The Wire

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Listen to The Wire’s Top 50 Releases of 2016

December 2016

Listen to a selection of tracks from this year's top 50 Releases of the Year, as voted for by The Wire's contributors. You can read more about the artists featured in our chart, as well as those featured in the Top 50 Archive Releases of the Year, in The Wire 394.

Shirley Collins “Cruel Lincoln” 0:03:30
Moor Mother “Deadbeat Protest” 0:01:23
Jenny Hval “Conceptual Romance” 0:04:32
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Rings of Saturn” 0:03:28
Noura Mint Seymali “Richa” 0:05:14
Yves Tumor “Seed” 0:07:18
Gaika “Buta (Featuring Serocee And Miss Red)” 0:04:49
Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force “Jigeen” 0:06:34
Gate “Caked” 0:09:20
Oren Ambarchi “Hubris, Pt 3” 0:16:34
Babyfather “Flames” 0:01:54
75 Dollar Bill “Earth Saw” 0:07:20
Anna Meredith “Nautilus” 0:05:30
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith “Existence In The Unfurling” 0:11:08
Carla dal Forno “What You Gonna Do Now” 0:03:55
David Toop “Compelled To Approach” 0:02:32
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids “Whispering Tenderness” 0:03:48
Laura Cannell “Call To Alms” 0:03:42
Ectoplasm Girls “Transmission From The 18th Century” 0:05:19
Ian William Craig “A Single Hope” 0:06:26
Matmos “Excerpt Eight” 0:04:03
Laraaji & Sun Araw “Leipzig (excerpt)” 0:04:05
Bitchin Bajas And Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy “Despair Is Criminal” 0:06:18
Elysia Crampton “Irreducible Horizon” 0:03:34
Katie Gately “Lift” 0:04:17
Shackleton with Ernesto Tomasini “You Are The One” 0:07:38
Anxiety “Delayed” 0:03:12
Puce Mary “The Spiral” 0:05:39
The Dwarfs Of East Agouza “Baka Of The Future” 0:09:37
Catherine Christer Hennix “Live At Issue Project Room” 1:20:00
Horse Lords “Truthers” 0:05:45
Roy Montgomery “Weathering Mortality (Featuring Voice By Emma Johnston)” 0:20:03
Thalia Zedek Band “Afloat” 0:06:46
Charlemagne Palestine “Excerpt” 0:23:06
Ben Johnston “Lazy, Rocking” 0:06:06
Jackie Lynn “Alien Love” 0:03:40
Klara Lewis “Us” 0:03:27
Zomby featuring Darkstar “Quandry” 0:04:20
Peder Mannerfelt “I Love You” 0:05:42

1
David Bowie
Blackstar
(Columbia/ISO)

2
Shirley Collins
Lodestar
(Domino)

3
Moor Mother
Fetish Bones
(Don Giovanni)

4
Autechre
elseq 1–5
(Warp)

5
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
The Skeleton Tree
(Bad Seed Ltd)

6
Jenny Hval
Blood Bitch
(Sacred Bones)

7
Noura Mint Seymali
Arbina
(Glitterbeat)

8
Yves Tumor
Serpent Music
(Pan)

9
Gaika
Security
(Mixpak)

10
Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force
Yermande
(Ndagga)

11
Gate
Saturday Night Fever
(MIE Music)

12
Solange
A Seat At The Table
(Saint/Columbia)

13
Kanye West
The Life Of Pablo
(GOOD Music/Def Jam)

14
Oren Ambarchi
Hubris
(Editions Mego)

15
Babyfather
BBF Hosted By DJ Escrow
(Hyperdub)

16
75 Dollar Bill
Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock
(Thin Wrist)

17
Anna Meredith
Varmints
(Moshi Moshi)

18
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
EARS
(Western Vinyl)

19
A Tribe Called Quest
We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
(Epic)

20
Carla dal Forno
You Know What It's Like
(Blackest Ever Black)

21
David Toop
Entities Inertias Faint Beings
(Room40)

22
Leonard Cohen
You Want It Darker
(Columbia)

23
Kendrick Lamar
Untitled Unmastered
(Top Dawg Entertainment/Aftermath Entertainment/Interscope)

24
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
We Be All Africans
(Strut)

25
Laura Cannell
Simultaneous Flight Movement
(Brawl)

26
Ectoplasm Girls
New Feeling Come
(iDEAL)

27
Steve Gunn
Eyes On The Lines
(Matador)

28
Ian William Craig
Centres
(Fat Cat)

29
Matmos
Ultimate Care II
(Thrill Jockey)

30
Laraaji & Sun Araw
Professional Sunflow
(W 25TH)

31
Scott Walker
The Childhood Of A Leader OST
(4AD)

32
Bitchin Bajas And Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
Epic Jammers And Fortunate Little Ditties
(Drag City/Palace)

33
Elysia Crampton
Elysia Crampton Presents: Demon City
(Break World)

34
Katie Gately
Color
(Tri Angle)

35
Shackleton with Ernesto Tomasini
Devotional Songs
(Honest Jons)

36
Anxiety
Anxiety
(La Vida Es Un Mus)

37
Skepta
Konnichiwa
(Boy Better Know)

38
Puce Mary
The Spiral
(Posh Isolation)

39
The Dwarfs Of East Agouza
Bes
(Nawa)

40
Catherine Christer Hennix
Live At Issue Project Room
(Important)

41
Horse Lords
Interventions
(Northern Spy)

42
Roy Montgomery
R M H Q
(Grapefruit)

43
Frank Ocean
Blonde
(Boys Don’t Cry)

44
Thalia Zedek Band
Eve
(Thrill Jockey)

45
Charlemagne Palestine
Cathédrale De Strasbourg
(Erratum)

46
Ben Johnston
String Quartets 6, 7 & 8
(New World)

47
Jackie Lynn
Jackie Lynn
(Thrill Jockey)

48
Zomby
Ultra
(Hyperdub)

49
Klara Lewis
Too
(Editions Mego)

50
Peder Mannerfelt
Controlling Body
(Peder Mannerfelt Produktion)

Comments

I understand that this list is subjective and as such should be respected. But I do not understand how this type of artists like Kanye West or Solange can be included in this list and forget other artists even more solid and more elaborate musics. Kanye West for me is pure commerce, banality and cheap gaming tricks.

When Bowie's Outside came out, it didn't even get a passing mention in your precious magazine. Now he's dead and sudenly all relevant for you, coming out top of the list with a record that is the closest relative of Outside among his albums. What does that say about your dependability? (And I'm not even mentioning the usual barrage of ridiculous stuff on the list. Gaika – really?)

Top in the lameness. Ignoring actually groundbreaking music in order to include commercial schlock that has some pseudo-intellectual connection to your current New Music circle jerks. I'd say shame on you but I know you'd do it again you Ol dirty Bastard (see what I did there

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