Panthersan’s Best Albums of 2016 D(again) -K

To continue:

Drose – Boy Man Machine

This is something of an anomaly for Orange Milk records (my Label of the Year), but is one of my favourites from them. There are no warped electronic beats, no future r’n’b, no indescribable juke/footwork (See Foodman in the next entry), just a dark, droney metal that to my ears sounds not unlike Nirvana in their more metallic moments, but that may be just me!


食品まつりAKA Foodman – EZ Minzoku

This record sums up a lot about the music I loved in 2016. First of all it came out on Orange Milk, and from (label founder) Keith Rankin’s incredible artwork on the cover to the uncategorisable, and at times inexplicable, music contained within the grooves, this is an album that looks to the future without giving a flying fuck about the past (or the present and future for that matter!) that it brazenly samples from. Call it juke, call it footwork, call it electronica, call it that’s-not-bloody-music-it’s-a-load-of-old-rubbish-my-4-year-old-could-make-on-his-speak-and-spell, call it modern dance music – whatever. I call it 2016!


Good Willsmith – Things Our Bodies Used to Have

For some reason I found myself coming across this name again and again on podcasts and blogs, so I checked it out and liked what I heard. Not quite sure how to describe it….ambient electronica with a twist? That’ll do.


Ital Tek – Hollowed

I think I first ‘Spilled Ital Tek nearly 5 years ago when they were dubstep upstarts with a penchant for deep deep bass. The 2016 version of Ital Tek are a much more restrained and minimal proposition with sparse electronica set against that ever-present bass backdrop. This is one of the records I took into my office this year to provide the BGM to pretending to be busy!


Kano – Made in the Manor

This didn’t get quite as much attention as Skepta’s Grime masterpiece, but for me it is every bit as good and deserves just as much recognition. It’s got new bangers (erm…”New Banger”), knowing nostalgia fests (“T-shirt Weather in the Manor” – think an updated and very English version of The Fresh Prince’s “Summertime”!) and chart-friendly pop gems (“This is England”). I love the unapologetic Englishness that runs through this whole album (“Mr Whippy 99, I’ve got just as many problems, but a flake ain’t one”!), although it does make me feel kind of homesick at times. In short: This is England 2016.

13 thoughts on “Panthersan’s Best Albums of 2016 D(again) -K

  1. Ha! I’m supposed to be working but couldn’t resist clicking onto Minzoku after reading your description. Glad I did! Calling it fab. Will have a listen to the others later. Thanks. *

    • Surprise surprise I’ve just picked up the Foodman album; it’s smart and provocative. Minzoku, Beybey, Mid Summer Night and Otonarabi are my standouts on first listen. I find some of the vocals in Otonarabi to be quite reminiscent of Jocelyn Pook’s extraordinary Masked Ball, featured here.

      • Brilliant! “smart and provocative” is spot on and it’s an album that just gets better and better with every listen as you find yourself adjusting to Foodman’s world.

        And at the moment 10% of all Orange Milk sales go to benefit the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and they have a new compilation with 100% of profits going to the families of the Oakland fire – they also auctioned a super-rare colour vinyl copy of Ez Minzoku for the same cause. Orange Milk rock!

  2. Ace stuff Panther – always an education, Minzoku gets a perfect description.
    – as my boys are busy playing outside I can even crank up the sweary Kano, without fear of it being repeated to their mama as soon as she gets in.
    Win Win.

  3. Very Bleach era Nirvana. Bit of a tease that track. Kano slightly overstretched on his record whereas Skepta was nearly all out bangers and wasn’t off my car stereo. Love 3 Wheel Ups tho.

    • Glad it’s not just me on the Nirvana thing!
      Yeah, I thought so at first, but the more I listened to Made in the Manor it was difficult to see what he could have cut! Not to take anything away from Skepta’s bangers of course!

  4. Not fond of the first two, but I liked the Good Willsmith track. Although it doesn’t really sound that much like it, it reminds me of Maggot Brain by Funkadelic.

    I liked the Ital Tek one too. Very Tangerine Dream to my ears.

    Surprisingly, I also liked the Kano track, although the video didn’t make me feel homesick. Too many images of things I dislike about the UK, I’m afraid. I liked the Hadrian’s Wall shot, though.

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