Top 25 Albums of 2016

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14. Lorenzo Senni – Persona

Trance music as you’ve never seen it before: Persona presents us an extremely new way of conceiving build ups and drops. The traditional structure of songs is completely messed up and the overall sensation is extremely disturbing at first, but only at first. As soon as the listener gains confidence with Lorenzo’s latest creation extreme satisfaction is guaranteed.(Thomas Borgogni)

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13. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service

2016 is the year of legendary comebacks, not only in rock ’n’ roll. One of these amazing comebacks is A Tribe Called Quest’s “We Got It From Here…”. They’re style is preserved but delivered through modern pop/rap production and an unpredictable fresh vibe. The album is extremely colourful overall even though many of the already strongly moving lyrics gained an extra emotional feel to them after the loss of Phyfe Dawg, enhancing the force of the entire record. (Thomas Borgogni)

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12. Swans – The Glowing Man

Micheal Gira and his bandmates in 2016 delivered their last album with their current formation. The Glowing Man ends the trilogy started with The Seer, and is certainly the least powerful and personal of the three records. Swans’s typical martial assaults are accompanied by long, distended orchestral intros and outros, so many that after many listenings it’s hard that you are going to remember any chorus or verse. As always with them, it’s as tough to digest as it’s rewarding for your efforts: the record is the spiritual ending of the masterful work arranged by Gira, and it closes one of the greatest trilogies in experimental rock history. (Fabio Calissi)

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11. Bon Iver – 22, a Million

After Bon Iver had reached folkloric perfection with his latest release “Bon Iver, Bon Iver”, Justin Vernon pushed himself over his boundaries once again. “22, a Million” reaches an unprecedent emotional depth in the genre thanks to its extremely innovative electronic medium and although sometimes tracks seem to be too uneven one another, the album remains one of the best releases of the year. (Giorgio Maali)

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10. James Blake – The Colour in Anything

The Colour in Anything” is a deep journey through human emotions in which our hopes and certainties are lost in the glare of Blake’s voice. The accuracy and the care with which every electronic sounds is placed, make our deepest disappointments and suffering sharper, in a background where everything is lost and confused in the reverb. (Giorgio Maali)

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09. Anohni – Hopelessness

Politically and socially active, “Hopelessness” is against everything and everyone, from global pollution to Obama. Antony Hegarty is really able to show his powerfull vocal skills, beetween the experimental research of Oneohtrix Point Never and the maximalism of Hudson Mohawke. The listener is set into an uncomfortable condition through the prickly arguments and the explosive-catchy sounds. Hopelessness is a journey through the discomfort of our society told with an indifferent fluency. (Giorgio Maali)

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08. Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmasterd.

Not many rappers can praise the realisation of albums of the caliber of Kendrick’s latest productions and no one expected him to reach those levels again this year. And in fact he hasn’t. On the other hand he gave birth to a much more personal and raw record skipping all formalities, including track names, delivering a bunch of powerful and emotional songs through an extremely direct production. (Thomas Borgogni)

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07. Death Grips – Bottomless Pit

This is definitely one of the most discussed albums of the year, it recalls the wickedness of The Money Store and the obsessive focus on noise Jenny Death had. Bottomless Pit is a meeting point between different ideas of the Sacrament trio; a mix of schizofrenia and anger which combine themselves with explosive melodies and aggressive sounds overlapping. Top 7 more than deserved! (Giorgio Maali)

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06. Autechre – elseq 1 – 5

Four hours and eight minutes don’t seem to be a burden for Sean Booth and Rob Brown, “elseq 1-5” astonishes for its linear and solid progression throughout all five albums, despite the lack of a structure inside the songs. The care of sounds for each second of the album amazes from the very first second and the listener is immediately involved. This collection of albums is definitely the most impenetrable, engaging and sophisticated release of the duo. (Giorgio Maali)

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05. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

Carving something good out of a tragedy is always an extremely difficult task. Imagine to write a bunch of songs months away your 15 year old son’s tragic death: would anyone be able to reflect the struggle into something creative? Nick Cave absolutely did, manufacturing one of the most accomplished record of his long career. The orchestral arrangements, slow tempo and long, almost suicidal verses put the 39 minutes of Skeleton Tree into an oblivion of suffering. Nick Cave needed this record, as much as you did. (Fabio Calissi)

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