Thursday, 29 December 2016

3 To 1

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is people making the same tedious observation about 2016 being a bit rubbish.

Speaking of things no one cares about, here (in no particular order) are my top 3 albums of 2016.

The Mountain Will Fall - DJ Shadow

This year I got to see one of my musical heroes play live, and DJ Shadow did not disappoint. In fact he was one of the best live acts I've ever seen, with incredible visuals surrounding him. I even shook his hand, so if anyone wants to touch my hand in turn please do let me know. Shadow's new album The Mountain Will Fall sees the trip-hop pioneer continue to push himself into new realms of electronic music, with hip-hop, jazz and euphoria vying for space on the record. The album also gave us one of the best music videos of the year:

Gore - Deftones

In 2016 I finally got to see Deftones, and they also turned out to be one of the best live acts I've ever experienced. Their music is bludgeoning, beautiful and completely transcendent, all illusatrated on their new album Gore. Not only is the opening cut Prayers/Triangles an amazing way to start an album, the track Doomed User is one of the best songs they've ever recorded. I still don't have a clue what Chino Moreno is singing about most of the time, but I can highly recommend running while listening to Deftones; it's like being chased by wraiths.

Three - Blue Man Group

It was always my dream to become a Blue Man (like my other hero, Tobias F√ľnke) or one of their neon-clad drummers. They're best known for their internationally phenomenal live shows that combine music, comedy and technology to explore a variety of ideas, including otherness as represented by these blue-skinned outsiders. But they also produce highly innovative studio records using many musical instruments of their own invention, often involving hitting PVC pipes to create a strange, melodic, percussive sound. Three is so-called because it's their third album and the Blue Men always appear in threes, and it features more of the same rhythmic alien rock. Enjoy!