Igloo Magazine :: Best of 2016

While other sites might fight to get 1000s down to 50 or 20, at Igloo HQ we’ve refused to don the hair shirt of reducing respective contributor lists to a consensual singularity, in favour of doing justice to diversity via lists that range far and wide, and a congruent preference for letting their multiplicity simply sprawl for all to trawl and pick from our pointers. So, in keeping with the spirit of a year characterized by the term ‘Post-Truth’, here are our Post-Best!

Best of 2016

A vital unifying force

It was the best of years, it was the worst of years, it was the year of wisdom, it was the year of foolishness…
Brexit, Trump, Brussels, Nice, Berlin, Aleppo…

It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…
David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Pauline Oliveros, Alan Vega, Keith Emerson, Victor Bailey et al.

It was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness…
The music in Igloo’s Best of 2016 was, of course, conceived and recorded discreetly from events that made the year so weird and unwonderful—in the UK, apart from Brexit, we had Jo Cox’s murder, rising hate crime, currency in freefall, a growing sense not just of insecurity, but of the impossibility of security.

It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…
It was enough to make a man turn to music. The preface to 2015’s Best of commented on ‘A year that moved disconcertingly rapidly, and that continued to put pressure on an increasingly besieged listener to make listening room.’ This already feels So Last Year, rendered outmoded by increasing moves towards streaming and life in the clouds, the lure of continuous acquisition ceding to the appeal of non-attachment. Psychological studies showing people driven more by experiencing than acquiring served to confirm what we already knew: Do and Be—pace Socrates-Sartre-Sinatra—make us happier than Have.

We had everything before us, we had nothing before us…
Hard to tease out a meta-theme—other than that with many finding refuge from fear in small-minded stuff about ‘controlling our borders,’ music is a vital unifying force, opening up points of encounter and opportunities for exchange, beyond land and language, and that is reflected by lists featuring music from Africa, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA and beyond.

We were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…
So, as 2016 comes to an unlamented end, to forget you might like to drink—drink in, that is, a screen full of our contributors’ Tops of the Year. While other sites might fight to get 1000s down to 50 or 20, at Igloo HQ we’ve refused to don the hair shirt of reducing respective contributor lists to a consensual singularity, in favor of doing justice to diversity via lists that range far and wide, and a congruent preference for letting their multiplicity simply sprawl for all to trawl and pick from our pointers. So, in keeping with the spirit of a year characterized by the term ‘Post-Truth’, here are our Post-Best! — (Alan Lockett, December 2016)


Links to reviews and a Soundcloud player are also included below. No winners or runners-up, all the lists are alphabetized by artist.

Lists by Alan Lockett, Andy Gillham, James Knapman, Nocturnal Ghost, Philippe Blache, Pietro Da Sacco, and Robbie Geoghegan.

Image by Dissolved (Paul). Paragraph headlines in italic taken from the opening passage of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.


Alan Lockett

Albums
1991 :: No More Dreams (No More Dreams)
Abul Mogard :: Works (Ecstatic)
ASC :: The Farthest Reaches (Auxiliary)
Beautumn :: Bordeaux (Infraction)
Benoît Pioulard :: Thine / Radial (self release)
Braeyden Jae :: Fog Mirror (Whited Sepulchre)
Celestino :: Beyond Enemy (A Guide To Saints)
Drottning Omma :: Iris av is (offworldcolonies ltd.)
Huerco S. :: For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) (Proibito)
KETEV :: I Know No Weekend (Portals Editions)
Konx-Om-Pax :: Caramel (Planet Mu)
L’eoscombu Couti :: Five Cambridge Utilities (Constellation Tatsu)
Moss Covered Technology :: Speicherbank (Eilean rec.)
New Rome :: Nowhere (Room40)
PYUR :: Epoch Sinus (Hotflush)
Segue :: Over The Mountains (Silent Season)
Shifted :: Appropriation Stories (Hospital Productions)
Sophia Loizou :: Singulacra (Kathexis)
Willamette :: Diminished Composition (Scissor Tail)

EPs
Antonio Ruscito :: Uncertain Future Forms (edit-select)
Dominic Coppola :: Ladylike (Overview Ltd.)
Porter Ricks :: Shadow Boat (Tresor)
Stärker :: Scorched (Zhark)

Reissues
Fluxion :: Vibrant Forms II (Subwax Bcn)
Sana Obruent :: Prince of the Air (Blackjack Illuminist)


Andy Gillham

Albums
Aleksi Perala :: The Colundi Sequence Volume 1 (Clone)
Convextion :: 2845 (a.r.t.less)
Hidden Turn :: The Ride (31)
Immune :: Breathless (Dream Catalogue)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani :: Sunergy (Rvng Intl)
Lord of the Isles :: In Waves (ESP Institute)
Martin Nonstatic :: Nebulae live at the Planetarium (Ultimae)
Milan W : Intact (JJ Funhouse)
NeuteK : Fractality (Electronic Tapes)
Roman Flugel :: All The Right Noises (Dial)
VC-118A :: Shift Register (Tabernacle)

Reissues
Chi :: The Original Recordings (Astral Industries)


James Knapman

Albums
2814 :: Rain Temple (Dream Catalogue)
36 :: The Infinity Room (A Strangely Isolated Place)
Autechre :: elseq 1-5 (Warp)
Andy Stott :: Too Many Voices (Modern Love)
Carbinax :: Snowglobe Citizen (Self-Released))
The Caretaker :: Everywhere at the End of Time (History Always Favours The Winners)
Choir Of Young Believers :: Grasque (Ghostly International)
cv313 :: Land of the Low Flying Clouds (echospace [detroit])
Demdike Stare :: Wonderland (Modern Love)
Merrin Karras :: Apex (A Strangely Isolated Place)
Plaid :: The Digging Remedy (Warp)
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement :: Green Graves (Hospital Productions)
Vatican Shadow :: Media in the Service of Terror (Hospital Productions)
Will Long & DJ Sprinkles :: Long Trax (Comatonse Recordings)
Yagya :: Stars and Dust (Delsin)

Reissues
2814 :: 新しい日の誕生 [Vinyl Reissue] (Dream Catalogue)
The 7th Plain :: Chronicles I (A-TON)
Gas :: Box (Kompakt)
Locust :: Morning Light [RSD Vinyl Reissue] (Medical Records)


Nocturnal Ghost

Albums
36 :: Seconds & Forever (Mystic & Quantum)
AES Dana feat. Miktek :: Far & Off (Ultimae)
Amiina :: Fantômas (Mengi)
Astral Travel Agency :: Digital Spirits (Self-Released)
Automat :: OstWest (Bureau B)
Ayumi Ishito :: View From A Little Cave (Self-Released)
Azymuth :: Fênix (Far Out)
BadBadNotGood :: IV (Innovative Leisure)
Barker & Baumecker :: Turns (Ostgut Ton)
Ben Lukas Boysen :: Spells (Erased Tapes)
Cass. :: Youth Sessions (Emotional Response)
Christopher Tignor :: Along a Vanishing Plane (Western Vinyl)
CRuNCH 22 mess with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Audio Montage)
Dag Rosenqvist :: elephant (Dronarivm)
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society :: Real Enemies (New Amsterdam)
David Cordero :: El Rumor del Oleaje (Home Normal)
Dead Light :: S/T (Village Green)
Diamondstein :: The Ridges (Dream Catalogue)
Dinosaur :: Together, As One (Edition)
Donnacha Costello :: Mono No Aware (Self-Released)
Drape :: Let There Water Air (Infraction)
Drombeg :: Earthworks (Futuresequence)
Dub Spencer & Trance Hill :: Deep Dive Dub (Echo Beach)
Dub Spencer & Trance Hill :: Physical Echoes (Echo Beach)
EarthCry :: Sun Path (Self-Released)
Elektro Guzzi :: Clones (Macro)
Eraldo Bernocchi & Prakash Sontakke :: Invisible Strings (RareNoise)
Erik Truffaz Quartet ‎:: Doni Doni (Parlophone / Warner Music)
Experiments in Silence :: Encrypted Transmissions (Self-Released)
Fatih Tuter :: Opfermut (Unknown Tribe)
Fogh Depot :: Turmalinturm (Denovali)
Forma :: Physicalist (Kranky)
Fourth Dimension :: The Core (Synphaera)
Francesco Chiapperini’s InSight :: Paradigm Shift (Aut)
HOLOVR :: Anterior Space (Further)
Horseback :: Dead Ringers (Relapse)
Hoshin :: Path of Dissolutions (Cryo Chamber)
Hotel Neon :: Remnants (Fluid Audio / Self-Released)
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids :: We Be All Africans (Strut)
ISAN :: Glass Bird Movement (Morr Music)
Jack DeJohnette/Ravi Coltrane/Matthew Garrison :: In Movement (ECM)
Jakob Bro :: Streams (ECM)
James Murray :: Eyes to the Height (Ultimae)
Jeff Parker :: The New Breed (International Anthem)
Jherek Bischoff :: Cistern (Leaf)
John Ellis :: Evolution: Seeds & Streams (Gondwana)
Jonathan Fitoussi :: Imaginary Lines (Further)
J.Peter Schwalm :: The Beauty of Disaster (RareNoise)
Keiichi Tanaka :: KETA IICNA HIKA (Mental Groove)
Keosz :: Be Left to Oneself (Cryo Chamber)
Legiac :: The Voynich Manuscript (Dronarivm)
Len Leise :: Lingua Franca (International Feel)
Loscil :: Monument Builders (Kranky)
L.U.C.A. :: I Semi Del Futuro (Edizioni Mondo)
Mammal Hands :: Floa (Gondwana)
Manuel Volpe & Rhabdomantic Orchestra :: Albore (Agogo)
Marconi Union :: Ghost Stations (Just Music)
Mark Barrott ‎:: Sketches from an Island 2 (International Feel)
Matt Christensen :: Honeymoons (Miasmah)
Michel Benita Ethics :: River Silver (ECM)
Mop Mop :: Lunar Love (Agogo)
Naima :: Bye (Cuneiform)
Niechęć ‎:: Niechęć (Wytwórnia Krajowa)
Nomade Orquestra :: Nomade Orquestra (Far Out)
Nu Guinea :: The Tony Allen Experiments (Afrobeat Makers Series, Comet)
Orson Hentschel :: Feed the Tape (Denovali)
Pangani :: In The Moment (Self-Released)
Papa Chango :: The Lost Moon of Bellaris (Self-Released)
Parlour :: Parlour (Temporary Residence)
Phoenician Blinds :: Elephantine (Self-Released)
Plaid :: The Digging Remedy (Warp)
Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno :: 1000 Watts (Tru Thoughts)
Radian :: On Dark Silent Off (Thrill Jockey)
Renegades Of Jazz :: Moyo Wangu (Agogo)
S U R V I V E :: RR7349 (Relapse)
Ryan Teague :: Site Specific (King Tree)
Sarathy Korwar :: Day To Day (Ninja Tune / The Steve Reid Foundation)
Saroos :: Tardis (Alien Transistor)
Scann-Tec :: Unyt (Ultimae)
Shabaka and the Ancestors :: Wisdom of Elders (Brownswood)
Shook :: Continuum (Epicenter)
Smith & Mudd :: Gorthleck (Claremont 56)
Steve Hauschildt :: Strands (Kranky)
Takuya Kuroda :: Zigzagger (Decca UMO)
The Album Leaf :: Between Waves (Relapse)
The Comet is Coming :: Channel The Spirits (Leaf)
The Smoke Clears :: The Smoke Clears (All City)
The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble :: Out on the Coast (Colemine)
Tilman Robinson :: Deer Heart (Hobbledehoy)
Tommaso Cappellato :: Aforemention (Mashibeats / Mental Groove)
Tonbruket :: Forevergreens (ACT)
Tortoise :: The Catastrophist (Thrill Jockey)
Tortusa :: I know this Place—The Eivind Aarset Collages (Jazzland)
Tripswitch :: Vagabond (Iboga)
United Vibrations :: The Myth of the Golden Ratio (Ubiquity)
Unland :: Die Ruhe nach dem Sturm (Midira)
VIRTA :: HURMOS (Svart)
Youandewan :: There Is No Right Time (Aus Music)
Yussef Kamaal :: Black Focus (Brownswood)

EPs
Artefact Agency :: Artefact I (Listen / Hear Collective)
Elektro Guzzi :: Parade (Denovali)
Gaudi :: 10” White Vinyl and Digital (RareNoise)
Mark Barrott :: Cascades (International Feel)
Subheim :: Trails (Denovali)

Various Artists
Music For CoffeeShops (Avatar)
Pop Ambient 2017 (Kompakt)
Ritual Chants by Psychemagik (Eskimo)
Starseed (Synphaera)

Reissues
Ascendant :: Source Transmission Remastered (Synphaera)
Carbon Based Lifeforms :: Hydroponic Garden / World of Sleepers / Interloper (Blood Music) – Remastered editions with new artwork
Count Ossie & The Rasta Family :: Man From Higher Heights – Remastered (Soul Jazz)
Jon Hopkins :: Opalescent 2016 Vinyl Remaster (Just Music)
Osamu Kitajima :: Benzaiten (Psychedelic Sounds International)
Underworld :: Second Toughest In The Infants – Remaster (Universal)


Philippe Blache

Albums
Apocryphos :: Stone Speak (Cryo Chamber)
EUS :: Luminar (Soft)
Keosz :: Be Left to Oneself (Cryo Chamber)
La Petite Vague :: Remous (Whitelabrecs)
Phragments :: All Towers Must Fall (Malignant)
Shrine :: Ordeal 26.04.86 (Cyclic Law)
Speck :: Antiheart (Eilean rec.)
Thomas Köner :: Tiento de la Luz (Denovali)
Yagya :: Stars and Dust (Delsin)
Yen Pox :: Between the Horizon and the Abyss (Malignant)


Pietro Da Sacco

Albums
Adam Jay :: Corpora (Detroit Underground)
Autechre :: elseq 1-5 (Warp)
Badrich :: Viscosity (Technicolor Yawn)
Blochemy :: Da Mear (Clean Error / Sun Sea Sky)
Boulderdash :: Pro Time Killers (DataDoor)
Carbinax :: Snowglobe Citizen (Self-Released)
Cathode Ray Tube :: Life Among the Rust (Component)
Chris Randall :: Oscillator Breach (Detroit Underground)
Datach’i :: System (Timesig)
Dissolved :: Modern Mineralogy & Illuminant Shatter (Dissolvedamberrooms)
Driftmachine :: Colliding Contours (Umor Rex)
exm :: Singles (Touched Music)
Faex Optim :: Start with the River (Kahvi)
Flatland Sound Studio :: Ocean Radio Planet (King Deluxe)
The Future Sound of London :: Environment 6 & 6.5 (FSOLdigital)
Housemeister :: Transfer (Detroit Underground)
James Murray :: Eyes to the Height (Ultimae)
Jeffrey Wentworth Stevens :: The [Gold Mixtape] (Self-Released)
Jega :: 1995 (Skam)
Kettel :: Wingtip (Clone)
Kita Kouhei :: Akashic Records (Lantern / Nature Bliss)
Legiac :: The Voynich Manuscript (Dronarivm)
Metamatics :: Bodypop (Neo Ouija)
Nev.Era :: Aisla (Disomnia)
Nmls :: On & On (N_Coded)
Ocoeur :: Reversed (n5MD)
Parallel Worlds & Self Oscillate :: World Adapter (DiN)
PBS’73 :: Rainbow TV (Eyesix)
Plaid :: The Digging Remedy (Warp)
Retic :: Keep Drinking The Water (Self-Released)
Roel Funcken :: Iridium Flare (Funckarma.com)
Rook Vallade :: Vestiges – Compiled DATs 92 -00- ADF_V1 (Touchin’ Bass)
Ruxpin :: We Become Ravens (n5MD)
Selles :: Sunwarper (Self-Released)
Solar Bears :: Advancement (Sunday Best)
Sturqen :: Cura (Kvitnu)
Tangent :: Collapsing Horizons (n5MD)

EPs
Atiq :: Sonorous (Onset Audio)
Cascade Data :: Cmd_altz (Buried In Time)
Dead Fader :: It Works 1 (Parachute)
Displacer :: Curse of the Black Vinyl (Hymen / Crime League)
Echaskech :: Certainty of Tides (Self-Released)
exm :: Overscore (Touched)
Glanko & Daniel Bailey :: Isometrik (Hidden Shoal)
Gyrowyre :: Rde (Enpeg)
Huron :: Fissure (Mindtrick)
Kronodigger :: ENC015 (Encrypted Audio)
Marsman :: New Kind of Purple (Lowriders)
Meat Beat Manifesto :: 2016 Tour (Self-Released)
Nullptr :: Optical (Detroit Underground)
Syndrôm :: Sans Artifices (Pavillon36)

Various Artists
Brainbox (De:Tuned)
Compilation One (Unit Shifter)
CL-X: Crazy 10 Years A/V Compilation (Crazy Language)
Deru :: 1979: Remixed (Friends of Friends)
Frequencies Of The Mind III (Mindtrick)
Huron :: The Other Side of Reality (The Remixes) (Self-Released)
Sectioned v6.0 (Section 27)
Starseed (Synphaera)
Touched 3 :: Macmillan Cancer Benefit Compilation (Touched Music)
Weldroid & Friends :: Silicate Recursions (Section 27)


Robbie Geoghegan

Albums
Franck Kartell :: Coïncidences (Bass Agenda)
Jega :: 1995 (Skam)
Mynationshit :: Malevolent Chamber (Waste Editions)
Project STS-31 :: Spiralgalaxie (Solar One)
Visonia :: Opal’s Sunflowers (Last Known Trajectory)

EPs
Anopolis :: Dimokritou (Lower Parts)
Diffuse Arc/Arcanoid :: Reflexion (Odio)
E.R.P. :: Ancient Lights (Solar One Music)
Gavin Russom :: Psychic Decolonization (Lux Rec./MRT)
Kurt Y. Gödel :: Chord Rememory (YUYAY)
Mike Davis :: Dreamland (Carousel)
Norin :: Reflekterar (Posh Isolation)
Qnete :: Grey City Anthem (ZCKR)
RX-101 :: EP1 & EP2 (Suction)
Stephen Lopkin :: The Strategic Steam Reserve (Titanic City)

Various Artists
Brainbox (De:Tuned)
Underground Wave Volume 5 (Walhalla)
Various III (030303)
Secret Rave 02 (Art-Aud)
V.A. 2 (La Beauté Du Négatif)

Reissues
Final Cut :: Deep Into The Cut (We Can Elude Control)


Randomly ordered Soundcloud selections ::

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