Selected Radio DJs, Vol. 1: Top 15 Albums of 2016

[Note: All opinions are the authors’ and do not reflect a general WMTS consensus]

(Artist: Album)

Joseph Wasilewski

  1. Warpaint: Heads Up
  2. D.D Dumbo: Utopia Defeated
  3. Phantogram: III
  4. Harriet: American Appetite
  5. David Bazan: Blanco
  6. Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool
  7. Miike Snow: iii
  8. Glass Animals: How to Be a Human Being
  9. Golden Daze: Golden Daze
  10. The Last Shadow Puppets: Everything You’ve Come to Expect
  11. St. Paul and The Broken Bones: Sea of Noise
  12. Twin Peaks: Down in Heaven
  13. Anderson Paak: Malibu
  14. Deep Sea Diver: Secrets
  15. NxWorries: Yes Lawd

Runner Up Albums

  1. Schoolboy Q: Blank Face

“Brutal” Bradley Beckmann (WMTS Technical Director)

  1. Infant Annihilator: The Elysian Grandeval Galèriarch
    • The announcement of this album caught me completely by surprise. With very little information released prior to its actual release, I had no idea what to expect especially with a new vocalist joining Infant Annihilator’s ranks. Upon first listen I learned one thing. This album rules! While Infant Annihilator may have slowed their tempo down from the breakneck speed of the first album, it really helped this new album sound utterly brutal and scary. However, I believe the most important factor to bring this album together and what carries all the way to the number one spot on my Best of 2016 list is the crazy good vocals Dickie Allen provides.
  2. Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence
    • Devin Townsend is a Canadian musician that uses his bipolar disorder to create albums of musical genius that are also very personal representations of himself. While not necessarily immediately noticeable at first listen through, every time you listen through this album again, you will see what Devin put of himself into this album.
  3. Fleshgod Apocalypse: King
    • Fleshgod Apocalypse has been rapidly gaining attention as a powerhouse for Symphonic metal ever since their album Agony. The latest album, King, challenges anyone to say that they are not a titan within the Symphonic Metal genre. One of best things to be brought closer to the forefront of the band is bassist Paolo Rossi’s vocals and it makes me very happy to hear Paolo’s voice be brought forward more.
  4. Meshuggah: The Violent Sleep of Reason
    • A band whose album releases are as highly anticipated as TOOL and Necrophagist, Meshuggah did not pull their punches with their newest release. As a follow up to Koloss, The Violent Sleep of Reason had a huge shoe to fill. However, instead of just filling the shoe, Meshuggah kept to their tradition of utterly destroying their previous shoe with a much bigger, and heavier shoe.
  5. Jeff Hughell: Trinidad Scorpion Hallucinations
    • For a man that can take on bass duties for bands like Rings of Saturn, Brain Drill, and Cynic, one would begin to wonder what sort of creation (or possible abomination) his music would sound like. Well, Jeff Hughell certainly showed us how crazy a trip into his mind would be with this album. From anger, to sadness, to serenity, you could feel everything that Jeff was wanting to show you. While the album had a heavy presence of guest musicians, it was as if these guests were not there to take the spotlight, but instead to accent under what Jeff was doing.
  6. Dark Funeral: Where Shadows Forever Reign
  7. Brain Drill: Boundless Obscenity
  8. I Declare War: Songs for the Sick
  9. Exmortus: Ride Forth
  10. Black Crown Initiate: Selves We Cannot Forgive
  11. Ihsahn: Arktis
  12. Opeth: Sorceress
  13. Babymetal: Metal Resistance
  14. Despised Icon: Beast
  15. Megadeth: Dystopia

Thomas Young

  1. Cass McCombs: Mangy Love
  2. Hiss Golden Messenger: Heart Like a Levee
  3. Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial
  4. Fruit Bats: Absolute Loser
  5. Wilco: Shmilco
  6. Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions: Until the Hunter
  7. Weyes Blood: Front Row Seat to Earth
  8. Angel Olsen: MY WOMAN
  9. Conor Oberst: Ruminations
  10. Karl Blau: Introducing Karl Blau
  11. William Tyler: Modern Country
  12. Porches: Pool
  13. Jonny Fritz: Sweet Creep
  14. Charles Bradley: Changes
  15. Michael Nau: Mowing

William Long (WMTS External Music Director)

  1. Huerco S.: For Those of You…
    • I don’t think an album has quite captured the ambience of a cold desert morning in the middle of summer like this one. Pure ambient magic, from the forests of Yellowstone to the canyons of Zion.
  2. DJ Metatron: 2 the Sky – EP
    • Emotional techno that works best in your headphones. This vinyl-only masterpiece won’t judge you for crying while Jake Gyllenhaal describes his experience as an actor in Donnie Darko.
  3. Segue: Over the Mountains
    • “…The album systematically alters the structure of most classic dub techno songs in favor of a more post-rock-like construction: there’s a clear beginning, a build-up, a climax, and then a finale or coda. Even pop music makes an appearance on “Deep Valley,” a clear standout with an arresting, panoramic climax…A true dub masterpiece–Basic Channel for the 2010s.” Originally published on Bandcamp, July 2016
  4. Christian Löffler: Mare
    • The equivalent of white linens strung up between a couple of Jackson Hole aspens, Löffler delivered a pop-influenced minimal techno stunner right at the tail end of October. Absolutely perfect for watching the leaves fall and feeling the mood change with the season.
  5. Jakob Bro: Streams
    • This album is the most logical direction for modern jazz to follow, presenting us with everything from purely melodic guitar lines to ambient fuzz. Like a warm pillow when you need a friend or maybe a cold iceberg ready to wreck your Titanic emotions. File under “emo jazz”.
  6. Prince of Denmark: 8
  7. Niki & the Dove: Everybody’s Heart Is Broken Now
  8. Weval: Weval
  9. The Triad: Pantha Du Prince
  10. Demdike Stare: Wonderland
  11. Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool
  12. Ian William Craig: Centres
  13. Jean-Michel Blais: II
  14. Donnacha Costello: Mono No Aware
  15. bvdub: Yours Are Stories of Sadness

Runner Up Albums

  1. Kian & Ludvig: The Art of Dreaming
  2. Gold Panda: Good Luck and Do Your Best
  3. Grant: Cranks
  4. Omar S.: The Best!
  5. Moomin: A Minor Thought
  6. Various Artists: Pampa, Vol. 1
  7. Steve Hauschildt: Strands
  8. Rising Sun: Lamentations / Trilogy
  9. Suzanne Kraft: What You Get For Being Young
  10. Ulrich Schnauss: No Further Ahead Than Today

Ethan Copeland (WMTS Web Manager)

  1. Goodness: The Hotelier
  2. Woman: Justice
  3. Care: How To Dress Well
  4. Atrocity Exhibition: Danny Brown
  5. Blackstar: David Bowie
  6. Masterpiece: Big Thief
  7. We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service: A Tribe Called Quest
  8. Teens of Denial: Car Seat Headrest
  9. Gore: Deftones
  10. Wildflower – The Avalanches
  11. Cardinal – Pinegrove
  12. The Life of Pablo: Kanye West
  13. A Sailor’s Guide to Earth: Sturgill Simpson
  14. Cody: Joyce Manor
  15. Holy Ghost: Modern Baseball

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