Channel Audio’s Albums of 2016

Previously for your viewing on Channel Static, the top ten albums of the year has now moved on to here. It’s taken so long because it got lost in a box on the removals van.

I’ll take any excuse.

10. Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

iggy-pop

‘I’m nothing but my name’ is something Iggy Pop likes to say, and thus Post Pop Depression was born. It’s an album about legacy, about sex, and about death, with Josh Homme bringing his sludgy Queens riffs to the party. Sometimes a sense of vulnerability can be heard, but before you can scoop it up, he’s back to ranting, to screaming, to throwing his guts against the wall.

Music for those who don’t know who Iggy Azalea is.

Choice Track: Paraguay

9. Glitterbust -Glitterbust

glitterbust

It’s a lo-fi breeze, it’s a surfer’s dream. Kim Gordon puts the wall of noise into the back of the room, Alex Knost let’s the waves wash over it all. Together they make noise ambient, though the noise never stays calm for long, finding moments to break through like a violent storm. Sometimes a few words may be shared, most times they’re lost deep under the sea of sound. Don’t swim against the current, let it wash over your skin, inside your skin.

Music for those who need a constant source of noise to cope.

Choice Track: Repetitive Differ 

8. Beyoncé – Lemonade

lemonade

They say Beyoncé is a product, a brand, but ‘they’ say a lot of things. The themes of anger and revenge take centre place, mixed with the sounds of R&B, rock, folk, pop, hip hop, gospel and even a sprinkling of the avant-garde to make the ultimate fizzy beverage kick. Power over hooks, it’s the Beyoncé for everybody, the ultimate goal for any ‘brand’. Free yourself of shackles of past perceptions, and give the destiny’s child her due.

Music for those looking for a little fizz in their music mix.

Choice Track: Freedom Feat. Kendrick Lamar 

7. The Julie Ruin – Hit Reset

hit-reset

The world is a house on the verge of self-destruction, so why not simply hit reset, let that house self demolish? Look at the problems in regards to gender equality, look at the worst sexism brings, then wrap them up, pop them up, punk them up and let the people decide if it’s something to dance to. And of course the people dance, and of course the people stand against it all, and of course there is no room to let up. It’s the Kathleen Hanna way.

Music for those who are done.

Choice Track: I Decide 

Live review here!

6. Death Grips – The Bottomless Pit

bottomless-pit

Jenny Death was meant to be the end of Death Grips as we know it, but here we are with The Bottomless Pit, another shot of thick synths, relentless noise, and MC Ride shouting down the mic. Within the thick gloop of it all, there are hooks to hang onto, moments to throw down to, it’s simply a case of letting yourself take on the force at hand. Always the same/never the same, it’s the triumphant return for a band who never really did call it quits.

Music for those who want to get noided. If you don’t know what that means… well.

Choice Track: Eh 

Live review here!

5. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch

blood-bitch

It’s all about blood. The blood that runs through our bodies, the blood that lets us wake, the blood we must give, the blood we must drink,the blood of a woman a man simply can’t truly understand. It’s a conceptual romance, a period piece painted in dreamlike synths. There is no floor to stand upon, it was lost the moment the screaming began. The world drains us dry, takes us for every drop, and here you can find comfort in failure, in blood.

Music for those who understand vampires, basically.

Choice Track: Period Piece

4. Anohni – Hopelessness

hopelessness

How’s your life, how’s your day, how’s your future? Not bad? Well how about on a broader scale? What’s happening in life, what world events took place today, and what’s the outlook on our future? Those are the questions Hopelessness delves into, and as one would expect, things are looking bleak, like real bleak. But the music here, music about the temperature rising and drone bomb attacks has a certain beauty to it. Wakes you up.

Music for those who are feeling optimistic about the future.

Choice Track: 4 Degrees

3. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

tribe

The current political climate has people saying that at least rock music will have something to say, but it’s the hip hop genre that has never really stopped saying anything. A Tribe Called Quest have seen the struggles going on within America, and have returned to take care of things.The days of ham and eggs are over, with raps about melatonin, loss, racism and the Donald being the focus of today. But don’t worry, they got this.

Music for those who need a helping audio hand.

Choice Track: We The People…

2. Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos

let-them-eat-chaos

There might be a lot going on in America, but let’s not forget that little thing called Brexit in the UK, Kate Tempest certainly hasn’t. Pure poetry (you can even buy the book) laden with thick dirty hip hop beats tells a story of Britain, the people and how things are well and truly fucked. In the early hours of the morning, characters mull over their lives, how empty, how stuck, how troubled they are. It’s too easy to relate, but that’s what makes it stick.

Music for a sleepless Britain.

Choice Track: Ketamine For Breakfast

1.Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial

teens-of-denial

This is a record for those in their twenties still feeling as if they’re teens. It goes through the anxiety of parties, the fun expected from drugs, and further anxieties about the future, romance, and anything else you can panic attack to.The music bottles it all, shakes it up, then hurls it all against a wall of noise, sax and anything else worth screaming at. It’s an album that battles with the bridge to adulthood, one that often collapses beneath our feet.

Music for those who want to deny their adulthood.

Choice Track: Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales 

More Music: David Bowie – Blackstar, De La Soul – And The Anonymous Nobody, Jesu/Sun Kil Moon – Jesu/Sun Kill Moon, Kanye West – The Life of Pablo, Kuedo – Slow Knife, Minor Victories – Minor Victories, Parquet Courts – Human Performance, Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool, Run The Jewels – RTJ3, Savages – Adore Life

And now for the soundtrack to your week when the sky is falling, or the house bills are soaring.

A Week of Songs To Fall Along With 

Monday: Kanye West – No More Parties In L.A. 

Driving through the night to Madlib produced ‘No More Parties in L.A.’ makes for an atmosphere that poses the question ‘What parties?’ Then you realise you don’t share this problem, you never did. And then the worry creeps in. Best to drive on home and sleep those worries away.

Tuesday: Keudo – In Your Sleep

Though in dreams you can’t escape those worries, so let the soft synths of ‘In Your Sleep’ take those thoughts and turn them into one less thing to worry about, one less secret to worry about. But there are so many other things to worry about. Sorry, that doesn’t make for a quiet nights sleep, does it?

Wednesday: Cat’s Eyes – Drag

The problem with worry is how there are worries over what you could be doing, to worries over what you actually are doing. Let ‘Drag’ provide context to your troubles with others, via a moving pop ditty. At least you aren’t doing what’s portrayed in the music video. At least, I hope not.

Thursday: Preoccupations – Anxiety

And then the anxiety sets in, taking away any control you had left. Maybe close the curtains, curl up into the fetal position and listen to Preoccupations Joy Division-like ‘Anxiety’ until sleep kicks in. It would make for a better day than a general day.

Friday: Radiohead – Daydreaming

Isn’t sleep grand? You forget all your worries till the next day, so why not continue sleep whilst awake? Daydream through the Friday listening to Radiohead’s version of a dream, perhaps even pretend you’re in a Paul Thomas Anderson film for extra measure? Just keep dreaming, don’t let that bubble burst.

Saturday: David Bowie – Lazarus

Though perhaps dreaming isn’t enough, the absence of no physical realities just too much. Then perhaps it’s time to lie down and listen to ‘Lazarus’. Isn’t that jazz smooth? Aren’t those lyrics so desirable. It’s a beautiful end, but not for you. No one can go as Bowie did.

Sunday: De La Soul – Lord Intended

So just sit back and let it be. It’s a church day, so why not do as lord intended? Just fuck everyone, burn everything, let the new week be, let the old week curl up and disappear into time well lost. Just keep the music with you, it helps.

 

Till next time, till next year, till whenever you visit again, so long.

I’m going to climb back into my box, and post myself to my old home.

 

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