End Of 2016: a list and show by Harry Towell
With 2016 all but done, it’s time for me to cover off my favourite albums of the year across all genres. The year for me aside from music has gone at lightning pace with lots of big events including a 3oth birthday and also purchasing my own home. Along the way as usual, I’ve been collecting music and my listening tastes have varied in terms of genre from Ambient, Modern Classical and Folk to Hip Hop, Deep House and Techno. This year however, my listening has been more rooted in ‘Ambient‘ music than in recent times as I’ve set up a new label ‘Whitelabrecs‘, which to date has specialised in all things ‘Ambient’ through our 16 releases.
With this in mind time has played a huge part in everything as the label has taken up a lot of spare time, so I’ve found myself listening to music during commutes to work, whilst doing household chores and late at night.
So onto the list then…as always I could easily have got carried away with a huge chart of up to 50 albums, but I’ve decided that since we’ve a few new writers on board, my own chart will be restricted to 20 of my favourite records. I’ve wrestled with the list several times and to be honest, it could easily be re-ordered tomorrow. However, at number one is The Caretaker’s ‘Everywhere At The End Of Time’. Yes, it’s not exactly something that is unlike anything Leyland Kirby has produced before, but for me the whole package of this release from the concept, the beautiful artwork and the quality of the tracks is top drawer. It is desperately sad, yet somehow it makes me smile every time I listen.
In second place I’ve plumped for Willamette’s ‘Diminished Composition‘, which is one of the only albums I’ve purchased on vinyl this year, so listens have been restricted until the last couple of months but just lately, it has been something I just can’t stop listening to. Then third is Padang Food Tigers and Sigbjørn Apeland’s ‘Bumblin’ Creed‘, with the Norwegian musician bringing something extra to the Tigers’ unmistakable sound.
There was plenty more music to shout about this year, with some truly excellent modern classical music, such as works by Ed Carlsen, Dead Light, Stefano Guzzetti and Book Of Air as well as quality Folk from Itasca, Western Skies Motel, Max Ananyev and Ignatz. I also bought a lot of instrumental Hip Hop this year so had to include something in my chart – the pick of the bunch has to be Wodoo Wolcan’s ‘Summer Breeze‘. In Deep House as proven in my best House tracks of 2016, there was lots of quality although only a handful of LPs that stand out. The best for me was Moomin’s ‘A Minor Thought‘. Ambient music was well represented too, with plenty of rich and vibrant records including work by Offthesky, Solo Andata and Will Samson.
To check out the mix, you can click on the image above which will transport you to our relevant Mixcloud or by clicking HERE. The mix is presented as a chart show, with a track taken from each album, counting down from 20th to 1st place. To add some authenticity, my wife Beth did the voice-overs!
Dead Light ‘Dead Light’ [Village Green]
Click here to visit the label website