Ineptitude or high-mindedness? Either way (both, really), LMYE's Festive 33-1/3 - a selection of the releases that meant most to us in 2016 - again emerges on the last day of the year...
The song remains the same too: a clunky but sincere attempt to acknowledge how much more great music was released over the year, even just in our narrow corner of endeavour, than an inevitably partial list like this can begin to embrace.
To spread the love as far as possible the two of us select 15 releases each, but no more than one per label or artist. After a bit of jostling & horse-trading over duplicates (though barely any this year, when we've evidently been further apart in our listening than previously...), we supplement the 30 with four projects that fall outside the normal 'release' boundaries - bigger &/or more ambitious (in multiple media, for example), or not strictly new - to derive our 33-1/3.
This year's list has been unusually challenging since a number of key labels were in overdrive. Grand projects have multiplied too. So our self-constraining methodology became even more masochistic.
How, to take an especially painful example, to choose between Bethan Kellough's Aven & Claire M. Singer's Solas? Two exceptional releases that each expanded notions of sound palettes & what could be done with them, but both on Touch (about whom more shortly...).
& that's to exclude Yann Novak's Ornamentation, Simon Scott's Floodlines, Anna von Hauswolff's Kallan (Prototype) & Fennesz's Mahler Remix, despite all four clearly demanding recognitition as part of the year's 'best'.
Ditto conflicts between multiple pieces of outstanding work on Dragon's Eye, Editions Mego, Line, Room40, Sonic Pieces & Students of Decay - to highlight the concerns of only one pair of LMYE ears.
Note to self: a follow-up without the hair shirt may be needed to honour all these exclusions.
At the very least, for a less partial picture of our listening priorities please check out the monthly Lend Me Your Radio series on SoundCloud, al's Mixcloud & jl's Bandcamp (collection & wish list).
2016 Festive 33-1/3:
Jeremy Bible - Music for Black Holes (Aole) [jl]
Dirty Hope/Graham Dunning/David Fyans/Mark Lyken/Orphax/TVO/Arne Weinberg - li series (Broken20) [jl]
Stephan Mathieu - Radiance series (Schwebung) [jl]
Abul Mogard - Works (Ecstatic) [al]
1991 - No More Dreams (No More Dreams) [al]
Chris Abrahams - Climb (Vegetable) [jl]
anthéne - Black Carbon (Assembly Field) [jl]
Beautumn - Bordeaux (Infraction) [al]
Benoît Pioulard - Thine / Radial (self-released) [al]
Bruised Skies - Guide (Blank Editions) [al]
Celestino - Beyond Enemy (A Guide To Saints) [al]
Dominic Coppola - Ladylike EP (Overview Ltd.) [al]
drøne - reversing into the future (Pomperipossa) [jl]
Drottning Omma - Iris av is (offworldcolonies ltd.) [al]
Christian Fennesz & Jim O'Rourke - It's Hard For Me To Say I’m Sorry (Editions Mego) [jl]
Francesco Giannico & Giulio Aldinucci - Agoraphonia (Dronarivm) [jl]
Billy Gomberg - Slight at that Contact (Students of Decay) [jl]
Tobias Hellkvist - Vesterhavet (self-released) [jl]
Chris Herbert - Katushki (Low Point) [jl]
Braeyden Jae - Fog Mirror (Whited Sepulchre) [al]
KETEV - I Know No Weekend (Portals Editions) [al]
Bethan Kellough - Aven (Touch) [jl]
L’eoscombu Couti - Five Cambridge Utilities (Constellation Tatsu) [al]
Sophia Loizou - Singulacra (Kathexis) [al]
Sana Obruent - Prince of the Air (Blackjack Illuminist) [al]
Marsen Jules - Shadows in Time (Oktaf) [jl]
Moss Covered Technology - Speicherbank (Eilean) [al]
New Rome - Nowhere (Room40) [al]
Nils Quak - Ad Interim (Phinery) [jl]
Alex Smalley - JAN SBR 15 (Rural Colours) [jl]
The Swifter - Wall Sailor (Sonic Pieces) [jl]
Triac - Here (Line) [jl]
Willamette - Diminished Composition (Scissor Tail) [al]
Uwe Zahn/Porya Hatami/Darren McClure - Veerian (Eilean) [jl]
Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.