Some things are best left seasonal. Mince Pies, for instance. Nobody should be eating Mince Pies all year round. Believe me, I’ve tried. Leave them to the Christmas period which, by the way, starts in December and ends with Twelfth Night, and does not, as the shops here seem to think, start during the run-up to Halloween and end dramatically on Boxing Day. Other things that are fine, in fact rather enjoyable, in the Christmas and New Year period that are not so the rest of the year round are; Festive Jumpers, Egg Nog, Christmas Trees, Home Alone and Carolling. Indulge in any of these out of season and you should be locked up. And you can add to these the phenomena that is the ‘Best of the Year’ lists. Furthermore, everyone does them and even if published at the correct time of the year, they’re hugely irritating, always wrong and thoroughly smug. And I love them! I lap them up. The best ones provoke a combination of outraged tutting at ‘obvious’ omissions and much cut’n’pasting of links to missed or previously ignored releases. Hopefully in them you find something to tide you through the usually quiet post-festive period. So, maybe it’s a case of seasonal “Good Will to All Men,” maybe it’s a combination of too much Egg Nog and too many Mince Pies, either way I too am going to indulge in a list or two. As always, lists are checked (twice) and I hope you find them as irritating, wrong and smug as I would. Tidings of comfort and joy!
Coffee & Flapjacks Favourite Albums of 2016
Familial Rot – Siavash Amini & Matt Finney, Umor Rex, July 2016.
Mesmerising, engrossing and endlessly fascinating, a disturbed and disturbing masterpiece. C&F’s Album of the Year, without a doubt. (Last year’s fave album was Subsiding, Siavash Amini, Futuresequence)
Departed Glories, Biosphere, Smalltown Supersound, September 2016
Enchanted & enchanting. Great track titles. This year’s album that I wish I’d made.
(Last year’s album I wish I’d made was Near Dark, Gideon Wolf on Fluid)
Drone Duo 2016
No One Does It Like You Do, Malte Cornelius Jantzen, Low Perspective, October 2016.
Half an hour of quiet, minimal drone excellence. A masterclass.
Sky Wires, Shovels Beat The Sun, Bitrot, September 2016.
Fifty minutes of full-on drone excellence. A masterclass.
Three Memories 2016
Bordeaux, Beautumn, Infraction, February 2016.
Peaceful memories of a place you have never been.
Essay, Warmth, ARCHIVES, May 2016.
Melancholic memories of significant occasions thought lost to the past.
Letting Go Variations, Kirill Nikoli, Fluid/Facture, October 2016.
Autumnal memories of times that sadly never were.
Three Short Albums No Home Should Be Without 2016
Lichen, Wil Bolton, Audio Gourmet, July 2016.
Sounded good upon release but by the time autumn set in accompanied by the smell and the crackle of bonfires, it sounded perfect.
Filament, Gareth Davis, Slaapwel, June 2016.
The sound of the edge-lands between asleep and awake.
Radial, Benoit Pioulard, June 2016.
Brought together re-mastered versions of three faves from the master of guitar and cassette beauty.
Three Longer Albums No Home Should Be Without 2016
Contrails, Dave Kirby, Whitelabrecs, January 2016.
Still listening almost a year later, quiet and absorbing drones win through.
Angels, It Only Gets Worse, Cloister, October 2016.
Disturbing horror beautifully unfolding before you.
The Voynich Manuscript, Legiac, dronarium, September 2016
Tangerine Dream does Deaf Center or Deaf Center goes Tangerine Dream or whatever. Hugely noisy. Hugely enjoyable.
Best Packaging 2016
EVERYTHING released this year on Fluid. Like the best presents under the Christmas tree, the wrapping is as thoughtful as the content.
(Last year’s winner…everything released last year on Fluid!)
Some Things to Look Forward To 2017
More from Siavash Amini & Matt Finney – as trailed by Sote in his great Boiler Room set, there is more on the way.
More from The Caretaker – super impatient to hear the next stages in The Caretaker’s memory loss sequence.
New Gideon Wolf!!Released on Christmas Day this year so not technically 2017 but still…..