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Best Of 2016: Other Genres

Best Other Genres Album of 2016

Bent Knee - Say So

Our 2016 album "Say So" is available at Music by Bent Knee Starring Jake Brasch Cinematography/Coloring by Eric Freeman Directed by Jessica Kion Editing by Ben Levin Follow Bent Knee Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Cuneiform Records: Bent Knee is: Ben Levin - guitar & vocals Chris Baum - violin & vocals Courtney Swain - lead vocals & keyboards Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth - drums Jessica Kion - bass & vocals Vince Welch - production & sound design ----- Lyrics I made myself strong By getting my skin numb And loosening up the thumbs By pumping out the black tar water I made myself real By ripping up magazines And staving off disease By pumping out the black tar water I made my friends leave With tightrope at their knees And laughing when they sneeze I’m throwing up the black tar water I start to tell it wrong While singing in a song Where robbers held up guns They’re shooting out the black tar water Dripping off follicles Seeping out my pores Filling up my lungs Oh my my Dripping off follicles Seeping out my pores Filling up my lungs Oh oh my my My black tar water My black tar water

This avant-pop sextet caught my attention with this release. It’s their third album, and the first on Cuneiform after self-releasing the first two. The band blends pop, chamber, jazz, and prog together, not unlike the bands Carla Kilhstedt is known for (Charming Hostess, Tin Hat, or Sleepytime Gorilla Museum without the metal). The musicians are all graduates of the Berklee College of Music, and their virtuosity shines as they explore avant-garde avenues within pop structures. This is “prog” for people that liked The Beatles' pop experiments more so than the keyboard gymnastics of Emerson or Wakeman. It’s fresh, unique, and should pull audiences from a wide cross-section of musical tastes.

The Rest of the Best

Free Salamander Exhibit - Undestroyed

Free Salamander Exhibit - Undestroyed (2016) 01. Unreliable Varrator

If the band’s name didn’t clue you in, this is a resurrection of sorts of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, featuring 4/5ths of that band’s members (all but Carla Kihlstedt, sadly). FSE had played live shows as early as 2013, but had not released any material until now, just squeezing into 2016 with this mid-December release. What’s here is a slightly paired down version of SGM. They continue to dwell at the intersection of metal, prog, and RIO avant-rock, albeit with a bit less of the pulling-instruments-out-of-every-orifice insanity of SGM. It’s been nearly 10 years since the final Sleepytime Gorilla Museum album, making this a welcome new chapter for that collective of musicians. Also a well timed one, as Sleepytime’s back catalog was re-issued this year on the Blood Music label.

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

Taken from A Moon Shaped Pool - here and here Available here and here Director: Paul Thomas Anderson Producers: Sara Murphy, Albert Chi, Erica Frauman Editor: Andy Jurgensen Production Companies: Ghoulardi Film Company, m ss ng p eces Assistant Directors: Adam Somner, Trevor Tavares Gaffer: Michael Bauman Key Grip: Jim Kwiatkowski Steadicam Operator: Ari Robbins Production Designer: Carmen Ruiz de Huidobro Camera: Josh Friz, Aaron Tichenor, Ryan Creasy, Drey Singer, Eric Anderson UPM: Deanna Barillari Telecine Colorist: Gregg Garvin CREW: Anthony Bradshaw, Ben Brady, Bart Dion, Eric Fahy, Clark Gapen, Sean Gossen, Chad Hladki, Se Hoh, Grace Illingworth, Jessica Jazayeri, Jacob Kubabojsza, Micah Minor, Mike Misslin, Adam Morgan, Rene Parras, Jr., Peter Rybchenkov, Charlotte Townsend, Kasia Trojak, Cymbre Walk, David Yoon Written by Radiohead Produced & mixed by Nigel Godrich Engineered by Nigel Godrich and Sam Petts-Davies Assistant engineer at La Fabrique Studio; Maxime LeGuil Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Strings by the London Contemporary Orchestra, conducted by Hugh Brunt

Radiohead’s last full length, 2001’s The King of Limbs, didn’t really connect with me. It landed it in the same discard pile that Hail to the Thief ended up in, whereas I loved Kid A, Amnesiac, and In Rainbows. A Moon Shaped Pool fortunately finds itself joining the latter group. It is not Radiohead’s most boundary-pushing album. In fact, lyrically, it’s practically a break-up album, clearly informed by Thom Yorke’s split from his wife a year ago (who passed away from cancer this December). Those lyrics are delivered within perfectly executed hazy art rock, with each song like walking from one dream-state vignette to another.

Wadada Leo Smith - America’s National Parks

Wadada Leo Smith - "New Orleans: The National Culture Park USA 1718" [Excerpt] from 'America's National Parks' (out now on Cuneiform Records) Purchase now @ Amazon: iTunes: Bandcamp: Bandcamp [HD]: Wayside Music: "Smith uses his magisterial instrumental voice, his inspirational leadership and his command of classical, jazz and blues forms to remind us of what has gone down and what's still happening." – DownBeat’s 80 Coolest Things in Jazz Today "A trumpeter and composer of penetrating insight." – Nate Chinen, The New York Times Wadada Leo Smith – trumpet, director of the ensemble Anthony Davis – piano Ashley Walters – cello John Lindberg – bass Pheeroan akLaff – drums With America’s National Parks, visionary composer and Wadada Leo Smith offers his latest epic collection, a suite inspired by the scenic splendor, historic legacy, and political controversies of the country’s public landscapes. Writing for his newly expanded Golden Quintet, Smith crafts six extended works that explore, confront and question the preserved natural resources that are considered the most hallowed ground in the U.S. – and some that should be. America’s National Parks was released shortly before Smith’s 75th birthday in December, arriving, coincidentally, in the midst of celebrations for the centennial of the National Park Service, which was created by an act of Congress on August 25, 1916. The spark for the project, however, came from two places: Smith’s own research into the National Park system, beginning with Yellowstone, the world’s first national park; and Ken Burns’ 12-hour documentary series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. trumpeter six-movement"The idea that Ken Burns explored in that documentary was that the grandeur of nature was like a religion or a cathedral," Smith says. "I reject that image because the natural phenomenon in creation, just like man and stars and light and water, is all one thing, just a diffusion of energy. My focus is on the spiritual and psychological dimensions of the idea of setting aside reserves for common property of the American citizens." His 28-page score for America’s National Parks was penned for his Golden Quintet, a fresh reconfiguration of the quartet that’s been a keystone of his expression for the last 16 years. Pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg and drummer Pheeroan akLaff are joined by cellist Ashley Walters, affording the composer and bandleader new melodic and coloristic possibilities. "The cello as a lead voice with the trumpet is magnificent," Smith says, "but when you look at the possibilities for melodic formation with the trumpet, the cello, the piano and the bass, that’s paradise for a composer and for a performer." While these preserved landscapes offer the inspiration of powerful natural beauty, Smith’s always open-minded view of the world leads him to find that same inspiration wherever he is. "Every concrete house is from nature," he says. "Every plastic airplane that flies 300 people across the ocean comes out of nature. Every air conditioner conditions a natural piece of air. I think that the human being is constantly enfolded in organic nature and constructed nature, so I’m constantly inspired, inside the house or outside the house." For more information:

It trips me up so much to see such a highly lauded jazz album coming from Steve Feigenbaum’s Cuneiform Records label, one of the guys I used to chat with in prog-rock dork circles. I still associate Cuneiform really strongly with RIO avant-prog, so to see an album that was sandwiched in the release schedule between Richard Pinhas albums make it to the top of jazz end-of-year lists is just amusing. Can’t say that it’s not deserving, though.

Sioum - Yet Further

• Sioum (USA), "And Technological Advancements" from the album "Yet Further" (2016), Instrumental | Progressive | Post rock • Official Sioum band links - - - - • Similar bands / Sounds like / Influences: ------------------------------------------------------ I am no hero, MONO, One Hour Before The Trip, Oh Hiroshima, made by grey, Maybeshewill, Adolf Plays the Jazz, Colaris, Anadelta, Explosions in the Sky, Calf, Mogwai, Quiet Pliz, Nevermind the Name, Icaro,, This Will Destroy You, Hammock, Set Fire to Flames, Joy Wants Eternity, I Hear Sirens, Parhelia, Followed by Ghosts, The Last Sighs Of The Wind, Somewhere Beyond Echoes, Glider, Lakes Of Russia, My Empty Phantom, Awaken The Echoes, Microtonner, Across The Waves, Marché La Void, Dream and I, This Is Your Captain Speaking, Mahùt, For a Minor Reflection, God Is an Astronaut, If These Trees Could Talk, Caspian, El Ten Eleven, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Her Name Is Calla, Jakob, Russian Circles, Set Fire to Flames, The Seven Mile Journey, Sleepmakeswaves • Follow "Winter's Dusk In Mistful Abyss" on facebook • ©Winter's Dusk In Mistful Abyss (wdima Official Channel) (Watch in HD for better video & audio quality*)

For those disappointed by last year’s Liturgy album, but love Greg Fox’s drumming, here’s your chance to hear him play what the album’s label calls “45 minutes of uninterrupted gritty and grinding cyborg thrash”. He’s joined by modular synth player Ryan Soper, and the two

Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions - Until the Hunter

Lead single from Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions featuring Kurt Vile off the third studio album, Until the Hunter. Directed by: Ben Smith (XLVI) & Tendril Tales Digital Art: Ben Smith (XLVI) D.P. / Art Direction: Robert Karns Sculptures by: Ron Sandoval (aka Ronaldo) Concept Development: Barry Bödeker

This is the third album from this duo, featuring the Mazzy Star lead singer and the drummer from My Bloody Valentine, coming 7 years after their last. In the interim, both groups reformed/resumed activity and released well-received new albums. And like the work of those groups, this is an album that is not in a hurry to get anywhere. The opening 9-minute track is a thick dream-pop fog. Other tracks invoke folk as well as Sandoval’s Mazzy Star work. It’s Sandoval’s ethereal voice and some varied instrumentation in the often minimalist accompaniment that elevates this above the run of the mill singer-songwriter-over-fingerpicked-guitar album.

Massive Attack - Ritual Spirit

Massive Attack / Ritual Spirit A film by Medium / Robert Del Naja Edited by Anthony Tombling Jnr for Fantom Films Massive Attack - ‘Ritual Spirit’ feat. Azekel. Taken from the Ritual Spirit EP - iTunes: | Spotify: | Official Store: Ritual Spirit EP Feat: Young Fathers, Azekel, Roots Manuva, Tricky and 3D Written and Produced by Robert Del Naja and Euan Dickinson Live dates:

It’s been 6 years (and counting) since the last Massive Attack full-length release. Back in 2010, “Daddy G” Marshall rejoined the group with a promise to “bring the black back to Massive Attack”. That didn’t fully manifest on that year’s album, Heligoland, but it does here, with each track featuring black rappers and producers, including former bandmember Tricky on the final track. As a result, it’s easily the “blackest” thing Massive Attack has done in nearly 20 years, and is all the better for it.