This is my list of favorites from the year. It’s not restricted to items that just came out in 2016. It’s a list of favorite media that I consumed within 2016. Click on the links to see or hear or buy.
This year is a 4 way tie! I really love all these media the same. Interesting though, I had the time to consume more music this year than in the past 5 yet, the cream is very small.
Optium – Nostos
How long has it been where you watched a film and your jaw was on the floor the whole time? You didn’t want to move lest ye miss a precious second of this experience. That’s exactly what happened when watching this film. Full disclosure, Optium is Alex LaLiberte from Vensaire and I produced their wonderful album “Perdix” (which you should also check out). I knew this guy had talent but I never imagined that someone could not only make a full album of flowing goodness, but also a film to match. When you watch the film, it seethes effort. You can see and hear that every texture was paid attention to. It just feels polished and complete and a full representation of artistic vision. You have no excuse not to experience this as you can stream the music from bandcamp and stream the film from Vimeo, then, if you feel like a citizen, drop Alex a few dollars.
Electric Light Orchestra – Alone in the Universe
Being a ELO fan, I just about shit my pants when I heard this record was coming out. Previous ELO record came out in 2001 and before that 1986!! I couldn’t have been more pleased as this is pure ELO. If you like ELO, you WILL like this. If you don’t like ELO then we are no longer friends. Listen to this opening track and tell me that this isn’t quintessential ELO. Soaring, rock solid harmonies. Pumping, pounding piano. Huge plodding string arrangements. It’s a force. So good, so solid, so satisfying. The production even sounds vintage. When I was a boy, I loved ELO and as a teenager, I still do.
Depeche Mode – Delta Machine
Yeah, yeah, this came out in 2013. My wife is a huge fan of the band, but I didn’t get around to listening to it until early this year, but WOW! I’ve had passing interest in this band, but never went ape shit over them. This record changed that. This cut called “Angel” is an example of Gahan’s amazing vocal style. The way Gore uses the synths on this record is monstrous. It’s super poppy but also downright sinister and sexy.
Reggie Watts – Altspace VR Music Experiment!
I’m just gonna say this. This is the BEST concert I’ve seen in years (both live and virtual) and it took place in VR. I’ve been following Altspace for a year and a half now and they are just kicking all kinds of ass all over the place. It all came to a head in this particular performance. The localized sound was locked in. No more drunk yahoos distracting you from the fun. Full immersive visual candy and of course, Watts uncanny improvisations and comedy. Watch the video and imagine it in VR, then go out and GET WITH IT and start seeing this stuff for yourself.