Top 30 - Best tracks of 2016 - with comments

By Quintdresden Quintdresden
updated over 2 years ago

  1. Prince Of Denmark - 8

    11 For Sale from $290.59

    Neoclassicdub

    I am not exactly sure why this is my number one this year. More obvious, critically acclaimed and already classic tracks follow in the Top 5, but Neoclassicdub shines with its elegant minimalism and striking, reduced production - very much like last years Number one, Dudley Strangeways Back Room Dub - although not as funky but equipped with the trademark stiff Traumprinz groove that we all love.

  2. David Bowie - ★ (Blackstar)

    77 For Sale from $17.60

    Blackstar

    Technically, this tune was already released digitally at the end of 2015, but I only discovered it on the already classic album of the same name that came out in 2016. What is left to say about this epic song that ranks among Bowies most ambitious tunes? I always have the greatest respect for artists that keep on developing well into a long career, but it is not only this respect but ultimately the sheer musicality that keeps me going back to the track (and album) again and again.

  3. DJ Metatron - 2 The Sky

    12 For Sale from $49.75

    Traumprinz - 2 Bad (Metatron's What If Madness Is Our Only Relief Mix)

    I know people falling over themselves with praise but the first Metatron EP from Traumprinz was a real disapointment for me. It is far from bad but reminds me of a demo or a compilation of ideas that have to be further fleshed out before the release. So when the 2 The Sky EP came out, I was pleasantly suprised...

  4. DJ Metatron - 2 The Sky

    26 For Sale from $31.55

    Traumprinz - 2 The Sky (Metatron's What If There's No End And No Beginning Mix)

    ...those two tracks revisit the Moby-like feel of Traumprinz' Efdemin remix from two years ago. Its much more than that, though, especially the use of samples is unparalleled and elevates the two epic tracks to great heights.

  5. Leafar Legov - Talk

    13 For Sale from $24.00

    Ladder

    When four of five tracks in my Top5 came out on Gieling, you know they had a good year (or that I am obsessed). Leafar Legovs mini album was one of my favorite records this year and Ladder certainly its most expressive song. You could classify it as Downbeat, Leftfield, even Dubstep but all of these descriptions ring false when you actually sit down and listen to Legov's unique approach of music making.

  6. Bored Young Adults - Shy Dancers On Bungalowdorf Beach

    22 For Sale from $8.00

    Shy Dancers On Bungalowdorf Beach

    What a great year for Blawan! While he certainly didnt gear down on his release schedule, introducing yet another two new monickers in 2016, his music actually DID became a bit slower. Especially apparant is this on his EP for The Trilogy Tapes where he even throws an occasional bit of melody in his tightly knit construct of analog wizardry.

  7. Tessela - With Patsy / Swimming

    4 For Sale from $26.32

    With Patsy

    This minimal 4/4 workout at first seems a little underwhelming from an artist that is best known for his complex beat and sample arrangements but with every spin, the shamanic atmosphere and throbbing kicks of With Patsy leaves you wanting more and more of this sound.

  8. Barker & Baumecker - Turns

    11 For Sale from $18.82

    Statik

    Is there anything better than Barker & Baumecker album closers? With Spur (on their debut album) they already set a high standard for post-Rave-euphoria, but Statik aims for the very last drop of sweat on the dancefloor, while not forgetting all the dope fiends that need to come down...all of this in thirteen perfect minutes.

  9. Porter Ricks - Shadow Boat EP

    25 For Sale from $5.26

    Shadow Boat

    The best thing about the title track of this phenomenal ep is that, despite being highly experimental, it packs an enormous punch, too, introducing one of the heaviest basslines this year around the three minute mark. Dub Techno is far from dead.

  10. Skee Mask - Shred

    29 For Sale from $24.00

    Melzcop 2

    It is hard to find a stand-out on Skee Masks fantastic album for Ilian Tape since, very much like on the preceeding EPs, Shred is such a homogenous set of tracks. Melzcop 2 is the young producer at the top of his game. This deep, DnB-inspired track digs deep into Technos past while still keeping the punch of modern productions intact.

  11. Stenny - Consume IV

    9 For Sale from $8.86

    Consumer’s Tool

    Its been a while since I listened to a track only made of Drums and Bass - its certainly no small feat to make something out of that - and the fact that this comes from Stenny, who isnt really known for minimalistic productions, is a pleasant suprise. Love this track!

  12. Various - Infrastructure Facticity

    6 For Sale from $11.62

    Vatican Shadow - Swords over Paradise

    Swords over Paradise is nothing but a short Synth-figure, played over a redundant, simplistic beat, over and over again. I cant quite figure out what it is with this tune but at the end of the year, it became one of my most played tunes and I still enjoy its hypnotic quality as if I listen to it for the first time.

  13. Various - Zehn | Sieben

    13 For Sale from $7.68

    Atom™ & tobias. - Physik E7532

    I was pleasantly suprised that the Physik project from those two profilic artists continued on Ostguts ten year compilation Zehn and the result didnt disapoint. With an extremely dense and thick production, the tracks drags forward with a heavy Acid-lick that doesnt do anything particulary new, but pushes the right buttons in my brain (and feet).

  14. Clouds (5) - Timeslip Roadmender

    13 For Sale from $7.75

    Castres Olympique

    After a hype 2013 and an album on Tigas Turbo label, Clouds somehow slipped under the radar, something I am not used to, especially with such a profilic group. Their Timeslip Roadmender EP confirms once again that this is a shame because especially on tracks like Castres Olympique they are still able to hit you with a nervous energy and melodic ear that very few can match.

  15. Randomer & Cadans - Pyramid / Anchor

    13 For Sale from $7.75

    Pyramid

    What years-end-list would be complete without a Randomer tune? Here he once again teams up with Cadans after a fruitful collab last year and, yes, once again they hit it out of the park. Pyramid has such a unique rhythm and percussive groundwork that the absolutely crushing Kick almost becomes an afterthought. This is how you make club music!

  16. Various - Infrastructure Facticity

    22 For Sale from $11.07

    Cleric - Concrete

    To be honest, when this compilation came out and I heard Cleric's Concrete, I immediately thought it would be on top of my years-end-list. So why now "only" rank 15? Probably because I have listened to it so much? Or because it sounds underwhelming on my car stereo? This is one you have to put on the speakers, you have to properly FEEL it!

  17. Keepsakes (2) - Keepsakes EP

    3 For Sale from $54.14

    Whadyyatalkinbout

    This incredible powerful and insane tune reminds me a bit of Thunderdome tracks, though a bit more layered and bleak - its best heard in context with the rest of this strong EP, but even as a stand alone tune, it reminds us of the power of Techno music and that you sometimes just have to go full-on.

  18. Blawan - The Communicat 1022 EP

    6 For Sale from $13.16

    Rubber Industry

    Rubber Industry is another one of those meticulously build, bleak and minimal analog tracks that suddenly get hit by a melody that evokes actual emotions, a great trick in an otherwise so functional track.

  19. Various - 15 Years With Echocord

    19 For Sale from $9.96

    STL - The Ancient Scale

    I had never heard of STL before but juding from the comments on his Discogs artist page, he is a genius, a secret tip for real music lovers. And thats exactly the same impression I have when I listen to The Ancient Scale. To open such a diverse compilation as 15 Years With Echocord with a 15 minute Ambient Drone is a bold descision but actually its no risk with such an immersive experience.

  20. Tinfoil (2) - Tinfoil 4

    8 For Sale from $6.57

    Foil 23

    Foil 23 is what you would call a banger. While other tracks from this duo are targeting the analogue loving crowd with delicate sounds, this one here is structured as a dancefloor bomb complete with two epic drops and a fuzzy bassline in the vein of Aphex' Windowlicker. Whats not to love?

  21. Willow (18) - Workshop 23

    23 For Sale from $10.10

    A1

    Willow is an artist that seems to be made for a label like Workshop, perfectly capturing its esthetic. And while not every track on her debut is as fulfilling as A1 (or her fantastic track on the VA 4 tracker from last year) with its creative and precise cut-up sampling of her own vocals, its a promising start for a new favorite artist!

  22. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

    166 For Sale from $16.61

    Burn the Witch

    A Moon Shaped Pool, Radioheads much lauded album from this year, was a massive disapointment for me. Its not a bad album but I have a feeling that a certain spark is gone. Burn The Witch, however, is some light at the end of the tunnel. Although its basically an old song that was rewarmed by the band, the strong String arrangement and powerful performance lifts this one into my Top30.

  23. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree

    124 For Sale from $10.53

    Distant Sky

    Exactly as with Panda Bears Tropic of Cancer last year, the annual unbearably but to-beautiful-to-stop-listening song is here. The fantastic etheral arrangement and ambient mood of this beautiful duet quickly gets crushed when Cave sings the lines "They told us that our gods would outlive us - they lied", referencing the tragic death of his child that happened during the recording of the album.

  24. Animal Collective - Painting With

    26 For Sale from $9.87

    Recycling

    Another meh album with just a few highlights but some bands are meant to be followed even trough darker times. Recycling is a gorgeous Pop song that oozes of joy and displays everything we like about the band - its still there!

  25. Segue - Over The Mountains

    2 For Sale from $66.31

    Sunshine Coast

    Segues first album for Canadian nature-loving Ambient label Silent Season was, for me, a milestone, the perfect symbiosis of Ambient and Dub Techno. His 2016 longplayer Over The Mountains is maybe less experimental and freeflowing but offers eight tightly constructed, almost dancable tunes that nevertheless continue with the perfect pitch from Pacifica. Sunshine Coast even pulls in a dew BoC references which are very much appreciated.