plenty of riffage, no clean singing.
Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black
A more straightforward effort from the established splatter-death masters.
Death Toll 80K – Step Down
Their 2011 LP “Harsh Realities” took me by surprise so I was looking forward to this one. Another super-late 2017 release. Absolutely pulverizing grindcore. Near-constant blasting and the usual, but very well done, guttural/crazed-scream vocals. Relentless.
DJ Rude One – ONEderful
Former Chicago DJ/producer finally dropped his album. Boom-bap fans need look no further. Hard as hell.
El Michels Affair – Return to the 37th Chamber
Second batch of live-instrument arrangements of classic Wu-Tang instrumentals. Funky!
Eradicator – Eradicator
Quirky & deceptively complex punk rock from this high-concept Chicago/Milwaukee band.
Friendship – Hatred
Powerful and creative hardcore/grind from Japan.
Full of Hell – Trumpeting Ecstasy
This band has evolved into a unique, experimental grindcore beast. 23 minutes of brain-warping grind.
Goatwhore – Vengeful Ascension
The perfect blend of thrash, death and black metal, once again. One of the most crushing live bands going.
Iron Reagan – Crossover Ministry
Excellent follow-up to their breakthrough The Tyranny of Will LP. You want circle pit riffs? Look no further.
Mellow Harsher/Invertebrate – Split 7”
I love Mellow Harsher. Live, they’re really fun, but their music on its own is serious, chaotic-but-airtight grind. Invertebrate closes their side with Infest and Suppression covers, so what does that tell ya? Hearty grind with a side of sludge.
Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained
Steve Tucker returns to the fold for a solid batch of twisted, Sumerian-happy death metal.
Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – Brainiac EP
Initially a digital-only release, this EP got a late-2017 vinyl release! eXquire’s delivery & voice are instantly recognizable, his lyrics twisting & turning in ways unexpected. Some real head-nod shit, right here.
Perceptionists – Resolution
Mr. Lif continues his re-storming of the hip-hop world by getting back with Akrobatik and spitting some serious shit.
Phobia – Lifeless God
Pure grindcore from this long-running band. Very intense stuff for speed-freaks only!!
River Black – River Black
Basically this is Burnt By The Sun Part 2; mid-tempo groove with only one misstep: a clean-vocal part late in the album. Great otherwise.

Best Shows of 2017
Mutoid Man at Subterranean
So tight, so heavy . . . this band should be taking over the world any minute now . . .
Code Orange/Dying Fetus/Hatebreed at Metro
AKA The Night of 1,000 Breakdowns.
Run the Jewels at the Aragon & Lollapalooza
The bigger the system, the better those beats sound.
Rude One & Skepta at North Coast Fest
Not performing together, sadly, but Rude One closed out the DJ tent and then Skepta brought his grimey hip-hop to a bunch of stoned people in Union Park.
Mellow Harsher & Pyrrhon at the Empty Bottle
Pure Comedy Grind and free jazz death metal in one night! What more could you ask for?
Iron Reagan at Reggie’s
Their crossover is most potent in a live setting. Very fun, high-energy show.
Goatwhore at House of Blues & Reggie’s
These guys are the masters of crushing tone in a live setting. They’re also a touring machine, and their insanely tight live show is evidence of that. Plus, at least two members are usually wearing spikes onstage.
Weekend Nachos & Mellow Harsher at Subterranean
This was part of the two-night, Weekend Nachos final-shows extravaganza. A fine night of blast beats.

Best Pro-Wrestling Shows (and a must-see match)
AAW: Hell Hath No Fury (Michael Elgin vs. Shane Strickland)
AAW: Unstoppable (ACH vs. Sammy Guevara)
Ring of Honor/New Japan: Global Wars Chicago (Will Osperay vs. Flip Gordon or Marty Scurll vs. Hiromu Takahashi)

Beth Klacko

2017 Releases & Reissues that piqued my interest:

– Gaussian Curve – The Distance
– Laraaji – Celestial Vibration
– War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
– Woo – A La Luna
– Pauline Anna Strom – Trans-Millenia Music
– Colleen – A Flame My Love, a Frequency
– Metro Area – Metro Area
– Jun Fukamachi – Nicole(86 Spring & Summer Collection Instrumental Images)
– Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement – Ambient Black Magic
– Gel Set – Body Copy
– Various Artists – Seafaring Strangers / Private Yacht
– Bjorn Torske & Prins Thomas – Square One
– Julia Holter – In The Same Room
– Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Simultonality
– Ka Baird – Sapropelic Pycnic
– Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness
– Slowdive – Slowdive
– Gas – Narkopop

Matt Jencik
Arca S/T
Bell Witch Mirror Reaper
Bjork Utopia
Black Cilice Banished From Time
Bölzer Hero (late 2016 release I missed)
John Carpenter Christine (Original Motion Picture Score) reissue
Brian Case Spirit Design
Circuit Des Yeux Reaching For Indigo
Alice Coltrane Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane
Demen Nektyr
Bill Dixon Orchestra Intents & Purposes LP reissue
Emptiness Not For Music
Enslaved E
Gel Set Body Copy
Grouper Paradise Valley single
Husker Du Savage Young Du
Rafael Anton Irisarri Shameless Years
Johann Johannsson Orphee
Lifelover Pulver reissue
Kedr Livanskiy Ariadna
Look Blue Go Purple Still Bewitched
Lorn Arrayed Claws
Metallica “Master of Puppets” demo from the Deluxe Edition
Modern Art Underwater Kites & Oriental Towers reissues
Charlemagne Palestine Strumming Music LP reissue
Arvo Part Fur Alina LP
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement Ambient Black Magic
Replacements For Sale: Live at Maxwell’s 1986
Steve Roach Structures From Silence LP reissue
Slowdive S/T
TALsounds Love sick
Time Machines (Coil) S/T reissue
Twin Peaks soundtracks
Venenum Trance of Death
Justin Walter Unseen Forces
Lal & Mike Waterson Bright Phoebus LP reissue
Gillian Welch Harrow & the Harvest LP
Witch of 1692 Impious Mysterial Hymn
Hiroshi Yoshimura Music for Nine Postcards reissue
Neil Young Hitchhiker
V/A Paul Major: Feel the Music
V/A Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares

Shows
John Carpenter @ Aragon Ballroom
Circuit Des Yeux performing Nico’s “Chelsea Girl” w/ Laraaji
@Bohemian National Cemetery
Cropped Out Fest in Louisville, KY
Heron Oblivion @Empty Bottle
Jesus Lizard @ Metro
Kikagaku Moyo @ Empty Bottle
Matchess multiple shows
Mayhem playing De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas @ Metro
Nadja multiple shows
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds @ Auditorium Theater
PJ Harvey @ Pitchfork Music Festival
Psychedelic Furs @ Thalia Hall
Raime @Impetus Festival
Slowdive @ The Vic
TALsounds multiple shows

Twin Peaks: The Return
Blade Runner 2049

Chelsea Welch
2017 ~ The Best Things I Heard~
Jacob Kart – Frozen Flags – No Index
Jaimie Branch – Fly or Die – IARC
Gel Set – Body Copy – 2MR
Circuit Des Yeux – Reaching For Indigo – Drag City
Alice Coltrane – The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda – Luaka bop
Outro Tempo Compilation – (Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil 1978-1992) – Music From Memory
Jamila Woods – Heavn – Jagjaguwar
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – The Kid – Western Vinyl
Disco Inferno – 5 EPs – One Little Indian
Kelela – Take Me Apart- Warp
Patrick Cowley – Afternooners – Dark Entries
Slowdive – Self Titled – Captured Tracks
Sean Nicholas Savage – Yummycoma – Arbutus Records
Laraaji – Bring On the Sun – All Saints
Weather Station – Self Titled – Paradise of Bachelor
Yasuaki Shimizu -Music For Commercials (Reissue) – Crammed Discs
Henry Flynt – You Are My Everlovin (Reissue) – Superior Viaduct

Perry Ryan
TEN BEST ALBUMS OF 2017 (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

Richard Dawson – Peasant (Weird World/Domino) [Avant-folk]
Feist – Pleasure (Interscope) [Sparse singer-songwriter]
Sheer Mag – Compilation LP (Wilsuns RC) [Lo-fi power pop]
Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy (Odd Future/Columbia) [Neo-soul-rap]
Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound (Carpark) [Hooks on hooks]
Yucky Duster – Duster’s Lament EP (Infinity Cat) [Twee, but in a good way]
Kirin J. Callinan – Bravado (Terrible) [Pop art]
Dirty Projectors – Dirty Projectors (Domino) [Art pop]
Alex Cameron – Forced Witness (Secretly Canadian) [Alex Cameron]
Open Mike Eagle – Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (Mello Music Group) [Art rap]

TWO GREAT REISSUES FOR GOOD MEASURE

Mike Krol – Mike Krol Is Never Dead: The First Two Records (Merge) [Slop pop]
The Replacements – For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986 (Rhino) [No description necessary]

Ethan D’Ercole
DION: “KICKIN’ CHILD”
GOLLIWOGS: “FIGHT FIRE”
ARIEL PINK “BOBBY JAMESON”
VARIOUS ARTISTS: “JUKEBOX MAMBO, VOL.III”
CLASS WAR: “TAKE A TRIP WITH CLASS WAR”
THE COWBOYS “S/T”

Dylan Sowle
My favorite releases of the year, in no particular order:

LCD Soundsystem- American Dream (DFA)
Flaming Lips- Oczy Mlody (Warner Bros.)
Surfbort- Bort To Death (Hozac)
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard- Murder Of The Universe (Flightless)
Kamasi Washington- Harmony Of Difference (Young Turks)
Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats- Vol. 1 (Rise Above Records)
Various Artists- Hero Of Time (Music From “The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time”) (Materia Collective/Iam8bit)
Black Lips- Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art? (Vice)
Melkbelly- Nothing Valley (Wax Nine)
Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch- Blade Runner 2049 OST (Epic)
Oh Sees- Orc (Castle Face)
Guantanamo Baywatch- Desert Center (Suicide Squeeze)
Mike Krol- Mike Krol Is Never Dead: The First Two Records (Merge)

Zachary Caputo
Some of these items were released digitally last year, but their physical release graced my weary record store hands this year. We’ll just say we’re all the class of 2017.

1: Thundercat – Drunk (Zappa Soul / Jazz Rock) [Brainfeeder]
2: Death Grips – Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber Megamix) (Experimental Hip Hop / Dance) [Third Worlds]
3: Lil B – Black Ken (Hip-Hop / Based) [Basedworld Records]
4: The ILYs – Bodyguard (Garage Rock / Art Rock) [Castleface]
5: Death From Above – Outrage! Is Now (Punk Rock / Dance Rock) [Last Gang Records]
6: St. Vincent – Masseduction (Art Rock / Synth Pop) [Loma Vista]
7: Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory (Rap / Experimental Dance) [ARTium Recordings / Def Jam Records]
8: TALsounds – Lovesick (Experimental / Ambient Soundscapes) [Ba Da Bing Records]
9: Paramore – After Laughter (Pop / New Wave) [Fueled By Ramen]
10: Jlin – Black Origami (Experimental Dance / Footwork) [Planet Mu]
11: Nine Inch Nails – Not The Actual Events (Industrial Rock / Noise Rock) [Null Corporation]
12: Kendrick Lamar – DAMN. (Rap) [Top Dawg / Interscope]
13: Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfish – Blade Runner 2049 Original Soundtrack (Film Score / Ambient Electronics) [Epic Records]
14: Machine Girl – …Because I’m Young Arrogant And Hate Everything You Stand For (Digital Hardcore / Noise) [Orange Milk]
15: Run The Jewels – RTJ3 (Hip-Hop) [Run The Jewels, Inc]
16: Greg Fox – The Gradual Progression (Experimental Jazz / Ambient) [Rvng Intl.]
17: Alice Glass – Alice Glass (Noise Pop / Post-Industrial) [Loma Vista]
18: Shobaleader One (Squarepusher) – Elektrac (Jazz Fusion / Live Electronics) [Warp]
19: Gorillaz – Humanz (Dance / Rap) [Parlophone]
20: Lorde – Melodrama (Electropop) [Republic Records]

Honorable Mentions:

Kamasi Washington – Harmony Of Difference (Jazz)
Bjork – Utopia (Art Pop / Electronic)
Arca – Arca (Experimental)
Oneohtrix Point Never – Good Times Original Soundtrack (Film Score / Experimental)
Cherry Glazerr – Apocalipstick (Garage Rock / Punk Rock)
Jamila Woods – HEAVN (Soul / Hip-Hop)

David Cartwright
Yves Tumor “Experiencing The Deposit of Faith” self-released
Beau Wanzer “Untitled” Self-released
Laurel Halo “Dust” Hyperdub
Ramzi “Phobiza “Noite” Vol. 2″ Mood Hut
Machine Girl “Because I’m Young Arrogant & Hate Everything You Stand For” Orange Milk
Joshua Abrams “Simultonality” Eremite Records
Dj Python “Dulce Compania” Incienso
Unknown Me “Subtropics” Not Not Fun
Tony Allen “The Source” Blue Note
Lee Gamble “Mnestic Pressure” Hyperdub
Dj Seinfeld “Time Spent Away From U” Lobster Fury
Greg Fox “The Gradual Progression” Rvng Intl.
Project Pablo “Hope You’re Well” Technicolour

Adam Cavanaugh
(in no particular order)

Solid Space – Space Museum (Dark Entries)
Various Artists – Metroid Trilogy (Moonshake Records)
Slowdive – Slowdive (Dead Oceans)
Midori Takada – Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW Records)
Drab Majesty – The Demonstration (Dais Records)
Geinoh Yamashirogumi – Symphonic Suite Akira (Milan Records)
Dallas Acid – Spa Hunter (Flying Moonlight)
Ninja Gaiden The Definite Soundtrack boxset (Brave Wave Productions)
Make-Overs – Try Me (Heel Turn Records)
Stelvio Cipriani – Un’Ombra Nell’Ombra (Four Flies Records)
Ennio Morricone – Space: 1999 (Death Waltz Recording Company)
Susana Estrada – The Sexadelic Disco Funk Sounds of… (Espacial Discos)
Yuzo Koshiro – The Revenge of Shinobi (Data Discs)
Marcello Giombini – La Bestia Nello Spazia (Death Waltz Recording Company)
Protex – Tightrope (Bachelor Records)

Anthony Illarde
BEST OF 2017

TONY ALLEN The Source (Blue Note CD)
BEATLES Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Ringo Mix (Capitol LP)
BLONDIE Pollinator (Noble ID LP)
CHICANO BATMAN Freedom Is Free (Ato LP)
EMMA DE ANGELIS Forgiveness (Finders Keepers 45)
PHILIPPE DEBARGE with THE PRETTY THINGS Rock St. Trop (Madfish LP)
MELANIE DE BIASIO Lilies (Play It Again Sam LP)
ABDOU EL OMARI Nuits De Printemps (Radio Martiko LP)
HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE Book Of Sound (Honest Jons LP)
GOKCEN KAYNATAN Gokcen Kaynatan (Finders Keepers LP)
GRAEME MILLER & STEVE SHILL Moomins TV Soundtrack LP (Finders Keepers)
MONKS Hamburg Recordings 1967 (Third Man LP)
MORTIMER On Our Way Home (RPM LP)
NEGATIVE ELEMENT Shouts Of Rebellion (Alona’s Dream LP)
KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH Kid (Western Vinyl 2LP)
RAYMOND SCOTT Three Willow Park (Basta 3LP)
EPIC SOUNDTRACKS Change My Life (Mapache LP)
PIERO UMILIANI Grazie! (Nature Sounds 2LP)
KAMASI WASHINGTON Harmony Of Difference (Young Turks LP)
DUSTIN WONG & TAKAKO MINEKAWA Are Euphoria (Thrill Jockey LP)

READ
Captain Fantastic: Elton John’s Stellar Trip Through The 70s – Tom Doyle (Ballantine)
Feel The Music: The Psychedelic Worlds of Paul Major (Anthology Editions)
Infinite Tuesday – Michael Nesmith (Crown Archetype)
Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol – Steve Jones (Da Capo Press)

Jim Magas
2017 Favorites

Midori Takada – Through the Looking Glass LP (WRWTFWW)
Geinoh Yamashiro – Akira soundtrack LP (Milan)
Bjorn Torske – Host (DJ Sotofett’s Stoydubb) 12” (Sex Tags Mania)
DJ Fett Burger – Pub 18 / 411 Esperanza 12” (Sex Tags UFO)
Bill Orcutt – Bill Orcutt LP (Palialalia)
Rob Noyes – Feudal Spirit LP (Poon Village)
Alexander – Alexander LP (No Label)
Quintron (w/ drawings by Miss Pussycat – Europa My Mirror book (Goner)
Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker – Spiderbeetlebee LP (Drag City)
Angelo Baroncini & Bruno D’Amario – Music For Movement LP (Sonor Music)
Errorsmith – Superlative Fatigue 2LP (Pan)
Beau Wanzer – Untitled II LP (Beau Wanzer)
Beau Wanzer – Issue N. 20 12” (Jealous God)
Not Waving – Good Luck LP (Diagonal)
Porter Ricks – Anguilla Electrica 2LP (Tresor)
Function – Recompiled I/II 2LP (Aton)
Function – Recompiled II/II 2LP (Aton)
Jlin – Dark Lotus LP (Planet Mu)
B12 – Electro Soma 2LP (Warp)
Legowelt – Legendary Freaks in the Trash of Time 2LP (Clone)
Cosey Fanni Tutti – Time to Tell LP (CTI)
B12 – Electro Soma II 2LP (Warp)
Various Artists – Tokyo Flashback 2LP (Black Editions)
Regis – Gymnastics 2LP (Downwards)
MAGAS – Explanatory Denial 12” (Midwich)
Mukqs – 11,666,666,666,666,666,666 LP (Midwich)
Aaron Dilloway – The Gag File LP (Dais)
Coil – Time Machines LP (Dais)
Norm Talley – Norm-a-lize 4LP (FXHE)
Funkadelic – Reworked by Detroiters 3LP (Westbound)
Twin Peaks – The Return tv show

Steven Rahman
Best of the Best:
P.O.S. – Chill Dummy
Oddisee – The Iceberg
Rodney Crowell – Close Ties
Kehlani – SweetSexySavage
Kendrick Lamar – Damn.
Moses Sumney – Aromanticism
SZA – CTRL
Tyler the Creator – Scum F*** Flower Boy
Gabriel Garzon-Montano – Jardin
Childish Gambino – Awaken My Love

Very Very Good:
Sampha – Process
Smino – BLKSWN
J.I.D. – The Never Story
Joey Bada$$ – All Amerikkkan Bada$$
Brother Ali – All the Beauty in this Whole World
Jay-Z – 4:44
Vic Mensa – The Manuscript
Syd – Fin
2 Chainz – Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
.
Good:
Kelela – Take Me Apart
Daniel Caesar – Freudian
Khalid – American Teen
Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory

Luke Dahlgren
These were some of this year’s standout records for me. All titles except for the two I have starred (*) either are carried or have been carried here by Reckless.

TOP THREE:
Protomartyr – Relatives in Descent (Domino) post-punk
The lineage of influence here can be traced closest to bands like The Fall and Pere Ubu. Each song seems to be built from the bottom up; the punchy bass & drum combo provide the songs with its initial character, which is then adorned with earworm guitar licks and tied together with grim ambience. Joe Casey’s “sing-speak” vocals ring out like a mad prophet, articulating the pain of middle-American anxiety, alienation and collapse. These songs routinely locate that rare convergence of unconventional and intuitive, making it an immediately gratifying listen.
Makaya McCraven – Highly Rare (International Anthem) avant-garde jazz
This is an improvised set recorded directly to tape live at Danny’s in Bucktown. The rhythm section led by McCraven on drums treads heavily, drawing the broad templates of each idea the band explores. The coarse audio quality really accentuates how tight the quartet plays without feeling restrictive, allowing the set to rely on the push-pull tension between its frenetic free-jazz outbursts and its deliberate groove-based segments. The resulting record is an absolute tour-de-force, making this an essential listen for anyone with an ear for avant-garde jazz.
Richard Dawson – Peasant (Weird World) freak folk
Peasant is among the more lyrically ambitious and theatrical records from this year. It’s a concept album depicting a mythic version of Dark Ages Europe, and each track is a narrative told from the perspective of a different character. The music here is dark, tactile, unhinged and marked by unconventional melody, structure, and texture (harps, horns, odd percussion) that move quickly between abrasive and pastoral. For those inclined towards its sound – and the sound of other English freak folk – Peasant is an immersive record that continues to reward with repeated plays.

OTHER NEW MUSIC (alpha by artist):
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Simultonality (Eremite) avant-garde jazz
Tony Allen – The Source (Blue Note) jazz / Afrobeat
Jaimie Branch – Fly Or Die (International Anthem) avant-garde jazz
Chicano Batman – Freedom is Free (ATO) Latin soul
Destroyer – ken (Merge) synth pop
* Golden Teacher – No Luscious Life [self-released] dance / nu-disco
Guerilla Toss – GT Ultra (DFA) dance / no wave
Laurel Halo – Dust (Hyperdub) electronic / art pop
Irreversible Entanglements – s/t (International Anthem) free jazz / spoken word
Jlin – Black Origami (Planet Mu) IDM / footwork
Daniele Luppi / Parquet Courts / Karen O – MILANO (Capitol) art rock
(Thee) Oh Sees – Orc (Castle Face) psych-rock
Priests – Nothing Feels Natural (Sister Polygon) art punk
A. Savage – Thawing Dawn (Dull Tools) art rock / alt-country
Ty Segall – s/t (Drag City) psych-rock / garage
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – The Kid (Western Vinyl) electronic / art pop
Joni Void – Selfless (Constellation) electronic / spoken word
Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference (Young Turks) jazz
* Zimpel / Ziołek – s/t (Instant Classic) avant-folk / electronic / avant-garde jazz

COMPILATIONS & REISSUES (also alpha by artist):
Alice Coltrane – The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (Luaka Bop) jazz vocal / Eastern spiritual
Steve Roach – Structures From Silence (orig. 1984 on Fortuna; reissued on Telephone Explosion) ambient
Lal & Mike Waterson – Bright Phoebus (orig. 1972 on Trailer; reissued on Domino) freak folk
Neil Young – Hitchhiker (recorded 1976; Reprise) folk / country (c’mon, it’s Neil Young)
v/a – Even a Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 (Light in the Attic) folk / soft rock
v/a – Soul of a Nation: Afro-Centric Visions in the Age of Black Power (Soul Jazz) jazz / soul / funk / spoken word
v/a – Tokyo Flashback, Vol. 1 (orig. CD only from 1991 on PSF; LP reissue on Black Editions) psych-rock / noise
v/a – Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (Numero) hard rock / proto-metal

Lea Board
(in no particular order)
Com Truise “Iteration” (Ghostly International)
LCD Soundsystem *American Dream” (DFA)
Electric Wizard “Wizard Bloody Wizard” (Witchfinder)
Kendrick Lamar “Damn” (Interscope)
Blanck Mass “World Eater” (Sacred Bones)
King Gizzard & the Wizard Lizard w/ Mild High Club “Sketches of Brunswick East” (Flightless)
Orb “Naturality” (Castleface)
Oh Sees “Orc” (Castleface)
Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats “Vol. 1” Reissue (Rise Above)
Mike Krol “Mike Krol is Never Dead: The First Two Records” (Merge)
Dan Deacon “Rat Film” (Domino)
Guantanamo Baywatch “Desert Center” (Suicide Squeeze)
Rezn “Let It Burn” (Off the Record Label)
Faust “Fresh Air” (Bureau B)
Chelsea Wolfe “Hiss Spun” (Sargent House)
Black Lips “Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?” (Vice)

Benjamin Crowell

Neil Young – Hitchhiker
Bjork – Utopia
Circuit Des Yeux – Reaching For Indigo
The Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper
V/A – Twin Peaks (Limited Event Series Soundtrack)
John Carpenter – Anthology
Alice Coltrane – The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
Diamanda Galas – All The Way
Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
Gocken Kaynatan – s/t
Slowdive – s/t

John Jackson

(in no particular order)
Declaime-Young Spirit
FourTet-New Energy
Makaya Mccraven-Highly Rare
Thavius Beck- Technol O.G.
Joshua Abrams- Simultonality
Blockhead-Funeral Balloons
Damu The Fudgemunk- Vignettes
Thievery Corporation-The Temple of I&I
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble- Book of Love
Moka Only-Concert for One

Joseph Seger
Terry – “Remember Terry” LP (Upset The Rhythm)
Parsnip – “Health” (Anti-Fade)
The Country Liners – “Mary Jane Dunphe & Chris McDonnell in The Country Liners” (Wharf Cat)
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble – “Find Me Finding You” (Drag City)
Bugg – “Bugg” (Pop Wig)
Kaleidoscope – “Volume 3” (Feel It
Makaya McCraven – “Highly Rare” (International Anthem)
The Cowboys – “The Cowboys” (Hozac)
Darto – “Human Giving” (Agoo)
Rays – “Rays” (Trouble In Mind)
Headroom “Head In The Clouds” (Trouble In Mind)
The Living Eyes – “Modern Living” (Anti-Fade)
Neil Young – “Hitchhiker” (Reprise)
Jackson Politick – “Paste, Vol. 1” (Neck Chop)
The World – “First World Record” (Lumpy/UTR!)
GenPop – “On the Screen” (Lumpy Records)

Kip McCabe
Run The Jewels “III”
Kamasi Washington “Harmony of Difference”
Slowdive “Slowdive”
Neil Young “Hitchhiker”
Juana Molina “Halo”
V/A “Even a Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese
Folk & Rock 1969-1973”

Molly Mobley
Man, wasn’t 2017 a trip? If you’re like me you think this year left a lot to be desired. But despite everything, there were some solid releases from this past year that deserve to be highlighted. I have made the personal choice to exclude music by cis white male solo artists, as well as bands consisting of only cis white males because I just don’t believe this particular group of ppl deserve accolades this year. So with this list, I have chosen to recognize music made by female, POC, and LGBTQ artists. Mind you that this wasn’t difficult, as almost all of my favorite music from this year was put out by artists that fall into these groups. Spotify told me in my year wrap that my favorite genres were “Post teen pop” and “art rock” and I felt seen, but I have to admit after making this list those seem incredibly accurate. In no particular order, please enjoy my 17 fav albums from 2017!

Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference EP.
SZA – Ctrl (Favorite song – Drew Barrymore)
Slowdive – Slowdive (Favorite song – Sugar for the Pill) –
Arca – Arca (Favorite song – Saunter) – ARCA has collaborated with big name artists such as Kanye, FKA Twigs, and most notably Bjork on her album Vulnicura. This self titled release is dark and melodic, abstract and emotional. It’s a gd work of art and a must have in any collection.
Perfume Genius – No Shape (Favorite Song – Just Like Love) Pitchfork already summed up my love for this song perfectly – “It’s the kind of song that makes rags feel like ball gowns, and should probably have been playing when Botticelli painted The Birth of Venus.”
Lorde – Melodrama (Favorite song – The Louvre) – “I overthink your p-p-punctuation use. Not my fault, just a thing that my mine do.” If that single sentence doesn’t sum up modern dating then idk what does.
Kesha – Rainbow (Favorite song – Hunt you Down / Boogie Feet)
Molly Burch – Please be Mine (Favorite song – Please be Mine)
Jamila Woods – HEAVN (Favorite song – LSD (feat. Chance the Rapper) ) – This whole album is a love letter to Chicago and everytime I listen to it I feel so proud to live here.
Princess Nokia – 1992 Deluxe (Favorite song – G.O.A.T./ Brujas)
Kelela – Take Me Apart (Favorite song – Frontline)
MUNA – About U (Favorite song – I Know A Place)
Charli XCX – While Charli XCX’s EP doesn’t necessarily make my top list, the single “Boys” was my absolute favorite song of 2017. I somehow managed to get it on all 6 of my incredibly different Spotify Daily Mixes, which I think is truly impressive.
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya – DROOL (Favorite song – hOp Off) -Nnamdi is one of the most talented musicians I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and if you are smart you will see him play in one of his many projects here in the city before he blows up
Gorillaz – HUMANZ (Favorite song – Saturnz Barz (feat. Popcaan) )
Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life (Favorite Song – Don’t Delete the Kisses)Kendrick Lamar – DAMN (Favorite song – Love feat. Zacari)

Top 6 Live Shows of the Year – (It was impossible to cut one)

Badbadnotgood – Lincoln Hall
Chicano Batman – Thalia Hall
Gorillaz – Huntington Bank Pavilion
Solange – Pitchfork Music Festival
Charles Bradley – House of Vans
Kelela – The Promontory

2017 Best of Lists: Reckless Friends

RECKLESS FRIENDS

Emily Elhaj (Love Lion/Angel Olsen)
ALBUMS

Wand – Plum (Drag City)
Arthur Russell – Instrumentals (Audika)
Big Thief – Capacity (Saddle Creek)
Blue Iverson (Dean Blunt) – Hotep (Self-Released)
Thelonious Monk – Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Sam)
Grouper – Paradise Valley 7” (Yellow Electric)
Jaimie Branch – Fly Or Die (International Anthem)
Yellow Days – Is Everything Ok In Your World? (Doobie McQueen / Good Years Music)
Power Trip – Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord)
Slowdive – Sugar For The Pill (Dead Oceans)
SZA – CTRL (TDE)
Matt Jencik – Weird Times (Hands In the Dark)
V/A – Shout Music (Love Lion)
Dominique Lawalrée – First Meeting (Catch Wave)
Steve Lacy – Steve Lacy’s Demo (Three Quarter)
The Paperhead – Chew (Trouble In Mind)
The Feelies – In Between (Bar None)
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble – Find Me Finding You (Drag City)
Hand Habits – Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) (Woodsist)
Daniel Caesar – Freudian (Golden Child)
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – On The Echoing Green (Mexican Summer)
Gaussian Curve – The Distance (Music From Memory)
Alvvays – Antisocialites (Polyvinyl)
Kendrick Lamar – Damn. (TDE)
Neil Young – Hitchhiker (Reprise)
Dean Blunt & Joanne Robertson – Wahalla (Textile)
Sharon Jones – Soul of a Woman (Daptone)
Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions – Son of a Lady EP (Tendril Tales)
Juana Molina – Halo (Crammed Discs)
Cleaners From Venus (Martin Newell) – Kitchen Table EP (Plastic Response)
Rev. Lonnie Farris – A Night at the House of Prayer (Buked & Scorned)
Kelly Lee Owens – s/t (Smalltown Supersound)

Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisc – Blade Runner 2049 (Epic)

REISSUES

Selena – Dreaming of You (Capitol)
Radiohead – OkNotOk (XL)
Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Death Waltz)
Elliott Smith – Either/Or (Kill Rock Stars)
Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I Might See (Capitol)
Orange Juice – Coals To Newcastle (AED)
Marisa Anderson – Traditional and Public Domain Songs (MIssissippi)

SHOWS

Chris Cohen tour
Charlotte Day Wilson, 1306
Christian Scott, 3 Keys
Thelma & The Sleaze, Siberia
King Woman, Castillo Blanco
Bonnie Prince Billy & Bitchin Bajas, Music Box Village
Diamanda Galás, The Joy
MonoNeon & guests, Blue Nile
Khruangbin, One Eyed Jacks x 2
Grace Jones, Primavera
Rajasthan Express, Primavera
Seckou Keita, St. Mary’s
Sun Ra Arkestra, Jazz Cafe
Cass McCombs, Halfway Festival
George Clinton, Pitchfork
Newport Folk Festival
Hiss Golden Messenger & guests, Jane Pickens Theater
Frank Ocean, Øya & Flow
Princess Nokia, Flow
Solange, Hopscotch
Ariel Pink, Tipitina’s

RIP Kelan Phil Cohran

Dave Martin (Captured Tracks)
Full length records
1. Sweet Apple – Sing The Night In Sorrow – Tee Pee
2. feedtime – Gas – In The Red
3. Thurston Moore – Rock N Roll Consciousness – Caroline
4. Circuit des Yeux – Reaching For Indigo – Drag City
5. Matt Jencik – Weird Times – Hands In The Dark
6. Protomartyr – Relatives in Descent – Domino
7. Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness – Ba Da Bing!
8. David Nance – Negative Boogie – Ba Da Bing!
9. The Stroppies – S/T – Tough Love
10. Brian Case – Spirit Design – Hand In The Dark
11. Power Trip – Nightmare Logic – Southern Lord
12. Outside inside – Sniff a Hot Rock – Machine Age
13. Sanhedrin – A Funeral For The World – Sanhedrin
14. Stefan Christensen – Shake Off the Village – C/Site
15. The Terminals – Antiseptic – Ba Da Bing!
16. Escape-ism – Introduction To Escape-Ism – Merge
17. Roe Enny – Glare – Root Strata
18. Kacy & Clayton – The Siren’s Song – New West
19. Damon & Naomi – Everything Quieter Than Everything Else – Ghost Future Archives
20. Obnox – Niggative Approach – 12XU
21. Glue – S/T – Glue
22. Exit Order – Seed Of Hysteria – Side Two
23. The Feelies – In Between – Bar None
24. Terry – Remember Terry – Upset The Rhythm
25. V/A – Tokyo Flashback P.S.F. – Psychedelic Speed Freaks Dbl CD – Super Fuji Discs

Singles / EPs
1. Superchunk – I Got Cut & Break The Glass 7”s – Merge
2. Cate Le Bon – Rock Pool 12” – Drag City
3. The Original Panther Burns – OGPB 7” – Spacecase / Selection
4. The Shifters – A Believer b/w Contrast of Form 7” – Market Square
5. Stefan Christensen – Open Day 7” – I Dischi Del Barone
6. Mordecai – What is Art 7” – Sophomore Lounge
7. Acteurs – Corridor 12” – MILD VILNC
8. Rakta – Oculto Pelos Seros 7” – Iron Lung / La Vida Es Un Mus
9. Rixe – Baptismo 7” – La Vida Es Un Mus
10. skiftande enheter – 4-Spårs 7” EP – Levande Begravd

Reissues / Old music
1. Crystalized Movements – Mind Disaster LP – Twisted Village
2. V/A – Tokyo Flashback Vol. 1 Dbl LP – Black Editions
3. World of Pooh – Land Of Thirst LP – Starlight Furniture
4. Can – The Singles 3xLP – Mute
5. Keiji Haino – Watashi Dake? LP – Black Editions
6. Hüsker Dü – Savage Young Dü/ Extra Circus 4xLP/7” – Numero Group
7. Stooges – Highlights From the Funhouse Sessions Dbl LP – Run Out Groove
8 Richard Hell – Blank Generation 40th anniversary Dbl LP – Sire
9. Gotobeds – Fucking In The Future + 5 LP – Comedy Minus One
10. Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest LP – Acony
11. Chris Bell – The Complete Chris Bell 6xLP box – Omnivore
12. Lurkers – 5xCD box – Beggars Banquet
13. Madrigal – S/T LP – Subliminal Sounds
14. Pin Group – Ambivalence 7”, Coat 7” & Go To Town 12” – Superior Viaduct
15. Def Leppard – The Def Leppard EP 12” – Universal
16. V/A – Warfaring Strangers – Acid Nightmare Dbl LP – Numero Group
17. Blue Oyster Cult – Rarities Vol. 1 Dbl LP – Real Gone Music
18. The Nurse – Discography 1983-1984 LP – La Vida Es Un Mus
19. Dead Moon – What A Way To See The Old Girl Go LP – Voodoo Doughnut
20. Suicide – First Rehearsal Tapes LP – Superior Viaduct

Cassettes / digital releases
1. Midnight Mines – We Are the Primitives of a New Era – Loki
2. Private Sorrow – Fake Lions – Mystery Plane / Loki
3. Blank Statements – Signs Are Rampant – Hobbies Galore
4. Obedience – 2017 Demo – Obedience
5. Fully Glazed – S/T Cassette – Loki
And every other release on the Loki label.

Live shows
1. Shame – Babys All Right / L’Escogriffe
2. Protomartyr / Gotobeds – Monty Hall
3. The Everymen – Monty Hall
4. Tyvek – Union Pool
5. Warthog / La Misma / Concealed Blade / D.O.G. Brillobox

Haley Fohr (Circuit Des Yeux/Jackie Lynn)
Here are my top five colors for 2017:

Red as found in: The party flags that billow at the car lot on Cicero & George St. + a baseball cap bought & worn in Connecticut while on tour with Animal Collective.
Yellow as found in: A shirt titled “Acapulco” seen worn on a rooftop at 21st & Loomis on the 4th of July.
Green as found in: Hearing a viola while looking at the wet grass after a storm at Bohemian National Cemetery.
Blue as found in: The mirrored horizontal flip scene in the greenroom at Lincoln Hall on Nov 18, wearing a peacock robe.
Indigo as found in: You know… !

Dean Whitmore (Sub Pop)
Neutral, The Stevens, Alvarius B, Steve Gunn, Omni, Naomi Punk, Anthony Pasguarosa w/ John Maloney, Feral Ohms, Wolf Eyes, Pissed Jeans, David Nance, Uranium Club, Anxiety, Dream Decay, La Feline, Davy Kehoe, Protomartyr, Odyssey Cult (X2), Matt Jencik, Heron Oblivion, Housewives, Tunic, Kaleidoscope, FNU Clone, Juana Molina, Aaron Dilloway, Colleen, Ordnungsamt Et La Politesse, Richard Dawson, Karl Blau, Power, Sleaford Mods, Tiny Vipers + others

Taylor Brode (Semaphore mgmt)
Lil Peep – Come Over When You’re Sober Pt.1

Brian Foote [kranky/peak oil/leech]
john beltran ‘moth’ [detuned]
bulbs ‘anomalons’ [bulbs]
cloudface ‘super you’ [moodhut]
Kara-lis coverdale ‘grafts’ [boomkat]
cybe ‘tropisch verlangen’ [stroom]
demen ‘nektyr’ [kranky]
digital release ‘positive approach’ [drawing room records]
dj python ‘dulce compañía’ [incienso]
dj sports ‘modern species’ [firecracker]
kelman duran ‘1804kids’ [hundebiss]
richard horowitz ‘eros in arabia’ [freedom to spend]
indoor plants ‘udacha 15’ [udacha]
los & dj sotofett ‘jugando con fuego’ [wania]
mr. yt ‘brand new day’ [apollo]
nummer ‘second sight’ [going good]
olo ‘hardcore’ [help]
palta & ti ‘ep’en andre hjem’ [gravity graffiti]
porn sword tobacco ‘2017’ [acido]
ramzi ‘peze-pinton’ [12th isle]
s.o.n.s. ’shimokitazawa one night stand’ [s.o.n.s.]
sw. ‘untitled[sue16]’ [sued]
vtgnike ‘collection’ [gost zvuk]
wanderwelle ‘lost in a sea of trees’ [silent season]
xyr ‘labyrinth/reflections’ [not not fun]
hiroshi yoshimura ‘music for nine postcards’ [empire of signs]

Audrey Ewell (NY-based director of films, including black metal documentary Until the Light Takes Us)
This is stuff I liked – no order – and there was tons more that I just haven’t gotten to yet. But you can’t go wrong here. Unless you have bad taste, so.
Leyland James Kirby (aka The Caretaker) – We So Tired of All This Darkness
Fletcher Tucker – Cold Spring
Blut Aus Nord – Deus Salutis Meæ
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers
Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
Forest Swords – Compassion
Laurel Halo – Dust
James Holden and the Animal Spirits – The Animal Spirits
Sarah Davachi – All my Circles Run
Anjou – Epithelia
Alice Coltrane – The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
Circle – Terminal

Honorable Mentions
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest
Fever Ray – Plunge (I miss the melancholy and moodiness)
DREAD (aka Lustmord) – Dub
Liars – TFCF
Equinoxx – Colon Man
Delia Gonzalez – Horse Follows Darkness

EPS
The Body – A Home on Earth
Grouper – Paradise Valley (released December 21, 2016)
Oranssi Pazuzu – Kevät / Värimyrsky

Other:
Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me
I could only listen once to this album about the death of his wife, the pain too real, raw, and familiar after losing my partner, Aaron Aites, filmmaker (Until The Light Takes Us), musician (IRAN), and former Reckless Records list contributor. So I can’t be remotely objective, but I found it shatteringly effective.

And since there are no rules anymore, and we’re all hurtling toward certain fiery death at the tiny hands of a fat orange misogynist, as we try to love and create and not just angrily piss into the wind on Twitter, my favorite music of 2017 is by London-based producer/composer/dj Karen Gwyer: but it’s not her 2017 double lp Rembo, which is sort of clean techno and as such just not quite up my alley. Nope, it’s her older works, a little grittier and trippier and lovely, and new to me: Needs Continuum, Kiki the Wormhole, Prophase Metaphase Anaphase Telophase, and she has more I haven’t yet investigated. Sublime.

Morgan Cuinet / Hands In The Dark

NEW ALBUMS
-Carlos Casas “Pyramid of Skull”
-Félicia Atkinson “Hand in Hand”
-Gregg Kowalsky “L’Orange, L’Orange”
-Colleen “A Flame my Love, a Frequency”
-Visible Cloaks “Reassemblage”
-Tomoko Sauvage “Musique Hydromantique”
-Carla Dal Forno “The Garden”
-Sarah Davachi “All My Circles Run”
-Lee Noble “The Hell of you Come In”
-Justin Walter “Unseen Forces”
-Greg Fox “The Gradual Procession”
-Bitchin Bajas “Bajas Fresh”
-Roe Enney “Glare”
-Jefre Cantu-Ledesma “On The Echoing Green”
-Roger Tellier-Craig “Instantanés”
-Sonja Labianca “About Room, Room To Be, Rooms”
-Ekin Fil “Ghost Inside”
-UUUU “s/t”
-Jessica Moss “Pools of Light”
-Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe “Marlek”
-La Tène “Tardive/Issime”

REISSUES
-Hiroshi Yoshimura “Music for Nine Postcards”
-Knud Viktor “Ambiances/Images”
-Midori Takada “Through The Looking Glass”
-Pauline Anna Strom “Trans-Millenia Music”
-Graeme Miller & Steve Shill “The Moomins”
-Yasuo Sugabayashi “The Mask Of Imperial Family”
-Marc Barreca “Music Works For Industry”
-Pep Llopis “Poiemusia La Nau Dels Argonautes”
-Richard Horowitz “Eros in Arabia”
-Coil “Time Machines”
-Jocy De Oliveira “Estórias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acústicos e Eletrônicos”
-Svarte Greiner “Knive”
-Emmanuelle Parrenin “Maison Rose”
-Barney Wilen “Moshi”
-François Tusques “Free Jazz”

Top 10 Bachelor Nation moments of 2017
By: Adam Luksetich (The Numero Group and the great state of Iowa)

1. Demario and Corinne get freaky in the pool causing ABC to SHUT DOWN production of Bachelor in Paradise one day into shooting.
2. Dean not giving his rose to Kristina. What was he thinking?!?
3. Danielle M making out with the “off limits” bartender Wells before she leaves the show. Get it girl!
4. Bachelor Season 21 ends in March with Nick getting engaged to Vanessa!
5. Nick and Vanessa separate in August.
6. Peter’s reluctance to propose to Rachel after multiple group dates, two 1-on-1 dates and an overnight date. Come on bro!
7. Host Chris Harrison confronts Lee about being racist on the Bachelorette: Men Tell All Special.
8. Demario’s ACTUAL girlfriend confronts him during the taping of The Bachelorette. He’s #notherefortherightreasons
9. Amanda is back for a THIRD time hoping to find love again . . . again.
10. Nick chooses Corinne over Taylor on a 1-on-1 date. Taylor then turns into some sort of voodoo priestess??

Also, Power Trip “Nightmare Logic” was killer.

Brett Andrew Grossman (Once was)

2017 In Order of How I Remember things:
1. The Clientele “Music for the Age of Miracles” (Merge)
2. Caterina Barbieri “Patterns of Consciousness” (Important)
3. Faith Healer “Try ;-)” (Mint)
4. Ty Segall “Ty Segall” (Drag City), “Fried Shallots” (Drag City)
5. Colleen “A Flame My Love, A Frequency” (Thrill Jockey)
6. The Proper Ornaments “Foxhole” (Slumberland)
7. William Basinski “A Shadow in Time (Temporary Residence    Limited)
8. Slowdive “Slowdive” (Dead Oceans)
9. Justin Walter “Unseen Forces” (Kranky)
10. Klein “Tommy EP” (Hyperdub)
11. Various “Eleven into Fifteen: a 130701 Compilation” (130701)
12. Perfume Genius “No Shape” (Matador)
13. Fleet Foxes “Crack-up” (Nonesuch)
14. Konrad Sprenger “Stack Music” (PAN)
15. Angel Olsen”Phases” (Jagjaguwar)
16. Ellen Arkbro “For Organ and Brass” (Subtext)
17. Jay-Z “4:44” (Roc Nation)
18. Juana Molina “Halo” (Crammed Discs)
19. Carla dal Forno “The Garden” (Blackest Ever Black)
20. Larry Achiampon “Untitled (Back to Church)” (Look Mama)
21. LCD Soundsystem “American Dream” (DFA)
22. Avey Tare “Eucalyptus” (Domino)
23. Chad VanGaalen “Light Information” (Sub Pop)
24. Ka Baird “Sapropelic Pycnic” (Drag City)
25. Destroyer “Ken” (Merge)
26. Big Thief “Capacity” (Saddle Creek)
27. Kara-Lis Coverdale “Grafts” (Boomkat Editions)
28. The New Pornographers “Whiteout Conditions” (Collected Works)

Reissues/ Archival/ Heard for the First Time:
1. Daniel Schmidt “In my arms, many flowers” (Recital Program)
2. Remote Viewer “Us In A happier” (Other Ideas)
3. Dominique Lawalree “First Meeting” (Wave Ltd.)
4. Hüsker Dü “Savage Young Dü (Numero Group)
5.The Boats “Static Clings” (The Boats Archive)
6. Various Artists “Trax Test (Excerpts from the Modular Network”  (Ecstatic)
7. Bernard Parmegiani “Rock (Soundtrack)” Transversales Disques”
8. Graeme Miller and Steve Shill “The Moomins” (Finders Keepers)
9. Chris Bell “Complete Chris Bell” (Omnivore)
10. Acchiappashpirt “Tola” (Canti Magnetici)

RECKLESS RECORDS 2016 Employee Best of Lists

Jim Magas 2016 DJ crate
VIKI Viktoria – New Victorian LP (Midwich)
Alex Barnett – Chew From the Mind LP (Midwich)
HIDE – Flesh For the Living 12” (Midwich)
Moon Pool & Dead Band – Humanizer LP (Midwich)
Joel Graham – Geomancy 12” (Music From Memory)
DJ Fett Burger – Burger Trip 12” (Mongo Fett)
GAS – Box 10LP/4CD (Kompakt)
Keiji Haino – Milky Way LP (Black Truffle)
Good Willsmith – Things Our Bodies Used to Have LP (Umor Rex)
Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt – Live at Various/Various Live 2LP (Palilalia)
Madteo – Voracious Culturilizer 12” (M.A.D.T.E.O. Records)
Roberto Musci – Tower of Silence 2LP (Music From Memory)
Pauline Oliveros – Four Meditations / Sound Geometries LP (Sub Rosa)
Stallone the Reducer – Private Property LP (Est. 83)
Stallone the Reducer – Drug Pusher 12” (Est. 83)
Roman Flugel – All the Right Noises 2LP (Dial)
Robert Beatty – Floodgate Companion book (Floating World Comics)
DJ Sotofett / SVN – Current 82 12” (Dark Plan 5)
DJ Sotofett / Vera Dvale – Soukas Mix / Dybden (Wania)
DJ Sotofett – Generic Mix / Alternate Mix 12” (So Phat)
Omar S. – The Best 4LP (FXHE)
Theo Parrish – Sketches 3LP + Somethin About Detroit 12” (Sound Signature)
Jay Daniel – Broken Knowz 2LP (Ninja Tune)
Flo & Andrew – Take Suicide 12” (Mannequin)
Gesloten Cirkel – Mustache Techno Series 001 12” (Mustache)
Shinichi Atobe – Ship-Scope 12” (DDS)
Equiknoxx – Bird Sound Power 2LP (DDS)
Not Waving – Animals 2LP (Diagonal)
DJ Diamonds – Footwork or Die 2LP (Duck’n’Cover)
Michael Bundt – Electri-City LP (Bureau B)
Ariel Kalma – Interfrequence LP (Black Sweat)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – Sunergy LP (Rvng Intl.)
Suzanne Ciani – Buchla Concerts 1975 LP (Finders Keepers)
John Olson – Life Is a Rip-Off book (Third Man Books)
Demdike Stare – Wonderland (2LP)

J David Cartwright
1. Babyfather “BBF Hosted by DJ Escrow” – Concept art and rap/grime/hip hop collide here. This is a challenging album and not really for casual listening, but man is it good! It warrants multiple listens and along with the amazing album art, it is one cohesive work of art. Dean Blunt is great at expressing a dissonance that comes with being apart of this modern world. I highly recommend looking into every project he is involved in.

2. Ex-Terrestrial “Paraworld” – Ambient music with delicate beats, that for me feels like the equivalent of floating in the middle of the Dead Sea with the sun baking my bones. Check out the track Blue Smoke for confirmation.

3. Omar-S “The Best” – Detroit’s Omar-S effortlessly writes floor stompers here with some strangeness sprinkled in, i.e., Ah’Revolution which is simply minimal conga playing and a meandering voice saying something about a revolution. Seen Was Set was my ultimate summer jam!

4. Frank Ocean “Blonde” – This one will be on a lot of people’s lists this year and for good reason. This puppy is addictive, meditative, and very minimally composed. It is calming, yet leaves me with an intense feeling of loss and desire. Beautiful!

5. Charles Barabe “Les Dernieres Confessions” – Beautiful synthesizer compositions accompanied by a midi ensemble that will take you to the innerzone and back.

6. Elka “Chants” – Relaxing yet extremely groovy with nods to early Detroit Techno and Electro. Pass Groove is a flippin barn-burner!

7. Disasterpeace “Hyper Light Drifter OST” – A somber, introspective synthesizer soundtrack that if you’re familiar with Disasterpeace music you might come to expect, but this one (paired with the video game) definitely took me on a journey this year. You can stream and purchase this one on bandcamp.

8. Danny Brown “Atrocity Exhibition” – Danny Brown and Warp records, what a great union! There are some forward thinking productions on this one and this sucker is disorienting.

9. Horse Lords “Interventions” – An incredibly talented Baltimore band that blends West African rhythms and Krautrock influences. All the members of the band compliment each other by locking in through syncopated grooves. A must see live band!

10. ROM “Possible Mountain” – I love Chicago’s very own Hausu Mountain tape label! If you like experimental/ avant garde/ electronic music and video game soundtracks then look no further. “Possible Mountain” is an atmospheric journey that fans of Tortoise will feel right at home with. Airy jams with a myriad of styles and influences. Favorite track: Crawl Upside Down

Charles Taylor
Best Jazz:

Anthony Braxton: 3 Compositions [EEMHM] 2011
Artuan Ortiz – Hidden Voices
Paul Dunmall – Luddite
Ivo Perelman – Breaking Point
Tony Malaby – Incantations
Nick Mellevoi – Desertion
Freddie Redd – With Due Respect
Eri Yamamoto – Life
Wadada Leo Smith – The National Parks
Thumbscrew – Convallaria
Julie Kjaer – Dobbeltgaenger

Best Reissues:

Steve Miller Band – Sailor
Bunny Wailer – Solomonic Singles 1 & 2
Junjo Presents Heavyweight Dub Champion
Miles Davis – Paul’s Mall Boston September 1972

Beth Klacko

Music I liked this year in no particular order:

-Omar S. – The Best
-Joanna Brouk – Hearing Music
-Manuel Gottsching – E2-E4 (Reissue)
-Steve Hauschildt – Strands
-Metallica – Kill ‘Em All (Reissue)
-Oren Ambarchi – Hubris
-Angel Olsen – My Woman
-Ghoul – Dungeon Bastards
-The Field – The Follower
-Fake Limbs – Matronly
-Roman Flugel – All The Right Noises
-Klaus Johann Grobe – Spagat der Liebe
-Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
-Blasted Diplomats – Again
-V/A – Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music
-Romans – Valere Aude
-Sabbatical – Sundown

Matt Jencik
Asylum Party – Picture One reissue
Julianna Barwick – Will
Big Star – Complete Third Vol. 1 : Demos to Sessions to Roughs
Bitchin’ Bajas & Bonnie Prince Billy Epic Jammers & Fortunate Little Ditties
David Bowie Blackstar
David Bowie Bowie At the Beeb LP boxset
Joanna Brouk – Hearing Music
Caroline K Now Wait for Last Year reissue
Brian Case Tense Nature
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree
The Clean – Getaway LP reissue
Leonard Cohen – You Want it Darker
Deru -1979 reissue
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein Stranger Things soundtrack
DJ Richard – Grind
Noel Ellis S/T reissue
Fake Limbs Matronly
Forma Physicalist
Fuath I
Gaoth Dying Season’s Glory
Manuel Gottsching E2-E4 LP reissue
Lee Hazlewood Cowboy in Sweden LP reissue
Head of the Demon Sathanas Trismegistos
Heron Oblivion S/T
Itasca Open to Chance
Kikagaku Moyo House in the Tall Grass
Lifetones For a Reason LP reissue
Jackie Lynn S/T
Kedr Livanskiy January Sun EP
Matchess Rafter
MJ Guider Precious Systems
Angel Olsen My Woman
PAPA M Highway Songs
Jeff Parker New Breed
Pink Floyd Early Years 1965-1972 boxset
Radiohead A Moon Shaped Pool
Sand LP reissues
75 Dollar Bill Wood​/​Metal​/​Plastic/​Pattern​/​Rhythm​/​Rock
Them Speaking Canaries – Summer Band lathe-cut 7”
Träd, Gräs Och Stenar – S/T boxset
Tribulation Formulas of Death LP reissue
Troller Graphic
The Who – Live At Leeds 3LP Deluxe Edition reissue
Winterfylleth Dark Hereafter
La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela The Theatre of Eternal Music – Dream House – 78’17”
Reissue
V/A Killed by Deathrock Volume Two
V/A (The Microcosm) Visionary Music of Continental Europe 1970-1986
V/A Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music

SHOWS
Big|Brave in-store @ Reckless
John Carpenter @ Thalia Hall
The Cure @ UIC Pavilion
Dungen in-store @ Reckless
Fabio Frizzi live score for “The Beyond” @ Music Box
Philip Glass @ Old Town School of Folk Music
Grouper @ Bohemian National Cemetery
Steve Hauschildt & Forma @ Constellation
Itasca in-store @ Reckless & Empty Bottle
Kikagaku Moyo @ Empty Bottle
Jackie Lynn @ Silent Funny
Matchess @ Hideout
Misfits @ Riot Fest
Angel Olsen @ Thalia Hall
Iggy Pop @ Chicago Theater
S U R V I V E & Majeure @ Empty Bottle
Tribulation @ Subterranean

Ethan D’Ercole
Jake Lingan- Labor of Love
Jacob Kart- Sigint
Jeff Parker- New Breed
Smokin’ Ziggurats- Smokin’ Ziggurats
Eternals- Espiritu Zombi
Patrick Cowley & Candida Royalle – Candida Cosmica
Le Tour – Jack Off Diamonds

Chloe Croom
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Twin Peaks – Down in Heaven
Whitney – Light Upon The Lake
Angel Olsen – My Woman
Chris Cohen – As If Apart
Beyonce – Lemonade
Broncho – Double Vanity
Mild High Club – Skiptracing
The Hecks – The Hecks

Favorite compilations of 2016:
Cosmic Machine – The Sequel: A Voyage Across French Cosmic & Electronic Avantgarde [Because Music]
Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music [Numero Group]
New Orleans Funk – New Orleans: The Original Sound of Funk Vol. 4 [Soul Jazz Records]

Favorite Reissue of 2016:
Lee Moses – Time And Place! [Light in the Attic Records]

Ryan Scaccia
1. FOG – For Good (Totally Gross National Product)
2. TORTOISE – Catastrophist (Thrill Jockey)
3. BEN LUKAS BOYSEN – Spells (Erased Tapes)
4. JOHANN JOHANNSSON – Orphee (Deutsche Grammophon)
5. JESU/SUN KIL MOON – Jesu/Sun Kil Moon (Caldo Verde)
6. RIVAL CONSOLES – Night Melody (Erased Tapes)
7. DAVID BAZAN – Blanco (Barsuk)
8. HELEN MONEY – Become Zero (Thrill Jockey)
9. ADRIAN YOUNGE – The Electronique Void (Linear Labs)
10. JOHN CARPENTER – Lost Themes II (Sacred Bones)
11. JEFF PARKER – The New Breed (International Anthem)
12 ANDREW BRODER – Wertheimer EP (Lex)
13. SILVER APPLES – Clinging To A Dream (Chicken Coop)
14. FLOATING POINTS – Kuiper EP (Luaka Bop)
15. ADAM WILTZIE – Salero O.S.T. (Erased Tapes)

Dave Hofer
ALBUMS
Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition (Warp)
While we wish Brown would sometimes lay off his signature high-nasal voice in favor of his more reserved flow, there’s no denying that this guy is brilliant. Discordant, heady hip-hop that sounds like no one else.
Car Bomb – Meta
Easily one of the most unique bands in metal, Car Bomb dropped this album after teasing their mailing list with five-second snippets of new music, which fans used the internet to connect and assemble into a full track, natch. Technical, very, very heavy & a sound that’s instantly recognizable.
Chris Cohen – As If Apart (Captured Tracks)
Ex-Cryptacize member finally releases his second album of earth-y, mellow songs. The recording is beautiful.
Creation is Crucifixion – Antenna Builder (Robotic Empire)
One of the best late-’90s/early-aughts bands resurfaces with a previously-unreleased, nine-minute track, three songs never released on vinyl & an entire live set from 2000. High-concept tech-death-grind straight out of a hacker’s wet dream.
Flowdan – Disaster Piece (Tru Thoughts)
This album makes the cut on the strength of the track “Bob Marley” alone.
Full of Hell – Amber Mote in the Black Vault 7” (Bad Teeth)
Technically proficient, catchy and very, very brutal grind from this band, who seem to have found their voice.
Internal Rot/Mellow Harsher – Split 7” (625)
Two sides with two different types of grindcore. Internal Rot play a crustier, death-metal influenced style while Mellow Harsher is so completely beyond insane-sounding you have to hear these guys to believe it. Amazing.
Mithras – On Strange Loops (Willowtip)
A late-2016 release, Mithras returns after nine years and delivers a great album of outer-space death metal. If prog fans can get past the vocals, the musicianship is — pun intended — out of this world.
Mr. Lif – Don’t Look Down (Mello Music Group)
After a seven-year break, Mr. Lif returns to the mic with a very strong album, a new label and what sounds like a new perspective. One of the best MCs of the last two decades.
Rae Sremmurd – SremmLife 2 (Interscope)
Second album from this bizarre duo with a unique sound. On the surface, it might not sound like these guys are doing anything special, but the production and their unique flows are more than meets the ear.
Schoolboy Q – Blank Face LP (TDE)
I was a bit worried about the follow-up to his excellent Oxymoron, but Q delivered a great album with his signature voice & eerie production. Dark subject matter, but masterfully executed.

Sea of Shit & Sick/Tired – Split LP (Deep Six)
Two of Chicago’s best hardcore/grind bands on one massively brutal split.
Skepta – Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)
Not exactly the grime style that Skepta is known for, this is a combination of grime and American-style trap with Skepta’s flow on top.
Venomous Concept – Kick Me Silly (Season of Mist)
I’m a bit biased due to Danny Lilker’s involvement, but this album from the half-Brutal Truth, half-Napalm Death hardcore project is undeniable.
Wormed – Krighsu (Season of Mist)
Completely insane third album of intricate, science-fiction death metal.

MISC
Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins live at the Chicago Theater.
Mutoid Man live at Reggie’s.
Hey Mercedes live at Subterranean.
Sea of Shit & Sick/Tired live at Reckless.
Meshuggah live at House of Blues.
Finally getting custom, Sensaphonics earplugs after years of ear abuse.
Changing from antiperspirant to deodorant.
UK vacation, where I learned about beheadings in a historical context.
Droves & Joyce Delaney live in Glasgow (AKA seeing shows on vacation is the best).
AAW & non-WWE pro-wrestling in general.
Motor City Machine Guns vs. the Young Bucks vs. the Addiction in Ladder Wars 6.
Fallout 4.
Still playing Metal Gear Solid V: the Phantom Pain.
The ability to melee while riding a motorcycle in Grand Theft Auto Online.

Kip McCabe Best of 2016 (in no specific order)
__________________________________

Meshuggah “Violent Sleep of Reason” (Nuclear Blast)
Johann Johannsson “Orphee” (Deutsche Grammophon)
Johann Johannsson “Arrival” Soundtrack (Deutsche Grammophon)
Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto “Revenant” soundtrack (Milan Records)
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds “Skeleton Tree” (Bad Seed Ltd)
David Bowie “Blackstar” (Iso Records)
Cliff Martinez “The Neon Demon” soundtrack (Milan Records)
Papa M “Highway Songs” (Drag City)
Tortoise “Catastrophist” (Thrill Jockey)
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein “Stranger Things” soundtrack (Lakeshore Records)
A Tribe Called Quest “We got it from here… Thank You 4 Your Service” (Epic)

Steven Rahman

Sierra Hull – Weighted Mind

Beautiful Bluegrass music. Hull’s virtuosity as a mandolin player is matched brilliantly by the songwriting & her voice is wonderfully engaging. It’s powerful, even piercing and gives the some of the more delicate playing a weight & substance.

Last Shadow Puppets – Everything You’ve Come to Expect

I love Alex Turner. He’s one of my favorite musicians in the world. This is his second record with Miles Kane as the Last Shadow Puppets. It’s a very particular sound, this rock n’ roll old school sound that’s extremely somber, serious & full of soul. The strings are arranged by Owen Pallett.

Rihanna – ANTI-

What Rihanna does with this record is nothing short of amazing. She digs herself out of a hole that I’ve always placed her in. While there’s still the sense that a number of different hands are involved, the final product oozes with a single personality. That’s all well & good, but it’s in the songs themselves I think you’ll find the best evidence of change & growth. These are good songs, & they’re songs only Rihanna could’ve done justice. Check out the wailing in “Higher.”

Gregory Porter – Take Me to The Alley & Ashleigh Smith – Sunkissed

I’m putting these together, because I love them for much the same reason. These are great songs sung well. There’s no histrionics, there’s little in the way of style. These records are great because they keep it simple & do it incredibly well. If you like vocal Jazz you will like these.

Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book (Chance 3)

Chance the Rapper is all that is good & joyful about Hip Hop right now. He’s exemplary of a side of Chicago that we don’t get to hear much about, at least in mainstream music journalism. His sound is a little more populist, but not so much as to remove the individuality from it, especially considering the amount of Gospel influence. Chance’s music maintains a childlike sense of wonder even while talking about seriously adult topics like death & violence.

Noname – Telefone

It took me a bit to get into this one. It came out in the summer, but the music just didn’t grab me the way it would as the year progressed into fall, & then into winter. There’s an almost muted quality to the production, & a real vibe & feeling, but the most engrossing part of this is the poetic way the lyrics are weaved together.

Anderson .Paak – Malibu & NxWorries – Yes Lawd!

This is the year of Anderson .Paak. He was everywhere this year, & I think Malibu is the best record of the year. It’s just a completely amazing creation. It’s soulful, with this sense of rhythm. It’s a rapper’s soul album & that’s exactly what .Paak is. Yes Lawd! is essentially the soul version of Madvillainy. It’s shorter songs, almost sketches & they’re perfect little interludes.

Hamilton Cast Recording
I don’t really know what to say about this that hasn’t been said before. If you like hip hop, check it out. If you like musicals, check it out. Do you have a passing interest in history? Check it out. I promise you, the adventures of our first Treasury secretary as written & performed by this cast will impress you.

Honorable Mentions (AKA Records I really like but can’t write about because of lack of space):

Esperanza Spalding – Emily’s D+Evolution
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
Adia Victoria – Beyond the Bloodhounds
Mac Miller – The Divine Feminine
Schoolboy Q – Blank Face
Apollo Brown & Skyzoo – The Easy Truth
Kadhja Bonet – The Visitor
Funky DL – February
Common – Black America Again
Beyonce – Lemonade
Kaytranada – 99.9%
Open Mike Eagle & Paul White – Hella Personal Film Festival
Gensu Dean & Denmark Vessey – Whole Food
AFRO & Marco Polo – A-F-R-O Polo
Lando Chill – For Mark Your Son
BJ The Chicago Kid – In My Mind
Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
Corinne Bailey Rae – The Heart Speaks in Whispers
Oddisee – Alwasta
Oddisee – Odd Tape
Robert Ellis – Robert Ellis
Takuya Kuroda – Zigzagger

Chris W.

MY FAVORITE ALBUMS üv 2016 (alphabetically by artist)

Adrian Younge “The Electronique Void: Black Noise” (LINEAR LABS)
Angel Olsen “My Woman” (JAGJAGUWAR)
ANOHNI “Hopelessness” (SECRETLY CANADIAN)
BADBADNOTGOOD “IV” (BEAT RECORDS)
Beyoncé “Lemonade” (COLUMBIA)
The Caretaker “Everywhere At the End of Time” (HISTORY ALWAYS FAVOURS THE WINNERS)
Childish Gambino “Awaken, My Love!” (GLASSNOTE)
Chrysta Bell & David Lynch “Somewhere In the Nowhere EP” (BANDCAMP)
Clams Casino “32 Levels” (COLUMBIA)
Cliff Martinez “The Neon Demon (soundtrack)” (MILAN RECORDS)
DARKPYRAMID “New Humans” (DREAM CATALOGUE)
Death In Vegas “Transmission” (DRONE)
Devendra Banhart “Ape In Pink Marble” (NONESUCH RECORDS)
Ela Orleans “Circles of Upper & Lower Hell” (NIGHT SCHOOL)
Eluvium “False Readings On” (TEMPORARY RESIDENCE)
Frank Ocean “Blonde” (BOYS DON’T CRY)
Gallant “Ology” (CIVIL MUSIC)
Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions “Until the Hunter” (TENDRIL TALES)
Hype Williams “10/10” (NOT ON LABEL)
Iggy Pop, Tarwater & Alva Noto “Leaves of Grass” (MORR MUSIC)
Jackie Lynn “Jackie Lynn” (THRILL JOCKEY)
James Blake “The Colour In Anything” (POLYDOR RECORDS)
Jenny Hval “Blood Bitch” (SACRED BONES)
Jóhann Jóhannsson “Orphée” & “Arrival (soundtrack)” (DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON)
Kanye West “The Life of Pablo” (GOOD MUSIC)
Kari Faux “Lost en Los Angeles” (WOLF & ROTHSTEIN)
Kristin Kontrol “X-Communicate” (SUB POP)
Lee Fields & the Expressions “Special Night” (BIG CROWN)
Library Tapes “Escapism” (1631 RECORDINGS)
Max Richter “Black Mirror: Nose Dive (soundtrack)” (DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON)
Mica Levi “Jackie (soundtrack)” (MILAN RECORDS)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds “Skeleton Tree” (BAD SEED LTD.)
Rihanna “Anti” (ROC NATION)
Slow Dancing Society “The Wagers of Love and Their Songs From the Witching Hour” (HIDDEN SHOAL)
Trentemøller “Fixion” (IN MY ROOM)
A Tribe Called Quest “We Got It From Here…Thank You For Your Service” (EPIC RECORDS)
Various Artists “Before the Flood (soundtrack)” (LAKESHORE RECORDS)
Warpaint “Heads Up” (ROUGH TRADE RECORDS)
The Weeknd “Starboy” (XO/REPUBLIC RECORDS)
Yann Tiersen “EUSA” (MUTE RECORDS)

Tom Walczyk
Here are some records that I found to help make 2016 a bit better
(no particular order)

Dinosaur Jr— Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not (Jagjaguawar)
Dow Jones & the Industrials- Can’t Stand the Midwest 1979- 1981 (Family Vineyard)
Halo Of Flies- Music For Insect Minds (AMREP)
— Plus all other AMREP reissues (Cows, Dope Guns, Helios Creed, Melvins…)
David Bowie- BlackStar (ISO Records)
Angel Olsen- My Women (Jagjaguwar)
Iggy Pop- Post Pop Depression (Loma Vista)
Bob Mould- Patch The Sky (Merge)
Nick Cave- Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed LTD.)
Savages- Adore Life (Matador)
Warpaint- Heads Up (Rough Trade)
Omni- Deluxe (Trouble in Mind)
Thee Oh Sees- A Weird Exits & Thee Oh Sees- An Odd Entrances (Castle Face)

*** Label of the Year— Superior Viaduct
Amazing reissues from The Fall, Flesh Eaters, DNA,
Suicide…. so many amazing titles made available again!!!***

I am sure there are releases that I missed so take the time and read all the lists and while shopping in the stores please come talk to us, we would love to point you toward something you will dig!!! Thank You!!!

Gary Errera
WORST OF 2016 “SATIRE…KINDA”
10.GREEN DAY – REVOLUTION RADIO
9.DEATH GRIPS – WHATEVER – PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR “ART”
8.DEATH GRIPS – INTERVIEW, UNADULTERATED CORNCOB HOGWASH , COMPUTERS
HAVE RUINED A LOT OF THINGS IN THIS DAY AND AGE
7.METALLICA – RETURN TO THRASH BUT SHITE LYRICS
6.ANGEL OLSEN – MY WOMAN “UGH”
5.LADY GAGA – NOT HER FINEST HOUR
4.STONE ROSES – NAH
3.THEE OH SEES – NO THANKS
2.NURSE WITH WOUND – DESTROY ALL COPIES
1.CAR SEAT HEADREST – KEEP AT IT KIDDO.
HONORABLE MENTION:
RADIOHEAD – POOL SHAPED MOON “NOT BAD BUT NOT GOOD”

MY PICKS FOR 2016:
PREOCCUPATIONS – S/T
RUSSIAN CIRCLES – GUIDANCE
BIRDY – BEAUTIFUL LIES
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST – WE GOT IT FROM HERE…..
ROLLING STONES – BLUE AND LONESOME

Jacob Kart

Lifetones “For A Reason” (reissue) (Light in the Attic)
Gas “Box” (reissue) (KOMPAKT)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith “EARS” (Western Vinyl)
Autechre “Tri Repetae” and “Incunabula” (reissues) (Warp)
Tal Sounds “Lifter And Higher” (Hausu Mountain)
Datach’i “System” (TimeSig)
Autechre “Elseq” (Warp)
Andy Stott “Too Many Voices” (Modern Love)
Carl Stone “Electronic Music From the Seventies and Eighties” (Unseen Worlds)
The Field “The Follower” (KOMPAKT)
Flux Bikes/ Suenolas (Festival Gear)
Horse Lords “Interventions” (Northern Spy)
Moon Bros “These Stars” (Western Vinyl)
Venetian Snares “Traditional Synthesizer Music” (TimeSig)

Benjamin Hegy
David Bowie- (blackstar)- ISO Records
Chris Cohen- as if apart- Captured Tracks
The Field- the follower- Kompakt
Manuel Gottsching- e2-e4- MG.ART
Lifetones- for a reason- Light In the Attic
Jackie Lynn- s/t- Thrill Jockey
Roberto Musci- tower of silence- Music From Memory
Omar S- the best!- FXHE Records
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith- ears- Western Vinyl
This Heat- deceit- Modern Classics Recordings
A Tribe Called Quest- we got it from here…. thank you for your service- Epic
Ryley Walker- golden sings that have been sung- Dead Oceans
Western Skies Motel- settlers- Lost Tribe Sound

Tim Quinlan
Le Matos – Chronicles of the Wasteland (December 2015 release)
A Tribe Called Quest “We Got It From Here…”
BadBadNotGood “IV”
Yann Tiersen “Eusa”
Umberto “Alienation”
Oddisee “The Odd Tape”
Wojciech Golczewski “Reality Check”
Chance the Rapper “Coloring Book”
Vince Staples “Prima Donna”
FM-84 “Atlas”
Anderson Paak “Malibu”
S U R V I V E “RR7349”
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein “Stranger Things Soundtrack”

Luke Dahlgren
20 best of 2016:
Top 5:
1. Parquet Courts – Human Performance (Rough Trade)
2. Kiran Leonard – Grapefruit (Moshi Moshi)
3. Sheer Mag – III (Static Shock)
4. David Bowie – ★ (Iso)
5. Kevin Morby – Singing Saw (Dead Oceans)
15 more (alpha):
Charles Bradley – Changes (Daptone)
Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition (Warp)
Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial (Matador)
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed Ltd.)
The Gotobeds – Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic (Sub Pop)
Nicolas Jaar – Sirens (Other People)
KAYTRANADA – 99.9% (XL)
Cass McCombs – Mangy Love (Anti-)
Mourn – Ha, Ha, He. (Captured Tracks)
Frank Ocean – Blonde (Boys Don’t Cry)
Angel Olsen – MY WOMAN (Jagjaguwar)
Preoccupations – Preoccupations (Jagjaguwar)
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (XL)
Savages – Adore Life (Matador)
Solange – A Seat at the Table (Saint)

Ben Crowell
in no particular order:

David Bowie – Blackstar (Columbia/Sony)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed Ltd.)
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker (Columbia/Sony)
Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch (Sacred Bones)
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Stranger Things Vol. 1 & 2 (Lakeshore)
Julianna Barwick – Will (Dead Oceans)
The Caretaker – Everywhere At The End Of Time (History Always Favors)
Aphex Twin – Cheetah EP (Warp)
Moon Pool & Dead Band – Humanizer (Midwich)
Mark Korven – The Witch OST (Milan)

Reissues:
Rachel’s – Systems/Layers (Quarterstick)
Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks OST (Deathwaltz)
Bobby Beausoleil – Lucifer Rising (Ajna)
Lee Harvey Oswald Band – Blastronaut (Touch and Go)
William Basinski – 92982 (Temporary Residence)

Christian Keck
in no particular order except #1

1. Hecks (self-titled)

Solange (A seat at the table)
Kendrick Lamar (untitled remaster)
Floating Points (Elaenia)
Thee Oh Sees (Weird Exits
Charles Bradley (Changes)
Hoops (self-titled)
Stranger Things OST Vol 1
Bitchin Bajas & Bonnie Prince Billy (Epic Jammers)
King Gizzard & Lizard Wizard (Nonagon Infinity)

Thor Jorgenson
TONY MOLINA – CONFRONT THE CONFRONT 7″ (SLUMBERLAND)
JEFF PARKER – NEW BREED LP (INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM)
SCHOOLBOY Q – BLANK FACE (TOP DAWG)
BLACK MILK & NAT TURNER – REBELLION SESSIONS (COMPUTER UGLY)
JAMES FRITZ – STILL TOGETHER (AST RECORDS)

John Jackson (in no order)
Oddisee- Alwasta EP
Charles Bradley- Changes
Gimungo- Movement
Jeff Parker- The New Breed
Saul Williams- MartyrLoserKing
Maker- Maker Vs Now Again 3
Dibiase- Baker’s Dozen Instrumental Series
Kool Keith- Feature Magnetic
Madlib- Our Vinyl Ways A Ton OST Beats 10″
Ras G- Baker’s Dozen Instrumental Series

Anthony Illarde
listen
ABADDON Blues Tomorrow 45 (Alonas Dream)
BIG STAR Complete Third CD (Omnivore)
KARL BLAU Introducing Karl Blau LP (Raven Marching Band)
ALICE COOPER Live From The Astroturf 45 (Good Records)
BETTY DAVIS The Columbia Years 1968-1969 LP (Light In The Attic)
BOB DYLAN The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert! CD (Columbia)
THE ELECTRIC PRUNES I’ve Got A Way Of My Own 45 (Sundazed)
THE FLAT FIVE It’s A World Of Love & Hope LP (Augiedisc/Bloodshot)
GRAPEFRUIT Lullaby 45 (Cherry Red)
LEE HAZLEWOOD Cowboy In Sweden LP (Light In The Attic)
HAILU MERGIA / DAHLAK BAND ‎– Wede Harer Guzo LP (Awesome Tapes From Africa)
THE MICKEY FINN Garden Of My Mind 45 (Munster)
THE MILD HIGH CLUB Skiptracing LP (Stones Throw)
MONKEES Saturday’s Child 45 (Rhino)
RAMONES Ramones 40th Anniversary Edition 3CD (Rhino)
SUN RA & HIS INTERPLANETARY VOCAL ARKESTRA The Space Age Is Here To Stay LP (Modern Harmonic)
VARIOUS Last Of The Garage Punk Unknowns Vol 5-8 LPs (Crypt)
VARIOUS Scepter Records Out In The Streets Again: The Soul Sounds of Scepter LP (Sundazed)
VARIOUS Venezuela 70: Cosmic Visions Of A Latin American Earth LP (Soul Jazz)

read
JEFF APTER Tragedy: The Ballad of the Bee Gees (Jawbone Press)
JOHN DOE Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History of LA Punk (Da Capo Press)
DAVID HEPWORTH Never A Dull Moment: 1971, The Year That Rock Exploded (Henry Holt & Co)
PETER MILLS The Monkees, Head, and the 60s (Jawbone Press)
SIMON REYNOLDS Shock & Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy From the Seventies to the Twenty-First Century (Dey St.)
MIKE STAX Swim Through The Darkness: My Search For Craig Smith & The Mystery of Maitreya Kali (Process Media/ Feral House)

watch
EIGHT DAYS A WEEK: The Beatles Touring Years (Universal)
GIMME DANGER: Story Of The Stooges (Magnolia Pictures)
PRETTIES FOR YOU Live In NYC (Didkovsky.com)
WE ARE TWISTED F***ING SISTER (Music Box Films)

Zachary Caputo
1: Atrocity Exhibition by Danny Brown (experimental hip-hop on warp)
2: Bottomless Pit by Death Grips (experimental hip-hop on third worlds)
3: Splendor and Misery by clipping. (experimental hip-hop on sub pop)
4: ★ (Blackstar) by David Bowie (experimental rock on ISO)
5: Hit Reset by The Julie Ruin (dance punk on Hardly Art)
6: Changes by Charles Bradley (soul on daptone)
7: Scum With Boundaries by The I.L.Y.s (experimental rock on third worlds) [this is the only record on this list we don’t stock at Reckless as it was released as a free download online. go get yourself a copy! it’s free!]
8: Movement by Gimungo (experimental dance, self-released)
9: We got it from here… by A Tribe Called Quest (hip-hop on epic)
10: Eraser Stargazer by Guerrilla Toss (dance punk on DFA)
11: untitled unmastered by Kendrick Lamar (hip hop on top dawg)
12: MatryrLoserKing by Saul Williams (experimental hip-hop on fader)
13: A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead (experimental rock on XL)
14: You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen (singer-songwriter/folk on columbia)
15: Drug Apts. by Drug Apts. (experimental punk on interference pattern)
16: Trans Day of Revenge by G.L.O.S.S. (punk on total negativity and three other labels)
17: Dissociation by The Dillinger Escape Plan (mathcore on party smasher)
18: 99 Cents by Santigold (dance/pop on atlantic)
19: Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino (soul/p-funk worship on glassnote)
20: Nosebleed Weekend by The Coathangers (punk on suicide squeeze)

Gabriella Hileman
(no order)
joanna brouk: hearing music
drab majesty: completely careless
jessy lanza: oh no
suzanne cianni: buchla concerts 1975
pylon: live
jackie lynn: jackie lynn
Perry Ryan
Top 15 Albums

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Crying – Beyond The Fleeting Gales (Run For Cover) [80s-style arena rock/synthpop]

FOURTEEN OTHER FAVORITES (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
Whitney – Light Upon The Lake (Secretly Canadian) [Country/soul/indie pop]
Jeff Rosenstock – WORRY. (SideOneDummy) [Punk]
Frank Ocean – Blonde (Boys Don’t Cry) [Art soul]
Andy Shauf – The Party (Anti-) [70s-style singer-songwriter]
The Avalanches – Wildflower (Modular/Astralwerks/XL/EMI) [Plunderphonics/neo-psych]
Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book (Self-released) [Hip-hop]
The Range – Potential (Domino) [Electronic]
Xenia Rubinos – Black Terry Cat (Anti-) [Unclassifiable/Art pop]
David Bowie – Blackstar (ISO/Columbia) [Art rock]
Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine (Glassnote) [Throwback rock]
Kyle Craft – Dolls Of Highland (Sub Pop) [Southern glam, I guess]
D.R.A.M. – Big Baby D.R.A.M. (Empire/Atlantic) [Trappy-go-lucky]
The Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood (4AD) [Rundgren-core]
A Giant Dog – Pile (Merge) [Raucous power pop]

Dylan Sowle
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds- Skeleton Tree. I either want to BE Nick Cave, or I want him to adopt me. Those are my only options for happiness.
BRONCHO- Double Vanity. Definitely my most played album of the year. The singer also pronounces words like he’s learning them for the first time. Turn up tha fuzzzzz.
Beyoncé- Lemonade. I mean, come on. The QUEEN.
TacocaT- Lost Time. I never knew how badly I needed a pop punk song about Dana Scully until this album came out, and now I don’t know how I survived before it.
Andy Hull & Robert McDowell- Swiss Army Man OST. I wasn’t gonna list any soundtracks but this music and this movie are some of the most weird and beautiful things I experienced this year.
John Congleton and the Nighty Nite- Until The Horror Goes. I just couldn’t believe I was hearing new music from John Congleton in 2016. This dude’s insane.
Santigold- 99¢. Totally thought she was singing about “big balls” the first time this played in the store. Kind of disappointed she wasn’t.
Angel Olsen- My Woman. I’m gonna fall in love with you someday.
Frank Ocean- Blonde. I immediately restarted this album as soon as it finished, so that’s gotta mean something.
Worry- Jeff Rosenstock. Even though I think this is one of Jeff’s weakest albums of his career, it still rules and I’m so happy such an amazing artist is finally getting a fraction of the recognition he deserves. Go buy every record he’s ever made right now.

Top Shows, in no particular order

The King Khan & BBQ Show w/ The Gartrells @ The Empty Bottle
Seu Jorge Presents The Life Aquatic @ Thalia Hall
BRONCHO w/ SPORTS @ The Empty Bottle
Black Sabbath: The End @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Misfits @ Riot Fest
GYMSHORTS @ Bric-A-Brac Scummer Slam, East Room
Mean Jeans @ East Room
Nobunny w/ The Rubs, New Year’s Eve @ Beat Kitchen
Jeff Rosenstock @ Beat Kitchen
Louis C.K. @ Chicago Theatre

Philip Cerza
I hate ranking stuff, so this is in order of flow:
I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
– Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam Batmanglij,
We Got It From Here – A Tribe Called Quest,
A Seat At The Table – Solange,
Adore – Savages,
My Woman – Angel Olsen,
Skeleton Tree – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds,
A Mulher do Fim do Mundo – Elza Soares,
Leave Me Alone – Hinds,
Freetown Sound – Blood Orange,
ANTI – Rihanna,
Puberty 2 – Mitski,
Emotional Mugger – Ty Segall,
Shape Shift With Me – Against Me,
No Burden – Lucy Dacus,
Post Pop Depression – Iggy Pop,
I like it when you sleep… – The 1975,
X-Communicate – Kristin Kontrol,
Hopelessness – Anohni,
Singing Saw – Kevin Morby,
Wildflower – Avalanches,
99.9% – Kaytranada,
IV – BADBADNOTGOOD,
Atrocity Exhibition – Danny Brown,
Awaken, My Love – Childish Gambino,
Lemonade – Beyoncé,
“No Problem” – Chance The Rapper,
“Solo” – Frank Ocean,
“Fuck Donald Trump” – YG & Nipsey Hussle,
“Oui” – Jeremih,
“2 Phones” – Kevin Gates,
“Into You” – Ariana Grande,
“Boyfriend” – Tegan & Sara,
“Radio” – Sylvan Esso,
“Tiimmy Turner” – Desiigner,
“Purple Lamborghini” – Rick Ross & Skrillex,
AJ Styles’ entrance theme,
most of Joanne,
anything by or with Young Thug,
Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen,
and Blackstar.
Rest in power Bowie, Prince, Phife, Alan Vega, Leonard Cohen, and Miss Sharon Jones <3

Emily Elhaj
ALBUMS
Cate Le Bon – Crab Day (Drag City)
Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch (Sacred Bones)
Jeff Parker – New Breed (International Anthem)
David Bowie – Blackstar (Sony)
Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions – Until The Hunter (Tendril Tales)
The Caretaker – Everywhere at the End of Time (History Always Favours The Winner)
Allen Toussaint – American Tunes (Nonesuch)
Wei Zhongle – Nice Mask Over An Ugly Face (Pretty Purgatory)
A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service (Epic)
Horse Lords – Interventions (Northern Spy)
BadBadNotGood – IV (Innovative Leisure)
Tim Hecker – Love Streams (4AD)
Cass McCombs & The Skiffle Players – Skifflin’ (Spiritual Pajamas)
Cass McCombs – Mangy Love (Anti)
Goat – Requiem (Sub Pop)
Rihanna – Anti (Roc)
Marie Davidson – Adieux Au Dancefloor (Minimal Wave)
Alex Barnett – Chew From The Mind (Midwich)
Bryson Tiller – Trapsoul (RCA) 2015
Marisa Anderson – Into The Light (Chaos Kitchen)
Equip (Kevin Hein) – I Dreamed Of A Palace In The Sky (Dream Catalogue)
Charles Bradley – Changes (Daptone)
Kevin Morby – Singing Saw (Dead Oceans)
Brian Case – Tense Nature (Hands In The Dark)
Chris Cohen – As If Apart (Captured Tracks)
Lionlimb – Shoo (Bayonet)
James Blake – The Colour in Anything (Universal)
Solange – A Seat At The Table (Saint/Columbia)
Joanna Brouk – Hearing Music (Numero)
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book (Self)
Rayon – A Beat of Silence (Morr)
Exploded View – s/t (Sacred Bones)
Angel Olsen – My Woman (Jagjaguwar)
Jeremiah Meece – Vocal EP1 (Nina Pop)
Frank Ocean – Blond (self)
The Hecks – s/t (Trouble In Mind)
Aluk Todolo – Voix (The Ajna Offensive)
Furia – Księżyc Milczy Luty (Pagan)

REISSUES
Gas – Box (Kompakt)
Impulse! reissues
Jack Rose reissues (Three Lobed)
Träd, Gräs och Stenar reissues (Anthology)
Talk Talk – Laughing Stock (Republic)
Lifetones – For A Reason (Light In the Attic)
Steve Reich – Four Organs / Phase Patterns (Superior Viaduct)
Metallica – Ride the Lightning / Kill ‘Em All (self)
David Bowie reissues (Parlophone)

SHOWS

New Years Eve Cover Band Bonanza, The Mothlight
Unknown Mortal Orchestra/ Lower Dens, The Fonda
Joan Jett/ Beck, The Palladium
Oozing Wound, Empty Bottle
Benoit Pioulard, Revolve
Lambchop, Mill & Mine
Kamasi Washington, Mill & Mine
Nico Muhly/ Sam Amidon, Bijou Theatre
Dungen, Empty Bottle
Jenny Hval, Pitchfork
BadBadNotGood, Nelsonville Music Fest
Thee Oh Sees, Hurra
Warehouse, Mothlight
Jackie Lynn, Silent Funny
L7, Metro
Dolly Parton, Ravinia
Rodrigo Amarante
The Raincoats/Angel Olsen, Islington Assembly Hall
Cass McCombs Band, Koorenhuis – Crossing Border
Tatsuya Nakatani & Makoto Kawabata, Allways Lounge

COFFEE
Reykjavik Roasters
Star Lounge, Chicago
Koladi Coffee, Alaska
La Colombe, NYC
Hometown, Den Haag
Izzy’s, Asheville
Roasted Coffee, Copenhagen
Mojo, New Orleans
Pilgrim, Hobart, TAS

Billy Smith  –  Good stuff in 2016!
“The Revenant” Soundtrack – Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto
Damien Jurado – Vision of Us On the Land (Secretly Canadian)
Colin Stetson Presents “Sorrow” Gorecki Sym 3 Reimagined
Charles Bradley “Changes” (Daptone)
Ben Lukas Boysen – “Spells” (Erased Tapes)
Various Artists – “Venezuela 70” (Soul Jazz)
OMNI – Deluxe (Trouble In Mind)
Michael Kiwanuka “Love & Hate” (Interscope)
Various Artists “Eleven Into Fifteen; A 130701 Compilation”
Shirley Davis & The Silverbacks “Black Rose” (Tucxone)
Outer Space “Chase Across Orion” (Tucxone)
Johann Johannsson “Orphee” (Deutsche Grammophon)
Lee Fields & The Expressions “Special Night” (Big Crown)
Dungen “Haxan” (Kemado)
Adam Wiltzie “Salero” (Erased Tapes)

Bryan Smith
2016: THE YEAR DEMOCRACY BROKE
Vektor – Terminal Redux LP
2814 – RAIN TEMPLE 2LP
Pressing On LP
Sand reissues on LP
Dead Can Dance – Garden of Arcane Delights/ Peel Sessions 2lp
Biosphere – Departed Glories LP
Death – Sound Of Perseverance reissue
Quick – Untold Rock Stories reissue
Tortoise – Catastrophist
Gas – Box
Cate Le Bon – Crab Day
Max Richter – Sleep
This Heat/ Camberwell Now/ Lifetones reissues
Savages – Adore Life
1991: THE YEAR PUNK BROKE & THE YEAR I STARTED WORKING AT RECKLESS
Slint – Spiderland
My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
The Moles – Untune The Sky
Tribe Called Quest – Low End Theory
Swervedriver – Raise
Jesus Lizard – Goat
Talk Talk – Laughing Stock
Nirvana – Nevermind
Peter Jefferies – Last Great Challenge In A Dull World
LFO – frequencies
Nightmares On Wax – A Word Of Science
The Cakekitchen – Time Flowing Backwards
Entombed – Clandestine
Leatherface – Mush
Nation Of Ulysses – 13 Point Program To Destroy America
Teenage Fanclub – Bandwagonesque
Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend
Dinosaur JR – Green Mind
Neil Young – Arc/Weld
There are other records that are great from 1991, but those are the ones I think were actually on my first best of list for Reckless back in the day.

Sarah Frier
-no order-
Angel Olsen – My Woman
Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From…
David Bowie – Blackstar
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Beyonce – Lemonade
A Giant Dog – Pile
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Dinosaur Jr – Give A Glimpse Of What You’re Not
Split Single – Fragmented World
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger
Tortoise – The Catastrophist
Savages – Adore Life
Natural Child – Okey Dokey

Jake Lingan
Best of 2016, in no particular order:
Lambchop- FLOTUS (Merge)
Oren Ambarchi- Hubris (Editions Mego)
Jessy Lanza- Oh No (Hyperdub)
David Bowie- Blackstar (ISO)
The Field- The Follower (Kompakt)
Horse Lords- Interventions (Northern Spy)
Rob Mazurek & Emmett Kelly- Alien Flower Sutra (International Anthem)
Jacob Kart- Sigint (Baro)
Tim Hecker- Love Streams (4AD)
Flux Bikes/ Suenolas split (Lake Paradise)
Gas- Box (Kompakt)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani- Sunergy (RVNG INTL)
Autechre- elseq 1-5/ reissues (Warp)
Andy Stott- Too Many Voices (Modern Love)
Joanna Brouk- Hearing Music (Numero)
Quicksails- Mortal (Hausu Mountain)
Kate Bush- Before The Dawn (Concord)
Suicide reissues (Superior Viaduct)
The Fall reissues (Superior Viaduct)
Roy Harper reissues (Science Friction)
This Heat/ Lifetones/ Camberwell Now reissues (Light In The Attic)
Spires That In The Sunset Rise & Michael Zerang- Kata Physin (No Index)
Sapropelic Pycnic- A Love Supreme (No Index)
El Is A Sound Of Joy- Plus (No Index)
Barn Duet- ASMR (No Index)
FLAK- Upheaval (No Index)
Havre de Grace- Black Sea II (No Index)

Adam Cavanaugh
1.) Giuliano Sorgini – “Zoo Folle” reissue from Four Flies Records
2.) Wojciech Golczewski – “Reality Check” from Death Waltz Originals
3.) Yuzo Koshiro – “Streets of Rage 2” soundtrack from Data Discs
4.) John Carpenter – “Lost Themes II” from Sacred Bones Records
5.) Mark Korven – “The VVitch (Witch)” soundtrack from Milan Records
6.) Bixio, Frizzi, Tempera – “Magnetic Systems” from Finders Keepers Records
7.) Prix – “Historix” from Hozac Records
8.) Bruno Nicolai – “The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave” soundtrack from Death Waltz Records
9.) Various Artists – “Mother 2” soundtrack from Ship to Shore Phonoco.
10.) Angelo Badalamenti – “Twin Peaks” soundtrack reissue from Death Waltz

Honorable Mentions
– Mad Monster Party soundtrack from Waxwork Records
– Skywave – “Killerrockandroll” from Kanine Records
– The Replacements reissues from Rhino
– Konami Kukeiha Club – “Lagrange Point” soundtrack from Ship to Shore Phonoco
– Face to Face – First three albums reissues (Don’t Turn Away, Big Choice, and Face to Face) from Fat Wreck Chords

Molly Mobley
1. Beyonce “Lemonade”
2. Carly Rae Jepsen “Emotions B Side”
3. Kendrick Lamar “Untitled Unmastered”
4. Jenny Hval “Blood Bitch”
5. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard “Nonagon Infinity”
6. Badbadnotgood “IV”
7. Angel Olsen “My Woman”
8. Charles Bradley “Changes”
9. Savages “Adore Life”
10. Frankie Cosmos “Next Thing”

Kevin Hein
The Field- The Follower
Tortoise- The Catastrophist
Jessy Lanza- Oh No
Disasterpeace- Hyper Light Drifter OST
Bibio- A Mineral Love
Ryuichi Sakamoto- The Revenant
Winter Sleep – Dreams (cassette reissue)
DJ Alina- Maniax
Jacob Kart- SIGINT
2814- Rain Temple
Useless / Virtual Dreams Plaza – Balance (split)
Vaperror- Acid Arcadia EP / Mana Pool LP reissue
Virtual Dreams Plaza- Dream Love
Telepath- Your Love / Everlasting Love cassette reissue
The Caretaker- Everywhere at the end of time
NMESH- Welcome To Warp Zone (cassette reissue)
Ghosting- 2D Fun At Grid World
George Clanton- 100% Electronica (cassette reissue)
Yoshitaka Azuma- Panzer Dragoon OST (LP Reissue)
Hong Kong Express- HK (Vinyl reissue)
Pretty much everything Orange Milk Records put out

Guilty pop pleasure of the year- Kero Kero Bonito- Bonito Generation

Lea Board
Best of 2016, in no particular order:
Ty Segall & the Muggers “Emotional Mugger”
Santigold “99cents”
Angel Olsen “My Woman”
Broncho “Double Vanity”
Beyonce “Lemonade”
Thee Oh Sees “A Weird Exits” & “An Odd Entrances”
Tribe Called Quest “We Got It From Here..Thank You 4 Your Service”
Suuns “Hold/Still”
Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds “La Araba Es La Visa”
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard “Nonagon Infinity”
David Bowie “Blackstar”
Fat White Family “Songs for our Mothers”
Blind Shake “Celebrate your Worth”
Mind Spiders “Prosthesis”
Preoccupations “Preoccupations”

Courtland Green
Jeff Parker – Slight Freedom on Eremite Records
Jeff Parker -The New Breed on International Anthem Recording Company
Jeff Parker – Get Dressed flexi also on International Recording Company (They actually killed it this year)
Three for Parks! Aww maaaaan….
DJ Rude One – Closed Sessions (best Hip Hop record of the year)
Larry Dixon – Star Time box set on Past Due
Makaya McCraven – In The Moment on International Anthem recording company
De La Soul – And the Anonymous Nobody on AOI
Omar S – The Best 4 lp set
Theo Parris – Sketches 3 lp
Radius S/T
Tortoise – Catastrophist on Thrill Jokey
Tribe Called Quest – We Got it From Here
TV Pow- S/T
AlTone Edits all of em
Arsenio Rodriguez – Como Se Goza En El Barrio: Havanna and NYC Recordings 1946-1962 (finally Arsenio reissue!)
Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band – 55

Friends of Reckless year-end lists 2016

Stephen Sowley (Fake Limbs)
20 records that I didn’t have to download or stream to enjoy. If Chance is so independent, why can’t I walk into a store and buy his record?

Moor Mother—Fetish Bones
Jenny Hval—Blood Bitch
G.L.O.S.S.—Trans Day of Revenge 7”
Solange—A Seat At The Table
David Bowie—Black Star
Jessy Lanza—Oh No
Lambchop—FLOTUS
Blood Orange—Freetown Sound
In School—Cement Fucker 7”
Schoolboy Q—Blank Face LP
Omar S—The Best!
Pure Disgust—Pure Disgust
Gas—Box
The Dead C—Trouble
Max D—Boost
Jeff Parker—The New Breed
Nels Cline—Lovers
Huerco S.—For Those That Have (And For Those That Haven’t)
Behavior—375 Images of Angels
Andy Stott—Too Many Voices

Brett Grossman
Angel Olsen “My Woman” (Jagjaguwar)
Radiohead “A Moon Shaped Pool” (XL Recordings)
Anna Meredith “Varmints” (Moshi Moshi Records)
Sarah Davachi “Vergers” (Important)
Benoit Pioulard “The Benoit Pioulard Listening Matter” (Kranky)
Bon Iver “22, A Million” (Jagjaguwar)
Solange “A Seat at the Table” (Columbia)
Ty Garrett Segall “Emotional Mugger” (Drag City)
James Blake “The Colour in Anything” (Polydor)
Tenniscoats “Music exists 3” (Majikicks)
Lucky Dragons “Ooga Booga Bongo Music” (Teenage Teardrops)
Weyes Blood “Front Row Seat to Earth” (Mexican Summer)
Jenny Hval “Blood Bitch” (Sacred Bones)
Meredith Monk “On behalf of Nature” (ECM)
Klein “Only” (Howling Owl)
Xinlisupreme “Tomorrow Never Comes” (FatCat Records)
Dungen “Häxan” (MexicanSummer)
Cate Le Bon “Crab Day” (Drag City)
Joey Purp “iiiDrops” (Save Money)
Wilco “Schmilco” (dBPM)
Eluvium “False Readings On” (Temporary Residence Limited)
Carla dal Forno “You Know What It’s Like” (Blackest Ever Black)
Huerco S. “For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)” (Proibito)
Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam “I had a dream that you were mine” (Glass Note)
Parquet Courts “Human Performance” (Rough Trade)
Mitsky “Puberty 2” (Dead Oceans)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith “EARS” (Western Vinyl)
Damien Jurado “Visions of Us On the Land” (Secretly Canadian)
Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions “Until the Hunter” (Tendril Tales)
Andy Shauf “The Party” (Anti)
Car Seat Headrest “Teens of Denial” (Matador)
The Caretaker “Everywhere at the End of Time” (History always Favours the Winners)
Maja S K Ratkje “Crepuscular Hour” (Rune Grammofon)

Reissues / Archives
Blonde Redhead “Masculin Féminin” (Numero Group)
Big Star “Complete Third” (Omnivore Recordings)
Various Artists “Shanghai’d Soul: Episode 4” (Numero Group)
Washington Phillips “Washington Phillips and his Manzarene Dreams” (Dust-to-Digital)
Various Artists “Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music” (Numero Group)
Syrinx “Tumblers from the Vault (1970–1972)” (Rvng Intl)
Joanna Brouk “Hearing Music” (Numero Group)
Various “Sky Girl” (Efficient Spaces)
Carl Stone “Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties” (Unseen Worlds)
Various Artists “VENEZUELA 70: Cosmic Visions Of A Latin American Earth – Venezuelan Experimental Rock In The 1970s (Soul Jazz)
Julius Eastman “Feminine” (Frozen Reeds)

Dave Martin (Captured Tracks)

LPs
1. Major Stars – “Motion Set” (Drag City)
2. 75 Dollar Bill – “Wood Metal Plastic Pattern Rhythm Rock” (Thin Wrist)
3. Savoy Motel – S/T (What’s Your Rupture)
4. David Nance – “More Than Enough” (Ba-Da-Bing)
5. Omegas – “Power To Exist” (Beach Impediment)
6. Brian Case – “Tense Nature” (Hands In The Dark / Negative Days)
7. Cate Le Bon – “Crab Day” (Drag City)
8. Meet Your Death – S/T (12XU)
9. Tyvek – “Origin of What” (In The Red)
10. Dark Blue – “Start of the World” (12XU)
11. Counter Intuits – “Monosyllabilly” (Pyramid Scheme Records)
12. The Silence – “Nine Suns, One Morning” (Drag City)
13. S.L.I.P. – “Slippy When Wet” (Sorry State Records)
14. Gotobeds – “Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic” (Sub Pop)
15. Stefan Christensen – “American Pastoral Again” / “Empty Continents” / “Cryptic Slang” (Ever/Never – C/Site – The Loki Label)
16. Dinosaur Jr. – “Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not” (Jagjaguwar)
17. Old Head – S/T (Omentum)
18. Chook Race – “Around The House” (Trouble In Mind)
19. Heron Oblivion – S/T (Sub Pop)
20. Ultimate Painting – “Dusk” (Trouble In Mind)
21. Ryley Walker – “Golden Songs That Have Been Sung” (Dead Oceans)
22. Car Seat Headrest – “Teens of Denial” (Matador)
23. Renderers – “In The Sodium Light” (Ba-Da-Bing)
24. Terry – “Terry HQ” (Upset The Rhythm)
25. Estrogen Highs / Frustrations – Split (Safety Meeting Records)

7”s / 12”s / EPs

1. S/cks – “Sickening” b/w “New Crusades” (S/cks)
2. Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex – “Full Moon in Gemini” (Drag City)
3. Them Speaking Canaries – “Summer Band” b/w “He Did Send In The Army” (Chunklet / Third Uncle)
4. Lonely Wholesome – “Savage, Lovely, Lonely” (Bad Actors)
5. S.L.I.P. – “Mental Abuse” b/w “Stick It” (Mind Cure / BHF Records)
6. Rixe – “Les Nerfs A Vif” (La Vida Es Un Mus Discos)
7. Watery Love – “Ned’s Dreamcatcher” b/w “Meg’s Dreamcatcher” (Richie Records)
8. Mordecai – “Want To Be” b/w “Pictures of Her W/Them” (Richie Records)
9. Good Throb – S/T 7” (La Vida Es Un Mus Discos)
10. Triage – “Power Beat” (Larry Tony Produzioni)
11. C.C.T.V. – S/T (Lumpy Records)
12. Warthog – S/T EP (Beach Impediment)
13. Kaleidoscope – “Vol. 2, No. 1” (Katorga Works)
14. In School – “Cement Fucker” (Thrilling Living Records)
15. Cut Worms – “Don’t Want To Say Good-bye” b/w “Like Going Down Sideways” (Randy Records)

Reissues

1. Träd Gräs Och Stenar – Box (Anthology)
2. Mike Rep & The Quotas – “Hellbender” (Hozac)
3. Angry Angles – S/T (Goner)
4. Lord High Fixers – “the beginning of the end…the end of the beginning” (Omentum Records)
5. Simply Saucer – “Saucerland” (Logan Hardware)
6. Halo of Flies – “Music For Insect Minds” (Amphetamine Reptile Records)
7. The Clean – “Getaway” (Merge)
8. Terminals – “Uncoffined” (Hozac)
9. Dow Jones & the Industrials – “Can’t Stand The Midwest 1979-1981” & Mr. Science – “1978-1979” (Family Vineyard)
10. Renderers – “A Dream of the Sea” (Tinsel Ears)
11. Stickmen With Rayguns – “Property of Jesus Christ” & “1,000 Lives To Die” (12XU)
12. Builders – “Beatin Hearts” (Grapefruit Records)
13. Dancing Cigarettes – “Dance Dogs Dance” (Magnetic South)
14. Cannanes – “A Love Affair With Nature” (Chapter)
15. Pylon – “Live” (Chunklet)
16. Jack Rose (Three Lobed / VHF)
17. Ivy Green – S/T (Pseudonym)
18. Night Birds – “Who Killed Mike Hunchback” (Fat Wreck Chords)
19. Keiji Haino – “Milky Way” (Black Truffle)
20. La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela – The Theatre of Eternal Music – “Dream House – 78’17”” (Aguirre Records)
21. Mars – “Mars Archive Volume 2: 11000 Volts to Tunnel” (Negative Glam / Feeding Tube)
22. Green River – “1984 Demos” (Jackpot)
23. Mike & The Melvins – “Three Men and a Baby” (Sub Pop)
24. Various Artists – “I Don’t Care – Dutch Punk 1977-1983 – Volume 2” (Pseudonym)
25. Sonic Youth – “Spinhead Sessions 1986” (Goo)

Adam Luksetich (Numero Group)
Probably just me being out of touch, but 2016 SUCKED for new music. Anywhere, here’s some I (Adam Luksetich) enjoyed:

Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy Of Molten Bones
Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder
Jackie Lynn – S/T
Caretaker – Everywhere At The End Of Time
Bachelor In Paradise – Season 3 on ABC
Marissa Nadler – Strangers
Inquisition – Bloodshed Across The Empyrean Altar Beyond The Celestial Zenith
Shirley Collins – Lodestar
Blonde Redhead – Masculin Feminin (is this cheating?)

Most anticipated releases of 2017:
Matt and Adam’s Sick New Heavy Metal Band – Debut Demo Tape

Lincoln Hall/Schubas Music Dept.
Bayonne – Primitives
Beacon – Escapements
BJ Barham – Rockingham
Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Doug Tuttle – It Calls On Me
Ex-Cult – Negative Growth
Glyders – DIM
GoGo Penguin – Man Made Object
Imarhan – Imarhan
John Prine – For Better, Or Worse
Kikagaku Moyo – House In The Tall Grass
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity
Open Mike Eagle – Hella Personal Film Festival
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – High Visceral, Pt. 1
Pup – The Dream Is Over
Quilt – Plaza
Savages – Adore Life
Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Thee Oh Sees – A Weird Exits
Tim Hecker – Love Streams
Weaves – Weaves

Kevin Stacy (Danny’s)
2016 was a great year for music.
here is a list of labels that i think did exceptional work this year.

TRU THOUGHTS
ZAM ZAM SOUNDS
INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM
GOLF CHANNEL RECORDINGS
LUAKA BOP
HOT CASA
BIG CROWN
SOUNDWAY RECORDS
MR. BONGO
FAR OUT RECORDINGS
SOUL JAZZ
KNITTING FACTORY RECORDS
ANALOG AFRICA

thanks for keeping the post-modern dancefloor moving!

records….
a few of these had a 2015 digital release but were not to be found in solid form at a record shop until 2016.

JEFF PARKER / THE NEW BREED
AFRICAINE 808 / BASAR
DAVID BOWIE / BLACKSTAR
VAUDOU GAME / KIDAYU
JIGMASTAS / RESURGENCE
CASSY / DONNA
LADY WRAY / QUEEN ALONE
GAL COSTA / GAL ESTRATOSFERICA
LA YEGROS / MAGNETISMO
RODRIGO CAMPOS / CONVERSAS COM TOSHIRO
THE SESHEN / FLAMES AND FIGURES
MONTEZUMAS RACHE & DOMINIK VON SENGER / EP
OLA FRESCA / ELIXIR
BLACKALICIOUS / IMANI, VOL. 1
COMETA / COMETA
FAR OUT MONSTER DISCO ORCHESTRA / STEP INTO MY LIFE 12”
SABRINA MALHEIROS / OPARA (ASHLEY BEEDLE’S AFRIKANZ ON MARS REMIX)
VARIOUS / REMIXED WITH LOVE BY JOEY NEGRO, VOL. TWO (both records)
TORTOISE / THE CATASTROPHIST
MAKAYA McCRAVEN / IN THE MOMENT
M.I.A. / AIM

Dean Whitmore (Sub Pop Records)
Special “Favorite Records of 2016 That Were Released Really Late 2015” section:

Richard Dawson – Nothing Important
Wolf Eyes – I Am a Problem: Mind in Pieces

Top 5 of 2016 (in no order after Heron Oblivion)

Heron Oblivion – I listened to this record 5 times in a row after my first listen. Beautiful & powerful, scrappy & assured. My favorite record of the year. There are obvious folk rock touchstones (Fairport, Pentangle) as well as echoes of previous bands the members have been in (Comets On Fire, Meg Baird, Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound). Punky jabs & Sonic Youth nods show up as well & manage to fit in seamlessly. Timeless record.

Dwarfs of East Agouza – Double LP from this trio from Cairo that features Alan Bishop & two Egyptian musicians. Repetitive jams w/ post punky bass lines, propulsive hand percussion, keys & guitar, heavy on the picking & light on the strum that can sound Arabic, African, atmospheric & rockin’. Groovy as hell. I do all four sides every time.

So Pitted – neo – Freak/art rock fueled by young adult despair/frustration/anger. Dirgy/sludgy riffs, throat shredding vocals. Arty & unpretentious. Made by kids weaned on Rage Against the Machine, Radiohead & 90’s radio hits? It’s not easy to understand how this comes of that for me… I hear Devo, Unwound, Karp, Nirvana etc.

Neutral – S/T – Cold, collage, art punk from Sweden. Songs center around a repetitive bass / keyboard / guitar line, tape hisses & warbles, spoken Swedish language female vocals deadpan, a taped conversation or found sound appears. Sinister & vulnerable, sometimes at the same time. At times this reminds me vaguely of Finnish “freak folk” bands of the oughts.

Karl Blau – Introducing.. – Covers of classic country tunes (many of which I must admit I didn’t know). Saw him play for 2 hrs at a bar in Anacortes over the summer & would’ve stayed for a third if he’d kept playing. I was only vaguely familiar w/ Karl before this which made me feel sorry that I missed a lot of opportunities to see him, buy his records & hear his great songs & wonderful voice.

Favorite Show of 2016
Senyawa – My girlfriend cried & screamed fuck yeah involuntarily, i stretched my eye sockets to keep from crying as well, forgetting there was anything else but this insane blend of modern, traditional, classical, punk, metal, noise music for awhile.

These Artists Released Records In 2016 That I Enjoyed A lot (In no order)

Hound Dog Taylors Hand, Uranium Club, Cate Le Bon, The Writhing Squares, Renderers, Nothing Band, Ryley Walker, Omni, Violence Creeps, Justin Gallego, Rafi Bookstaber, Male/Female, Spray Paint, Kikagaku Moyo, Spacin’, Private Room, Nathan Bowles, Oren Ambarchi, Primitive Parts, Goat, Trashies, Marisa Anderson, Roy Montgomery, Thee Oh Sees, Bad Breeding, Dead C, Mary Lattimore, Behavior, Vats, Colleen, the Baird Sisters, Lithics, Zig Zags, Rosalie, Stickers, EL-G, PJ Harvey, Ignatz, Lavender Flu, DoNormaal, Beret, Kane Strang, Gnod, VHS, Mothers, Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band, Fat White Family, Dræmhouse, Male Bonding and all the other ones I’ve forgotten..

So many great reissues. Too many to list. A record consumer’s dream / nightmare. Keep it coming I guess.

Taylor Townes (Merge Records)
most things about 2016 were terrible, but here’s ten good records:

Bitchin Bajas & Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties
Warehouse – super low
Psychic Temple – Plays Music for Airports
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – FRKWYS Vol. 13: Sunergy
Kikagaku Moyo – House in the Tall Grass
Heron Oblivion – Heron Oblivion
Mary Lattimore – At the Dam
David Bowie – Blackstar
Matthewdavid’s Mindflight – Trust the Glide and Guide

Audrey Ewell
(Filmmaker (Until The Light Takes Us, 99%) whose most recent film, Memory Box, her last with filmmaking and life partner Aaron Aites before his death in April, can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/183213801)

Top 22 picks masquerading (poorly) as a top ten list.

Upper echelons in no particular order:

Thee Oh Sees – A Weird Exits – This album is dedicated to Iran singer/songwriter and Until The Light Takes us co-director Aaron Aites, my beautiful and talented and now dead life and film partner.

Skepta – Konnichiwa – It’s an obvious pick if you’re into grime and I don’t think I can add anything to what’s already been written about Skepta or this album.

Mizmor – Yodh – For those times when you just need a good bleak pummeling.

Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder – I love these guys as people and musicians and this album takes me back a bit to their black metal… well I can’t say roots, as they started as death metal, but it harkens back to an earlier sound (leaving the crust punk by the side) and fuck it, it might be a nostalgia pick, but It’s fun and I like it. And if you’ve never seen lyricist and drummer Fenriz say “fun” with a heavy emphasis on sarcastic air quotes, you’re missing out.

Swans – The Glowing Man – Hi, it’s the Swans.

Isa – Эхо [Echo] – A guilty pleasure? Maybe. But I like that this Russian band is embracing a kind of spiritual seeking. Better than Stryper.

Clint Mansell – High-Rise OST – In a year that Mansell gave us this soundtrack, the Mondo re-release of The Fountain OST on vinyl, plus his score for Black Mirror’s “San Junipero” episode, choosing this of the three is a matter of personal taste. It stood out for me as the most pleasurably pagan-tinged and dreamlike aspect of High-Rise, while also fully serving the film.

GAIKA – Spaghetto – Really interesting EP with a mix of grime and dancehall and industrial. It’s layered and unfolds in interesting ways, rewarding repeat listens. The album is accompanied by an intriguing short film (commissioned by Warp) Another Hole in Babylon, which features an ominous knight and calls into question, for me at least, the notion of the “white knight.” When the helmet comes off, this knight is in fact, black. This EP would have made my top ten were it not for the video for “Glad We Found It” which features superficial, dated, fetishized, otherized, and objectified images of women as water-nymphs/sirens and it was just such a turn-off. That’s too bad, because I suspect he’s smart enough to know better, and to do better.

Roly Porter – Third Law – I had the pleasure of talking with Porter, a genuinely nice, down to earth guy, after his set at Unsound Festival’s insane Toronto installation. This took place at The Hearn, an abandoned power plant. It was the perfect setting for his space-vibed music (and also wouldn’t be out of place as a location for a new Alien or Prometheus film): epic, cavernous, dark, and a little otherworldly, like this album.

Top Ten:

10. Nick Cave – The Skeleton Tree – Heartbreak in a bottle. I relate.

9. Marissa Nadler – Strangers – She kept playing shows in NY and I kept going and crying. It was awkward. But you can’t let things like crying profusely in public stop you from doing what you want.

8. David Bowie – Blackstar – His life/art was the gift we’ll probably never be good enough to deserve.

7. Wrekmeister Harmonies – Light Falls – It makes me glad that people are finally catching onto them. They played my #2 live show of the year. Also I love the shirt I picked up there, plus, super conveniently, they also sold me coffee, which I was almost out of.

6. The Body – No One Deserves Happiness – I thought this album was just good until I couldn’t stop listening to Prescience over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. It inspired me to write a new opening for my script and you know what? It’s a better scene. Thanks The Body.

5. Caretaker – Everywhere at the End of Time – The first of the 6-album demise of the musical project as it slides into dementia. It’s the beginning of a journey into annihilation of self, memory, meaning. I’m just totally onboard for that.
4. Tim Hecker – Love Streams – He’s a cerebral dude. It takes a few listens. It’s super worth it.

3. Demdike Stare – Wonderland – It’s a soundtrack for end days (so, right now!), but that doesn’t mean we can’t dance while we’re disintegrating. Or at least take a few breaks from staring at each other in horror, to shuffle about a bit. So good.

2. Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä – Do you like metal? If so, you already know and love this album. But is it black metal? It wouldn’t exist without that lineage. But it’s equally inflected with Kraut and prog and stoner. I haven’t been this excited about modern black-ish metal since Aluk Todolo. If for some reason (some stupid reason) metal isn’t your thing, you could do worse than trying out this album just to mix it up a little.

Also #2. (Could not decide! Love them both!): Aluk Todolo – Voix – I love me the krautblack metal.

1. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch – It’s just a super exciting, kinetic, record, both cerebral and visceral, and the first of hers that has connected with me on all cylinders. It keeps pulling back to it with its mixture of restraint and urgency, and I’m greedy for more.

Special Mention: Best Live Show of the Year: Inga Copeland at Trans Pecos, September 2016, New York City. I loved Hype Williams but I love her solo work more. Her ever-growing collection of EPs and albums are always amazing, and I can’t wait for the next studio release.

One for good luck:
James Holden, Camilo Tirado, and Luke Abbott – Outdoor Museum of Fractals / 555Hz – James Holden released my favorite record of 2013, The Inheritors. This isn’t mining the same gorgeously fractured future cityscape of cracked loss and corroded foundations tumbling into pure forgotten oceans of neglect, but is instead a sweet homage to composer Terry Riley.

OK, two for good luck (Sorry, I need it.)
Julien Marchal – Insight II – I didn’t have any reason to think I would be into this modern classical pianist’s album, as he was until recently completely unknown to me, but wow. I love the thrill of a new find.