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Best of ’16: My Favorite Albums of 2016

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31. Huerco S For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) Proibito Though the K.C.-producer’s debut LP Colonial Patterns enjoyed overwhelming acclaim, he seismically shifted his sound for his second one, veering from opaque beat music to oceanic, drifting synthscapes. Though it’s a risky move, it pays big dividends, and the disc plays like a single transportive track, destined to sweep you away. Stream it on Spotify. 30. Mélanie De Biasio Blackened Cities Le Label Don’t let the …

Best of ’16: My Favorite Songs of 2016

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2016 was trash, but goddamn, the music was good. Here is a handful of the songs that kept me positive, no matter how bad the news was. Thanks to everyone for the continued support and readership. 61. MUNA “I Know A Place” About U (out 02.13.17 on RCA) The LA trio’s ode to the healing power of sweaty dancefloors took on an even deeper meaning, as it was released only a few hours before 36 people tragically passed away at a …

Hot Jam of The Day: MUNA, “I Know A Place”

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MUNA “I Know A Place” About U (02.03.17) The fact that this emotional, heartfelt single dropped the same week as the tragic Ghost Ship fire in Oakland is the cruelest irony. This gorgeous single champions the kind of special, inclusive space that Ghost Ship purported to be — places where people can safely lose themselves under neon lights and loud music. As a Bay Area native who has spent many nights in such places, it breaks my heart to know that more …

Images & Words: Kodie Shane, “Sad” (f/ Lil Yachty)

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Kodie Shane “Sad” (f/ Lil Yahcty) Zero Gravity (out now on Epic) On the day the rising Atlanta native drops her debut EP for Epic, her tasty Lil Yachty collab gets some visuals. Though Zero Gravity features a couple of tracks from her excellent EP, Little Rocket, it will hopefully propel the 18 year-old to her rightful place among the most exciting young talents in hip-hop.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, “Decorated Lawns”

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Julien Baker “Decorated Lawns” Jingle Yay! (out now on Punk Talks) When you are in your late teens and early twenties, coming home for the holidays is always strange. You find yourself in cars, on porches, and at bars with people you used to make out with, sleep with, or even love. Of course, these people are mostly just mini-diversions from your actual life, exciting glimpses of what could be but almost definitely won’t be. The 21 year-old bottles up those confusing feelings beautifully on this …

Images & Words: Wiley, “U Were Always Pt. 2” (f/ Skepta & Belly)

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Wiley “U Were Always Pt. 2” (f/ Skepta & Belly) Godfather (out 01.13.17 on CTA) Though known more for his muscular bars, the Godfather indulges his soft side on this sultry new single from his hotly anticipated 11th album. The cut is a little reminiscent of Skepta’s “Ladies Hit Squad,” as the three MC’s put their exes on blast over some delicious, laid-back Adina Howard vibes. Just like on the other pre-release singles, the 37 year-old sounds refreshed and sharp here, and Godfather is shaping up …

Stream This Shit: MssingNo, M1 Personal Trainer Mixtape

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MssingNo M1 Personal Trainer (Mixtape) It wasn’t quite Lemonade, but the progressive grime maestro had me shook this afternoon when he surprise released his first mixtape on my unsuspecting head. The hyper-melodic, 24-minute track is made of all original material. And in the way only he can, the Londoner flips a-listers like Ariana Grande, Zara Larsson, and the Biebz to absolute perfection. Mssingno’s work almost always flawlessly balances radio-ready melodies with dancefloor heft for a sound that is often imitated but remains all his own.

Hot Jams of the Day: Burial, “Young Death” / “Nightmarket”

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Burial “Young Death” / “Nightmarket” Young Death / Nightmarket (out now on Hyperdub) Just in time for the holidays, the legendary South London producer (né William Bevan) returns with two tracks that help make 2016 suck just that little bit less. The emotional former jives nicely with his incredible 2014 EP, Rival Dealer, matching a hopeful, comforting vocal sample with spare keyboards and percussion. The latter is built around a snake-like keyboard riff that slowly builds to an overwhelming, yet gorgeous crescendo. Both cuts are reminders …

Under the Radar: Yaroze Dream Suite, Yaroze Dream Suite

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Yaroze Dream Suite Yaroze Dream Suite Local Action Back in October, grime futurists Yamaneko and Mr. Mitch dropped a delicious, sparese 4-song collaborative project that I somehow neglected to write about. The duo’s emotional, genre-bending sound may not grab you at first listen, as it isn’t big on hooks. But the more time you spend with it, the deeper it’ll drag you out to the outer reaches of its galaxy, exposing new surprises along the way with each successive listen. Yaroze Dream Suite by Yaroze Dream Suite

Images & Words: Cloud Boat, “Man of War”

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Cloud Boat “Man Of War” Man of War EP (out now on Born Electric) Last month, the low-key London duo with the horrible name quietly released a quality 4-song EP. And today, we got some dystopian new visuals to go with its title track. “Man of War” matches Tom Clarke’s perma-warm vocals with undulating synth waves and a surprisingly aggressive backbeat, which sets a restless, frustrated vibe throughout. The whole disc is one of the fourth quarter’s nicest surprises.

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