Here are the 100 greatest LPs of 2016, according to Crack Magazine. Visit 2016.crackmagazine.net for more end of year coverage over the coming weeks.
SOFT HAIRSoft Hair Weird World
Connan Mockasin went full Britney circa 2001 VMAs on this album’s cover art, alongside red body paint and an equally sultry stare from his musical compadre LA Priest. Their collaboration, Soft Hair, didn’t do sexy in any usual way. With Mockasin’s let-it-all-hang-out approach finding its match in Priest’s elastic sense of time and space, this meeting of warped minds brought out the best and worst in both parties, until its simmering cosmic heat hit boiling point.
TY SEGALLEmotional Mugger Drag City
Considering the past year’s warped US presidential race, is it any wonder Ty Segall grasped the chance to comment on his country with his Emotional Mugger? “American nightmare,” he lamented on Californian Hills, the second track of the chaotic, off-kilter album. “The papers say we’re going to hell.” Stepping out from behind an instrument to don a baby mask across a series of horrendously entertaining shows this summer, Segall secured his legacy as a garage rock godhead.
MINOR VICTORIESSelf-Titled PIAS
Supergroup is a dirty word, but Minor Victories wear it well. The musicians that make up the band – members of Mogwai, Slowdive and Editors – each come from slightly different schools of music, but they’re all linked by a predilection for a dreamy melody. Their debut album was crafted from experience, a measured riff on dystopia that swelled, oscillated and urged the listener into peaceful hypnosis.
CARLA DAL FORNOYou Know What It's Like Blackest Ever Black
Having long collaborated on Blackest Ever Black projects, Carla dal Forno delivered her debut solo LP on the label this year. Originally a Melbourne-based post-punk artist, since arriving in Berlin, dal Forno’s sound slowed down, evolving the eerie, elegant cold wave on offer here. Streaked with her own siren calls, it was a more tangibly personal release from BEB, a woozy, weary album that existed in a state of suspension, like communicating with the world through a thick pane of glass.
GUCCI MANEEverybody Looking Atlantic Records
Freshly released from a federal prison stint, trap godfather Gucci Mane surprised many with sobriety and a lean new look alongside this rapidly released album. Thematically, Everybody Looking was a rewarding entry into a post-trap future. No longer the self-medicated thirty-something seen grinning fiendishly throughout Spring Breakers, Everybody Looking saw a fitter, happier Gucci look back on his time as a pint-a-day promethazine addict with a sense of enlightened bewilderment. Welcome home.
MARK PRITCHARDUnder The Sun Warp
Omitting concentrated drum work and percussive sampling, Under The Sun saw legendary electronic experimentalist Mark Pritchard fixate on mood and timbre, permitting each angular segue to piece themselves together like the telling of a story. And what Under The Sun lacked in dynamism, it made up for in gorgeous cinematic scope.
HAVOC & THE ALCHEMISTThe Silent Partner Babygrande Records
Prodigy and Havoc started out as kids, but their ruthless lyrics made them sound not just fully-grown, but overgrown. They had seen too much ― and we couldn’t get enough. The Silent Partner was released twenty years on from their debut Juvenile Hell, but Havoc’s voice, and paranoid principles, were still standing. On this gritty, anxious, very New York album, The Alchemist’s production made Havoc’s bleak words easy to listen to ― fit to be chiselled into stone, in fact, just as they were chiselled into him.
MYKKI BLANCOMykki !K7
To define Mykki Blanco by genre is to miss the point entirely. The creative polymath has stretched boundaries with anomalous, intense musical output spanning uncompromising hip-hop, riot grrrl-influenced lo-fi punk and industrial techno. It had been five years since the debut Mykki Blanco performance at New York’s Ghe20G0th1k party, and Blanco’s debut retail album Mykki was an expansive testament to this versatility – and, for some, surprising – proof of the artist’s pop sensibilities.
DOESome Things Last Longer Than You Specialist Subject
Reminiscent of the best of Superchunk, Weezer and The Breeders, DIY punk trio Doe made their blazingly furious and startlingly genuine full-length debut this year. The threateningly punchy drumbeat, dual guitars and twin pillars of vocals piled on by Nicola Leel, Dean Smitten and Jake Popyura crushed from the first track, and the songs were tight, emotionally intelligent and driven by a cathartic frustration that smarted just enough to be completely compelling.
EAGULLSUllages Partisan Records
Eagulls’ maturity as a band solidified with Ullages. Gone were the songs about heroin and the spiteful letters to other bands, and in their place was an album contemplative and political in its songwriting and bathed in slower, lusher sounds. On single Lemontrees, George Mitchell sings, “Beneath the lemon trees, lies bittersweet, we share a nation’s consciousness, drown our thoughts to sleep”. While Ullages lacked immediately gratifying punk anthems, Eagulls’ disaffection was now barbed with poetry, as opposed to venom.