2016 – a year in listening

There are currently 66 albums in my iTunes library that were released in 2016. The last few years I’ve been disappointed when I’ve come to look back at the previous 12 months’ releases, but this year I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many high quality releases there have been.

The most amazing piece of music I heard and received in 2016 was without doubt The Cat Permits Winter by Matt Rogers. Why? Because my partner commissioned the beautiful solo violin composition for me as a Christmas present.

I turned 50 this year (*). One aspect of getting so damn old that I’m pleased about is that I continue to be passionate about music and continue to actively explore new genres, time periods, regions, etc. As I look back at my music summaries of recent years I’m a little shocked at how much of my listening is new this year. I started out 2016 listening to a fair amount of contemporary Arabic music and end it with a focus on east European techno, 80s Japanese new music and (as for much of this year) contemporary female Brazilian singers. What will 2017 bring? Music may become even more of a refuge.

I mark the passing of Alan Vega who appeared to stay true to his genuinely admirable credo right to the end. David Bowie’s passing was sad, but I’ve yet to want to engage with Blackstar, the vast majority of his work since 1979 having disappointed.

(* My comment left on Fovea Hex’s Last.fm page: ‘Turning 50 this week I was lucky enough to stay in a house once owned by Noel Coward. My first-born, partner and I sat in the darkness watching the lights of the ferries as they crossed to and from France. As we talked we listened to Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent, it was perfect.’)

Remarkable:

Anohni – Hopelessness
Luisa Maita – Fio da Memoria
Mark Pritchard – Under The Sun
Matt Rogers – The Cat Permits Winter
Steve Lehman – Sélébéyone
Susanna – Triangle

Highlights:

Beyonce – Lemonade
Cassi – Donna
CéU – Tropix
Equiknoxx – Bird Sound Power
Fovea Hex – The Salt Garden I
Jessy Lanza – Oh No
Lee Gamble – Chain Kinematics
Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force – Yermande
Milena Kriegs – Human Experience
Noname – Telefone
Scott Walker – The Childhood of a Leader
Underworld – Barbara, Barbara, We Face a Shining Future

Persisting:

Newly released in 2015:
Laurel Halo: In Situ
Mette Henriette: Mette Henriette

Newly released in 2014:
Anja Lechner & François Couturier: Moderato Cantabile
Lee Gamble: Koch
Me’shell Ndegéocello: Comet, Come To Me
Scott Walker + Sunn O))): Soused

Concerts:

It was another great year for concerts.
* = favourites.
~ = lowlights.

Scritti Politti (Roundhouse, February)
Junior Boys + Jessy Lanza (Oslo, Hackney, February) *
Ceu (The Forge, April) *
Susanna (Cafe Oto, April) *
Matt Rogers (King’s Cross Station, April) *
Arve Henriksen (LSO St Lukes, May) ~
Laurie Anderson (The Dome, Brighton, May)
Thomas Stronen (Kings Place, May)
The Raincoats (Photographer’s Gallery, June)
Hermeto Pascoal (Barbican, July) *
Cavern of Anti-Matter (Dingwalls, September) *
Me’shell Ndegéocello (Rich Mix, October) *
James Blood Ulmer (Rich Mix, November)
Autechre (RFH, November) ~

Listening figures:

/ 20 most listened artists:
(Artists scrobbled – 821)

1 Mette Henriette – 1,068
2 Joni Mitchell – 965
3 Céu - 776
4 Hermeto Pascoal – 736
5 Mariana Aydar - 723
6 Me’Shell Ndegéocello – 574
7 Yasmine Hamdan – 530
8 Susanna - 513
9 Luísa Maita – 482
10 Natacha Atlas – 462
11 Kraftwerk – 459
12 Cavern of Anti-Matter – 458
13 Flavia Coelho – 430
14 Jessy Lanza – 426
15 Miles Davis – 391
16 Cibelle – 385
17 Cassandra Wilson – 372
18 Anelis Assumpção – 329
19 Laurel Halo – 327
20 Mark Pritchard – 320

/ 20 most listened to albums:

1 Mette Henriette – 1,068
2 Susanna – Triangle – 441
3 Céu – Tropix – 331
4 Mark Pritchard — Under The Sun – 287
5 Cassy — Donna – 278
6 Jessy Lanza — Oh No – 253
7 Anelis Assumpção — Anelis e os Amigos Imaginários – 240
8 Cavern of Anti-Matter — Blood-Drums – 226
9 Mariana Aydar — Peixes, Pássaros e Pessoas – 221
10 Luísa Maita — Fio da Memória – 205
11 Cavern of Anti-Matter — Void Beats Invocation Trex – 204
12 Mariana Aydar — Kavita 1 – 198
13 Beyoncé — Lemonade – 189
14 Flavia Coelho — Mundo Meu – 184
15 Luísa Maita — Lero-Lero – 178
16 Anja Lechner & Vassilis Tsabropoulos — Chants, Hymns and Dances – 176
17 Yasmine Hamdan — Ya Nass – 165
18 Mariana Aydar — Cavaleiro Selvagem Aqui Te Sigo – 158
19 Natacha Atlas — Something Dangerous – 156
20 Scott Walker — The Childhood of a Leader – 153

All figures thanks to last.fm.

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