Josey’s 10 Best Albums of 2016

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As seen on DallasObserver.com

Our own Wil Brooks and Tom Strong share their favorite albums of 2016 with Wanz Dover.

Wil Brooks (Josey Records)

1. Anderson Paak – Malibu
From our first introduction to Mr. Paak on Dre’s Compton we were hooked. Raspy, overly soulful and worthy of back to back listening sessions. We have been guilty of this on many occasions.

2. David Bowie – Blackstar
Music is the great healer. We were extremely saddened by the passing of the inimitable David Robert Jones. Blackstar was the medicine we needed. However, we would jump at the chance to cease the dosing, if it meant that Bowie would return to us. We will after all accept what we are given and keep him close to our hearts.

3. Jon Bap – What Now?
From Buffalo, NY, Jon has ventured down south and now calls Dallas home-base. With an arsenal of music online as well as stuffed in his vaults, we will always have some new flavors within arms reach. This album is full of love, family, masterful production and a firm stepping stone to this incredibly soulful path. Keep your antenna tuned to this cat. You will NOT be disappointed.

4. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service
Eighteen years is a long time to wait between albums dropping. Our initial listen washed away the years and brought us back to a time when hip-hop was tangible. All of the elements that went into the creation of this masterpiece are felt in the production. For the OG heads, nodding with eyes closed commenced. For those hearing ATCQ for the first time, let this be your introduction to a whole new world.

5. The Frightnrs – Nothing More To Say
From the first crack of the drum, the authenticity of this album transports you to a time when the Heptones, the Wailers, U-Roy and Sugar Minot were household names. It’s incredible to hear this sound in 2016.

6. Kaytranada – 99.9%
This should be on everyone’s 2016 list. It’s fun, energetic, feel good music that will make you dance and keep you singing the hooks for days after listening. We couldn’t wait for this one to drop.

7. Cass McCombs – Mangy Love
We knew what were getting into with this album as we had a promo copy that we wore out a few weeks before the vinyl dropped. Swirling guitars, a slight soul slant and witty lyrics kept this one on heavy rotation. We’re probably playing it now, as you read this.

8. SPK – In The Thick of It
The ever evolving mind of one Spencer Kenney has kept us on our toes since we first dipped them in the Howler Jr. pool. This album is hard to drop into one genre. With elements of ’80s soul and lo-fi rock,and deft songwriting, this record will captivate those who find themselves outside the lines of the mainstream channels. The cherry on top is his reinterpretation of Flying Lotus’ “Unexpected Delight.” Big up to Ghostdrank for the gorgeous album artwork.

9. Chris Staples – Golden Age
This one was unexpected. Superbly written songs, which romanticize past events, suddenly stop you in your tracks with the familiarity of the stories sung. There is a longing in the lyrics. With each listen you are brought deeper into the mind of the man who has been through what seems like a great deal.

10. The Claypool Lennon Delirium – Monolith of Phobos
The weird and wonderful marriage of two amazing musical legacies finally collide and create one of the most interesting records to date. Claypool turns down the odd meter, only slightly, to meet Lennon on the path toward a world only they could inhabit.

Tom Strong (Josey Records, producer, DJ)

David Bowie – Blackstar
(In a class of its own, not part of top 10)

The Avalanches – Wildflower
MNDSGN – Body Wash
Grant – Cranks
Will Long – Long Trax
Duke Hugh – Canvas
Al Dobson Jr – Rye Lane Vol II & III
Seven Davis Jr – Live From The Other Side
Mala – Mirrors
2814 – Rain Temple

Best Local Albums:

Convextion – 2845
Cygnus – Cosmos
Blixaboy – Humanoid X
SPK – In the thick of it
SURVIVE – RR7349
Jon Bap – What Now?
Bill Converse – 7 of 9
VA – TRU Halloween EP

Best Dance 12-inch Singles:
ERP – Ancient Light
Mr. Fingers – Outer Acid
Chaos In The CBD – Invisible Spectrum
Inoue Shirabe – Function Spring
DJ Sonikku – Secret Island
Harvey Sutherland – New Paradise
214 – North Cascades
HOLOVR – Trace Realms
Project Pablo – Priorities
Call Super – New Life Tones

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