The Joy of Violent Movement’s Best Albums of 2016

The Joy of Violent Movement’s Best Albums of 2016

 Earlier this year, I had a lengthy bit of correspondence with a British publicist, who I’ve worked with for some time – and as you can imagine, once you’ve worked with someone for a while, the lines between friendship and your professional working relationship can become a bit blurred. But in any case, this colleague had asked how I was doing and at the time my response was: “If there was one word to describe my 37th trip around the sun, I’d say it would be this – embittering.” In that email exchange, I had gone on to describe how I had been dealing with several different, complicated situations in which politics, race and other sociopolitical issues of our era had come up and impacted my personal and professional life in messy and heartbreaking ways. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site since I started it almost 7 years ago or follow me through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, that music has held a profound role in my life, informing both my intellectual and emotional life. And while some things have been difficult, I can still say that I’ve been particularly blessed. After all, the fact that music can hold the same vital connection that it did when I was 3, 13 or 25 as it does when I’m 37, suggests that somehow I’ve been doing something right. With our lives becoming more urgent, more politically charged than ever, I personally find myself turning towards art and music to gain a further understanding of my life, my inner world and my place in a ugly and cruel world – and frequently a world that seems to hate difference, uniqueness, thoughtfulness, etc.

Sadly, over the past couple of years, this site’s Best of List has kind of languished although I had desperately wanted to post something about my favorite albums of the year; however, there have been years in which I had been incredibly overwhelmed – to the point of not having enough time to actually sit down and write. And while some friends and other associates have bemoaned the death of the music industry without realizing that over the past year, there’s been some challenging and interesting music that’s been released; that there’s been collaborations that would have never happened 30 years ago happening right this minute, and in the case of this year, there have been an incredible array of releases that I’ve been absolutely been obsessed with in a variety of ways. Check out what were the best albums this year, below.

 

Hannah Williams and The Affirmations Late Nights and Heartbreaks

Plague Vendor BLOODSWEAT

Beacon Escapements

David Bowie Blackstar

Cinemechanica S/T LP

Exploded View  S/T LP

A Tribe Called Quest We Got It From Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service

Run the Jewels Run The Jewels 3

Clipping Splendor and Misery

Kishi Bashi Sonderlust

The Veldt The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur

Marta Ren and The Groovelets Stop Look Listen

Goat Requiem

Magic Trick Other Man’s Blues

Drakkar Nowhere S/T LP

La Sera Queens EP

Preoccupations S/T LP

The Deltahorse Transatlantic

Anna Rose Strays in the Cut EP

Super Hi-Fi Super Hi-Fi Plays Nirvana

Beninghove’s Hangman Zohove: Beninghove’s Hangmen Play Led Zeppelin

Shana Falana Here Comes the Wave

 

Honorable Mentions

Wolkoff Without Shame

Milemarker Overseas

La Femme Mystère

Arbor Labor Union I Hear You

The Shondes Brighton

My Gold Mask Anxious Utopia

Alma Afrobeat Ensemble It’s Time

Afro-Haitian Experimental Orchestra Bade Zile

Siama Matuzungidi Rivers – from the Congo to the Mississippi

Bad Sports Living with Secrets

San Lazaro La Despedida

 

Check out JOVM’s top ten albums on Spotify:

 

 

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