The Attic: Favorite Albums of 2016

The Attic: Favorite Albums of 2016

December 27, 2016

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The Attic

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Despite of all the crazy things that happened this year, 2016 was pretty good for The Attic. Throughout our journey, we met so many amazing people and we connected on such a deep level, that at the end of the year we can say that it's definitely worth it. Everything.

2016 was a great year for new music, as well as for old music resurfaced and brought to new audiences. Many giants and music heroes passed away, many albums were released, so much new music was composed. The feeling of insatiability for music followed us anywhere and has been a good companion.

Since we hate lists as much as you do, we asked our contributors, collaborators and friends to help us and to share their favorite albums of 2016. No rules about anything; a total freedom of picking whatever preferred album produced or repressed this year. The only key element was the release date. Some of the respondents couldn’t decide for just one title, so they sent us a few. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this list!

With no further introduction, there you go - our messy list of favorite albums released in 2016.
*and follow the hyperlinks!

(A - C): From Anna Homler to Coil

Albanian Pavilion - I have left you the Mountain (Apparent Extent)
This is a record with a very special story and it delivers a very touching and strong message. Made for the Albanian Pavilion at this year’s International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, it features polyphonic Albanian folk «migration» songs which are based on essays and poetry by, among the others, Etel Adnan or Mourid Barghouti. The record approaches the theme of exile, absence and mobility through an accurate correspondence between text and sound. The nostalgic tone of the singing resonating as a background when reading one of the texts in the booklet really moved me - and I could not avoid picking this record. Picked by Laura Not

Anna Homler and Steve Moshier - Breadwoman & Other Tales (RVNG Intl)
Anna Homler is a vocal, visual and performance artist based in Los Angeles. She has performed and exhibited her work in venues around the world. With a sensibility that is both ancient and post-modern, Homler sings in an improvised melodic language. Her work explores alternative means of communication and the poetics of ordinary things. She creates perceptual interventions by using language as music and objects as instruments. Picked by Dragoș Rusu

Andrew Weatherall – Convenanza (Rotters Golf Club)
From the Grand Master of psychedelic balearic techno comes Convenaza, a high quality LP, using elements from a wide range of genres with obvious attention to details. This album works magically in a club or bar, in your car or headphones, on an island or in a city. Picked by Gabriel Leașcu

Aragon – Aragon LP (HMV)
Extremely rare in its original version, The Aragon LP has been finally resurfaced by Tokyo based DJ, producer and elite record slinger Chee Shimizu. The work on this album was unprecedent in terms of music in the mid 80's, probably that's why the leading studio group spent almost 2 years in the making. Ethno-New Age ambient combined with the latest pop trend makes it a Japanese Electronic Wave masterpiece and it couldn't get unnoticed by the Attic team. Recommended! Picked by Alexandru Drăgănescu / JB

Beatrice Dillon & Rupert Clervaux - Two Changes (Paralaxe Editions)
I have always always admired Beatrice Dillon’s astute sense for drum programming and this record, whilst relatively short, renders itself to such a substantial array of sounds that it can’t go overlooked. Cavernous and fruitful. Picked by Chlorys

Black Merlin - Hipnotik Tradisi (Island Of The Gods)
The idea of a concept LP outworked better than ever before, staying true to his style Black Merlin gives us an understanding of Bali and surrounding islands that lets you daydream of your own imaginary journey. Picked by Heap

How do you describe an album that subscribes to the exotic ritualism of Lucy's Self Mythology, hints at the ambience of Wolf Muller & Cass' The Sound of Glades, draws comparisons to the sub-aquatic minimalism of Voices From The Lake, peppers enough disembodied exorcism to assimilate Tongues of Light's Channelled Messages At The End Of History and throws one stripped-down Hail Mary throwback to the retro-industrialism of Orphx' Pitch Black Mirror? Utterly unique, of its own mind, and one of the most diverse but impressively cohesive sonic explorations this side of Joshua Bonetta's Lago or Lawrence English' geographic-specific field recording narrations. Released on the aptly-named Island of The Gods label (home to A Mountain of One's half, ZSOU), dark wizard George Thompson's debut album is truly a thing of magik, where contemporary sonic interest and musical genres are boiled in the proverbial cauldron to deliver one hell of a trance-endental session. Picked by Andrei Tănăsescu

Charbel Haber - Of Palm Trees & Decomposition (Discrepant)
An abundance of drone and organ-like modulations that crisscross with seemingly ancient Eastern guitar melodies. This is one of those experiments that twists and breaks sounds without them loosing coherence. Picked by Eduard F. Alexandru

Chi – The Original Recordings (Astral Industries)
Astral Industries pluck out a cult ambient peach for reissue with Chi’s The Original Recordings (1985); a heady collection of communal invocations written on a farm in Holland during the fertile early ‘80s era of new age and post-punk exploration. Picked by Vitanov

Coil - The Ape Of Naples / The New Backwards (Important Records
Finally I could get rid of my terrible sounding bootlegs, lean back, close my eyes / have my eyes wide open, and listen to the immense music of Coil in an appropriate sound quality and on vinyl. For that I am nothing but thankful. Easy as that, these reissues hold a special place in my heart and I hope in yours, too. Be careful what you wish for. Picked by Mordd Imbet

(D - I): From Don't DJ to Goat

Don't DJ ‎– Musique Acephale (Berceuse Heroique)
This outernational techno is the most wonderful thing there is. Berlin dark, with textures and polyrhythms that make the brain tickle and steadily send it into meltdown. Picked by Victor Stutz

Eindkrak - Divine Bovine (Unknown Precept)
Listening to Eindkrak’s Divine Bovine album is what I imagine must feel like to participate in a Greek plate smashing ceremony. It’s cathartic. It somehow manages, for me, to evoke this feeling of having just broke out of this very angry state without actually getting angry in the first place. It also somehow makes me nod my head a lot in a very hip hop way, which is strange for a rhythmic noise/industrial album. It’s available on cassette only on the killer label Unknown Precept and I really hope they press it on vinyl eventually because I’m frightened by the idea of starting to collect cassettes too now (if someone in the power to do so read this please!). Picked by Marius Onofrei

Exploded View ‎– Exploded View (Sacred Bones Records)
This is the kind of music that digs deep in one’s senses, sensitivities and emotions. The sound is rough and destructed yet brilliantly harmonic - a highly addictive sonic double-bind which will definitely stay in a very precise place on the time-line of the best music ever released. Picked by Borusiade

frateleNord – Triserica Neagră
The best experimental hip-hop act in Romania. I highly recommend all their releases. They can be found on Bandcamp. Picked by Scoro

Georgia – All Kind Music (Palto Flats)
Palto Flats are known for their quality represses of classics that sound like they’re from the future. Mariah’s album Utaka No Hibi was actually mentioned in last year’s favorite albums of The Attic. This year they also repressed a jewel in Woo’s Awaawaa but the one that stuck with me most out of their catalogue this year was Georgia’s All Kind Music because it’s definitely an album that, like the classics repressed before it, will, in my opinion, still sound exciting decades from now. Weird, hypnotic, and a killer cover too ! Much recommended. Picked by Marius Onofrei

German Army - Mountain City (Phinery)
Charming and quite unexpected, this was apparently made of samples of mostly Appalachian music, which is the family origins of the main GeAr fellow. It still fits well with GeAr's overall concept of highlighting troubled/disappearing cultures. Brace yourself for no less than 43 tracks! Picked by Miru Mercury

Goat – Requiem (Rocket Recordings)
GOAT’s only outright declaration for Requiem is that it is their “folk” album, and the album is focused more on their subdued bucolic ritualism than psilocybin freakouts. But GOAT hasn’t completely foregone their fiery charms—tracks like “All-Seeing Eye” and “Goatfuzz” conjure the sultry heathen pulsations that ensnared us on their previous albums. Picked by DJ soFa

Ihor Tsymbrovsky ‎– Come, Angel (Offen Music)
Offen Music 003 is a selection of 3 songs from Ihor Tsymbrovsky’s „Прийди Янголе“ (Come Angel), cassette album released on Koka Records, Poland, in 1996 (Recorded in 95). Otherworldly music. Picked by Vitanov

I.P. Son Group - I.P. Son Group (Black Sweat Records)
I.P. Son Group are a one-time only band made up of some amazing musicians which by means of their intercultural exchange released, in 1975, a very unique free-jazz influenced album blended with a brilliant rhythmic section all throughout. There’s a wide variety of instruments on display here ranging from congas, tambourines, wood flute to the more western classics electric guitar and bass. It was a rare piece of music until this year when, lucky for us, the ever on point label Black Sweat Records repressed the record for our listening pleasure. Sit back (in an armchair or couch) and enjoy. Picked by Marius Onofrei

(J - L): From Jay to Legowelt

Jay Daniel ‎– Broken Knowz (Technicolour)
One of Detroit's latest exports is young Jay Daniel, who rose as a producer under Kyle Hall's personal guidance. Having a very well received discography so far, including releases on esteemed local labels Sound Signature and Wild Oats of course, Jay's debut album lands outside the US, on Ninja Tune's sublabel, Technicolour. Jay's sound is very much similar to Kyle's. The sound is rough, imperfect, busy, with multi-layered leads and scruffy percussions. The album sounds alive and slinky due to its syncopation. It's complex and well-crafted, filled with soul and devotion to its Detroit roots. Picked by Romansoff

Joe McPhee ‎– Flowers (Cipsela)
Joe McPhee’s musical persona stretches over such a period of time, that every year sees a few albums coming out with his earlier works or more recent performances. Recorded live at Coimbra Jazz Festival, it is an all free solo saxophone improvisation in high form, along with two compositions from his early years dedicated to Ornette Coleman and Niklaus Troxler. Picked by Eduard F. Alexandru

John Beltran ‎– Everything At Once (Delsin)
Michigan artist John Beltran’s 13th studio album and 3rd on Delsin is his most complete and personal work yet. Written largely on modular synthesizers for the first time, it melts 90s intelligent techno with post rock and ambient with leftfield downtempo. The seventeen tracks draw on his expert knack for sound design; for melody and atmosphere and make for yet another hugely absorbing affair. Picked by Plants Army Revolver

John Butcher, Thomas Lehn, Matthew Shipp – Tangle (Fataka)
John Butcher - saxophones, feedback, Thomas Lehn - analogue synthesizer and Matthew Shipp - piano. Nuff said. Saw them live too. There isn’t really a sonic history for that combination. Picked by Scoro

Legowelt, SFV Acid, Haron - Plafond 1 (BAKK)
Lovely 3 track EP by The Hague label Bakk. Legowelt, master of the analogue studio shares with us a glistening piece that evolves over 11 minutes at a hypnotic pace. Lesser known The Hague resident, Haron offers an 18 minute canvas that builds to an E2 E4 moment. The crew at Bakk once again bring us a beautiful package with a screen printed sleeve made using “a carpet that lays on the ground of my girlfriend’s grandmothers place in Warsaw. It’s a super nice carpet.” Picked by Izabel Caligiore

Leverton Fox - Velcro Bird (Not Applicable)
It could easily pass as a Scandinavian trio engaging into futuristic power jazz, but Velcro Bird is crafted with a high sense of experimentation with percussion and electronics. Picked by Eduard F. Alexandru

Lightdreams - Islands in Space (Got Kinda Lost Records)
In order to describe what you hear, you must use words. But in often situations, words cannot reflect the real meaning of one’s thoughts, no matter how rich the vocabulary of the speaker would be. Melancholic, weird, lovely, charming or substantial would be just some simple and vulgar imagery of a music that got lost somewhere in space, and, through the efforts of Catalonia based Guerssen imprint, this piece of beauty called Islands In Space is carrying its charm back again to new audiences, tempting the listener with a special sci-fi psych odyssey. Picked by Dragoș Rusu

Lord Tang - Butterflies (Meakusma)
It is a sound dredged from the depths of Jamaican dub and spun into a new form that incorporates the many influences: soundtracks, library music, vintage science fiction, broken beats, dirty electronics, modular electronic music, abstract tone clouds." If you're into imagery, it could stimulate your urban imagination to come up with the most fantastic cosmogonies. I'm not, and it still did. Picked by Victor Stutz

(M - R): From Gania to Madteo

Maâlem Mokhtar Gania / Bill Laswell – Tagnawwit: Holy Black Gnawa Trance (MOD Technologies)
Gnawa fusion at the highest level. Though many of the influences that formed this music and it’s special language can be traced to sub-Saharan West Africa, its traditional practice is concentrated in Morocco and parts of Algeria and Tunesia (where it is known as Stambouli). TAGNAWWIT offers a rich mix of musical and cultural backgrounds, fusing many individual influences into one collective sound. Picked by Riccarda Kato

Mai Mai Mai - Phi (Boring Machines)
This is the final part of a Mediterranean trilogy and has an anthropological feel. "Industrial spoken word, technoid voodoo hallucination, seasick prayer loops, and nightmare exotica" make it sound very heavy and so emotional. Picked by Victor Stutz

Madteo Feat. Sensational ‎– Special Offer (Wania)
Released on DJ Sotofett's ever challenging Wania label, home of some pretty leftfield club music, it's Madteo's third album. The tracks remind us of his earliest works, heavily influenced by hip-hop music and disco records. Using sampling as an art, the album does justice to Madteo's sound and trademark, offering one of his finest works yet. Picked by Romansoff

Maoupa Mazzocchetti ‎– Laugh Tool (Mannequin)
Mutant, disturbing, loopy and with an unknown sense of humour. Florent ‘Maoupa’ Mazzocchetti debut album on Mannequin Records is one of the most hidden gems of 2016, you won’t see it in any chart this year, cause is too agitated and fast. People already have enough problems in their life. Just killer. Picked by Alessandro Adriani

Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force- Yermande (Ndagga)
Smart bomb alert! Senegalese Mbalax derivatives in approved Dub mode. Picked by Plants Army Revolver

Melanie Velarde – Parcel (RVNG Intl)
Playful dubby loops with a distinctive ‘maturomantic’ approach, similar to the collective image of a utopian eco village, are embalming your defunct senses, like a deluding phantasma that lures you into nothingness. But this nothingness you’ve never heard, at least not in this form. You find yourself wandering through the different layers, tasting the experience’s cinematic flavor and craving for more. Picked by Gabriel Leașcu

Myttys - Sloggilukio (Oma333)
Sophomore album from this Finnish duo mainly using synths, samplers, and voice. Incredible bedroom music, but with a raw edge that makes it just as good for endless city strolls. Picked by Miru Mercury

Nordic Mediterranean Organization - Numerous Miscommunications Occur (Diagonal)
Intergalactic missiles shooting in quick succession for hedonistic purposes. It's like entering an ecstatic trance and laughing about it at the same time. Punk acid-techno. Picked by Victor Stutz

Okkyung Lee & Christian Marclay – Amalgam (Northern Spy)
Cello boss Okkyung Lee teams up with one of turntablism’s earliest pioneers. Amazing interplay! Recorded live at Cafe Oto, as you do.... Picked by Scoro

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement - Green Graves (Hospital Productions)
Now compiled onto one LP. the mantis leaps out of the mist along a the rocks up to the eyes of the mountain spirit. ghostly collages mix with sub bass rhythms. yellow herb ambient. Picked by Plants Army Revolver

Ramuntcho Matta - Ecoute…(Emotional Rescue)
As I closely follow everything that’s put out on the Emotional Rescue/Release/Especial trifecta l remember listening to the some sound clips on Juno earlier this year of what was to be a forthcoming release. I instantly added it to the notifications list and I remember checking my email almost every day for quite a while to see if I’ve missed out on it because I was sure it will disappear in an instant from the shops. I was wrong. Luckily for everyone who doesn’t have this record, it’s still quite cheap. And you should buy it! It’s amazing. There’s a tag on discogs that says ethereal. Had to check out what that means exactly, it’s: “extremely delicate and light in a way that seems not to be of this world”. Yes, the dictionary always knows best. Picked by Marius Onofrei

Rex Ilusivii - Koncert SNP 1983 (Offen Music)
The second in the Offen Music series documenting the works of late Mitar Subotic, Rex Illusivii, landed in 2016 thanks to mighty Vladimir Ivkovic. This time around, it’s the live recording from the Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad, Subotic’s birth place. Rex Ilusivii still remains a mystery for the Serbian and global audience but these seven cuts get us a bit closer to understanding his genius. From dark industrial sounds to lush ambient pieces, this incredible document of the record will take you not only to the Cold War years in Eastern Europe but also to the future of synthetized sounds from another galaxy. Picked by Slobodan AKA DJ Brka (Disco Not Disco, Belgrade)

(S): From Skee Mask to Ssaliva

Sam Kidel - Disruptive Muzak (The Death Of Rave)
Yes, I know this was Boomkat's no. 1 album for 2016 but still, you have to give credit where credit's due. It's an amazing album which transcends the boundaries of being "only" a musical art form and touches on the social issues born out of the bureaucratic world we live in. It does so in an ever so subtle way with the overdub of recordings of calls to social workers greatly surprised and intrigued that no one is on the other end of the line. Who knows how long Sam Kidel had to be on hold before he could even get the chance to talk to these people?! Or maybe that's just my interpretation seeing that I just saw “I, Daniel Blake” the other night. Listen, get hypnotized, turn the dystopia into something beautiful! Picked by Marius Onofrei

Sao Paulo Underground - Cantos Invisíveis (Cuneiform Records)
Rob Mazurek and his regular musical comrades always manage to provoke a sense of wonder through their chants and slippery rhythmic structures. A parade of sound and joy that has yet (if necessary) to be categorised. Picked by Eduard F. Alexandru

SECTEURFLECHE - Une active indétermination (Lost Dogs Entertainment)
Almost forgot how French hiphop sounds, but I'm sure glad to see it kept its vigor. Killer tape; especially the B-side, which is pretty much 'as good as it gets', in my world at least. Picked by Miru Mercury

Skee Mask ‎- Shred (Illian Tape)
After just a couple of records released on the popular Munchen label, Illian Tape, the Italian artist, who keeps a low profile, dropped his debut album earlier this year, taking everybody by surprise and maybe best capturing Illian Tape's essential sound, for which the german label is best known in club culture. Shifting from experimental and ambient to pounding techno and breaks, the album stands out through its emotional touch and amazing sound design. Picked by Romansoff

Sølyst - The Steam Age (Bureau B)
I rented out a car this summer and drove out to a forest to see this 2000 year old tree that literally had some crutches made out of wood columns to support its branches and had a trunk as wide as a house. It was awe-inspiring. The car had only a cd player though so I had to scramble through my records and find something that came with a CD. Luckily The Steam Age by Sølyst did. It’s released on Bureau B and a lot of their records come with a CD too especially for such situations! Found a few others around but it was this one that I played on repeat over and over again and it really made the trip feel like a proper adventure with its mixture of intense and hypnotic tracks. The tree at the end felt like the end credits of a video game after you spent days trying to get over the final boss. If you’re looking for such a feeling, look no further! Picked by Marius Onofrei

Somnoroase Păsărele – VOMA (Magical Garage Taste)
A mature producer with some serious insight. Amazing abstract electronica, includes atonal melodies. Check out his other releases on Bandcamp! Picked by Scoro

Sordid Sound System - Lux Exterior (Invisible Inc.)
Sordid Sound System is Stuart Evans’ rather recent moniker for producing electronic music. He made a release in 2015 called In a Year Of 13 Moons which I also warmly recommend. He’s been an in-house engineer for the the esteemed Green Door Studios in Glasgow, a recording studio which has been essential for releasing music from numerous artists, such as The Golden Teacher or Pussy Mothers among others. What I’m trying to say here is that he’s a very skillful person I imagine. And you can definitely hear that in his dubbed out mesmerizing tribal rhythms shown on display on Lux Exterior. I like each track here, and it even has a very club oriented piece which I imagine I’d like more on the dance floor compared with my home listening experiences. Hope it puts you in the same state of mind as it does me. Picked by Marius Onofrei

Ssaliva - Mercury Coast (Not Not Fun Records)
The shady musical universe evoked by Ssaliva can’t be positioned into a certain space, but rather creates a space of its own. A system that works by its own, transporting all the gracious and virtuousness that the good old lo-fi 80s tapes contain. This is where great record labels such as Not Not Fun interfere and create a confortable environment for special music such as this LP. This is music from the past, and from the future. It is our acceptance of the low forms of materialism from our life. Picked by Dragoș Rusu

Sugai Ken - On The Quakefish (Lullabies For Insomniacs)
The year 2016 saw the birth of a new label ran by Izabel Caligore. I neither knew her nor have I heard from Sugai Ken before this album drew my attention. When I first had the chance listening to it, I felt deeply soaked into the world of Sugai Ken. It was an interesting fusion between synth pads, calm voices, water drips, bells and sounds I felt I have never heard before. The releases that then followed (Unearth Noise, Air Cusion Fink, Life Garden) kept fascinating me each in their very own way. Not only am I selecting this album because I am sure I will still listen to this record in ten or twenty years from now on as it is truly timeless, but also because I have no doubt that the label will keep on surprising us with brave and unusual music in 2017 and that Izabel´s journey will continue. I recommend sharing the walk with her. Picked by Mordd Imbet

Synth Sisters – Aube (71853 Records)
The debut album for Japanese duo Synth Sisters has been described as “a womanly twin incarnation of Terry Riley.” For the listener there may be similarities, for instance the use of repetition to create a deeply immersive experience. The Synth Sisters head for incorporeal status with this live recording of them improvising using synthesisers, their voices and effects. It originally came out on CD in 2014 but was given a vinyl issue this year on Chee Shimizu’s label 71853. The mind bending title track ‘A.u.b.e’ is the highlight. Picked by Izabel Caligiore

(T - Y): From Tomaga to Umwelt

The Caretaker ‎– Everywhere At The End Of Time (History Always Favours The Winners)
Let us thank Fortuna that in 2016, the year of highlights that seemed more akin to backfire flash-bangs of a choking global engine, James Leyland Kirby revived his VVM and The Caretaker pseudonyms to revitalize our bleating spirits. In another one of his Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde pop-anarchism, VVM as VVMrs Mills' Between Nothingness and Eternity works as a companion-piece to Tim Hecker's Love Streams, as the former's piano stabs of poetic romanticism valiantly stand tall as the foundation to the latter's saccharine flourishes of melancholy (try it - play the two albums at the same time). On its own, Between... is quite sedate (think White Death), its main resemblance to VVM's output being the jumbled overlap of chord progressions and stuttering musical motifs - a warm and loving tribute to Gladys Mills' jaunty-saloon piano pieces. Yet with no further synth pads to 'fill up' the sound, this is as beautiful and stoically forlorn as Kirby's solo piano works found on Sadly the Future is No Longer What It Was. Resurrecting another ghost from the machine, The Caretaker's Everywhere at the End of Time is the swan-song to the pseudonym's hauntological manipulation of 78rpm ballroom music and sonic investigation into Alzheimer's. Meant as the first release in a six-stage process "exploring dementia, its advance and its totality," Everywhere... is supposed to be the clearest, most straight-forward of the works, carrying itself through familiar Caretaker territory of haunting loss and degradation with an uplifting air. This is affecting music in its purest form, transmitting loss and degradation through the familiar comfort of spectral echo-delay of 78rpm crackle and fading melodies. Where the project will end up is anyone's guess, but knowing the entire Caretaker catalog is being treated as a memory-bank that will be parsed through the filter of advancing Alzheimer's makes for an impressive gesture of genuine dedication on Kirby's part. In times of musical posturing and disaffected irony, the sincerity of VVM's slap in the face and Caretaker's emotion jolt should be welcomed as a sign of providence. And with upcoming releases from each project slated for the next few years ("nobody is've been warned") we've got some interesting years ahead of us indeed. Maybe a fitting sequel to The Stranger's Watching Dead Empires in Decay? Picked by Andrei Tănăsescu

The Dwarfs Of East Agouza - Bes (Nawa Recordings)
People tend to get stuck and stick by their favorite team. They use it to fight anything which may appear to be in a different state. Skipping the deep comment (while paying our respects to musical purity) and getting to the subject, The Dwarfs of East Agouza are on the good side (sic) of ignorance. Picked by Victor Stutz

The Exaltics – The Girl And The Chameleon (Shipwrec)
Invoking the good ol’ days of pure, rugged 303 acid techno, alongside brilliant 90’s ambient beats, alchemic somber synths and contemporary floor friendly cuts, this tenebrous album is any true electronic music lover’s delight. Picked by Gabriel Leașcu

Tomaga – The Shape of the Dance (Hands In The Dark)
Combining industrial, jazz, psychedelia and minimalism in a wide-ranging manner, The Shape of the Dance is a perfect album for autumn, dealing with weird sounds and peculiar melodies and harmonies. Their futuristic sound brings to surface ancient musical themes, filtered with harmonic passages and harsh sounds. Picked by Dragoș Rusu

Toresch - Essen Für Alle (Offen Music)
Second release on Vladimir Ivkovic’s Often Music is a magic familiar name. Detlef Weinrich aka Tolouse Low Trax, with the austere vocals of Viktoria Wehrmeister, creates a 6 tracks world made of industrial and tribal landscapes. This is the sound you would make if Mexico City would be placed in the Ruhr region. Disorienting. Picked by Alessandro Adriani

Umwelt - Days of Dissent (Boidae)
Being around for almost two decades, Umwelt knows what’s good for you. His background is true evidence to an uncompromised sound that he’s been shaping and recreating it, for the benefit of open-minded ears from out there. Picked by Dragoș Rusu

VA - Sky Girl (Efficient Space)
I guess I’m not the only one who feels this, but this record was extremely present in my year 2016. What I really like about this compilation is that it crosses so many different stories and emotions that gather into an intense «sentimental journey» that goes on in every listener’s mind. Julien Dechery and Sundae compiled sensibly this music that would have never found itself together instead. Every song has its particular sound and its personal story to tell and discover, so it could stand alone as well, but hearing the record in a whole and feeling how each song is one step more into the journey generates a stronger emotion. Picked by Laura Not

Young Male ‎– How To Disappear In America (White Material)
‘How To Disappear In America’ is the debut album from White Material co-founder Young Male. 9 dystopian ambient-in-tension tracks mixed with John Carpenter most minimalistic nightmares over a Roland CR-78. One of the vinyls i played most at my place. White Material confirms to be one of the most interesting labels around. Picked by Alessandro Adriani

Yussef Kamaal ‎– Black Focus (Brownswood Recordings)
Henry Wu's (Kamaal Williams) project with drummer Yussed Dayes is a long-awaited breath of fresh air for modern jazz music. Their contemporary take on jazz is a fusion of classical elements, soul and instrumental virtuosity. Their 10-piece album is an amazing, soulful journey right into jazz history. And by the way, those keys sound surreal! Picked by Romansoff

Yves Tumor ‎– Serpent Music (PAN)
Easily one of this year's most interesting releases, Yves Tumor's second release is on Bill Kouglias' cult label PAN. The Italian based multi-instrumentalist delivers an amazing structure of exploratory sounds and emotions. It is seductive and dangerous at the same time. The tension is amazing. It sucks you in, leaving you with a weird after taste and a strange, unsettling feeling. But all of these mixed feelings are so well built! It's what a good musical piece should always make you feel. Recommended! Picked by Romansoff

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