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Favorite Albums of 2016

favorite albums 2016

These are the albums that were released in 2016 that got the most play, listed in alphabetical order:

   Casper Skulls – Lips & Skull
   Daughter – Not to Disappear
   DIIV – Is the is Are
   exmagician – Scan the Blue
   Flyying Colours – Mindfullness
   Living Hour – Living Hour
   Operators – Blue Wave
  Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
   Sunflower Bean – Human Ceremony
   Syd Arthur – Apricity
   Wild Nothing – Life of Pause
   Woods – City Sun Eater in the River of Light

Favorite Songs Released in 2016  Favorite songs released in 2016

Spotify playlist below:

Continue reading Favorite Albums of 2016

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Catherine Wheel’s Ferment and Chrome to be re-released on 180-gram vinyl

Catherine Wheel bassist Dave Hawes reports today that their first 2 albums, ‘Ferment’ and ‘Chrome’, will be released on 180-gram vinyl.

This is great news for those who have been trying to acquire either of these out-of-print albums on vinyl in the past decade. They can easily fetch $150 for mint condition copies.

Dave also reports that Cherry Red will NOT be the company handling this re-issue. This is important if you followed the 2010 CD reissues and the quality control issues they had.

Instead, these are being released by Music On Vinyl, a Netherlands company who specializes in 180-gram re-issues, and distributed by Bertus Distributie. If you are thinking of contacting them for more info then don’t, I’ve already tried. I think it’s too early in the process for them to reveal anything as they couldn’t share anything more. If you want to read their faq then that may answer some basic questions.

Their mastering engineer’s experience is listed as:

“Our mastering engineer has 40 years of experience cutting records for many major artists like Michael Jackson, Alan Parsons Project, Santana, Mother Love Bone, Stone Temple Pilots, Faith No More and many more.”

“Which masters do you use?”

“We use the best audio available to cut our records. We receive and use different kinds of masters: analogue tapes, original metal parts, lacquers cut from analogue tapes and high res digital files 192/96khz/24 bit. Music On Vinyl does not use CD’s as masters.”

No release date information has been given yet but I expect it to be a while.

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Apple’s newly redesigned Music app is a band aid on a much larger problem

My first article on Medium:

Apple announced yesterday at WWDC that they are redesigning the Apple Music app, “from the ground up.” While it is much needed it isn’t enough.

Apple’s Music app was a mess and was in need of a redesign. It looks like they had too many Cooks in the kitchen, pun intended. It feels to me like the creatives were handcuffed by what their executives wanted. They need to make a music app for the music lover and I think this will be a step closer but still many steps away.

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New debut LP from exmagician

Scan The Blue, the new debut LP from exmagician who hails from Belfast is out now on Bella Union. Bella Union is the same label that includes Beach House, Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Walkmen, The Flaming Lips, and Wild Nothing.

The exmagician album reminds me of Built To Spill, Modest Mouse, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

exmagician.com/

Bio:

exmagician’s debut album Scan The Blue, released by Bella Union on March 25th, sees longtime collaborators Danny Todd and James Smith looking to the future with new vigour and confidence. The Belfast duo, who have been friends since their teens, have made a multifaceted, sonically adventurous statement that fully justifies their decision to take full control of their work.

Danny and James last broke cover as the songwriters behind Cashier No.9, whose lush, David Holmes-produced album To The Death Of Fun (Bella Union) brought them critical acclaim (Best Album at the NI Music Awards, shortlisted for Best Album of 2011 by the Irish Times), strong radio support from BBC 6 Music, Radio 1 and Radio 2 and a string of sold-out club dates and major festival appearances across the UK and Ireland.

Since then the pair have moved on and returned with something new. Self-written and produced with the help of Rocky O’Reilly (And So I Watch You From Afar, General Fiasco, Mojo Fury), Scan The Blue leaves behind the Laurel Canyon sheen of Cashier No.9 in favour of something louder, fuzzier and grittier, born of a playful attitude, greater confidence and a load of new pedals and synths. “It’s the dirt under the fingernails,” says Danny with a smile.

The musical reinvention is apparent from the very first seconds of opening track Kiss That Wealth Goodbye, which steams in with a filthy riff, the product of a guitar and a synth melding together so you can’t tell which is which – a feature of the album. “It’s like early Beefheart meets Add N To X,” says Danny – a measure of just how broad the duo’s influences are. “David [Holmes] lent me a Korg MS-20 and then I bought one myself. That synth shaped a lot of the record.”

Danny and James’s love for adventurous, psychedelic music from all eras is the current through Scan The Blue, as well as what James terms their “obsession” with detail. There’s Place Your Bets, a hopeful lyric over a shuffling rhythm that gives way to a widescreen coda, all layered synths and a trumpet solo from recurring guest Linley Hamilton. You might hear The Fall or Super Furry Animals on the swinging fuzz-stomp of Wild Eyes; late-period Pavement at their most graceful on the airy, spacious centrepiece Smile To The Gallery; or the heavy-lidded grooves of The Beta Band on Plan Retrieval, one of two songs sung by James, along with the poised ballad Feet Don’t Fail.

It’s a rich record full of sonic surprises, Danny and James’s decision to take the production reins themselves paying off in spades. Yet as James puts it, “The song is king. It has to be bulletproof before we start fucking about with it at all.” These songs have been carefully crafted over some time and only recorded and tweaked once the duo knew they were ready to be heard. Danny compares the process to sculpture, “chipping away at it” until the song is finished.

As for subject matter, don’t expect love songs… “Hope, trust and revenge, they always fall into those three categories,” says Danny. The title track, Scan The Blue, is evidence of that – a gorgeous slice of chamber-pop that brings the record to a satisfyingly hazy close. “It’s now time to drown it out, to move and shift the clouds of doubt away,” Danny sings on the chorus. After so many years of friendship and collaboration, these two songwriter-producers are looking to the future with their eyes firmly set on the horizon.

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Pandora Media may be exploring a sale as shares fall

http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-02-11/pandora-sale-talks-reflect-a-botched-business

“The Internet radio service surged as much as 14.8 percent Thursday on news of a potential sale before giving up much of the gains after hours in response to disappointing earnings. Even with some expectations of a potential deal now reflected in the stock price, the shares closed roughly 77 percent below their record high, meaning shareholders don’t expect the $1.9 billion company to fetch anything close to a knockout premium.”

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