Avant Music News Best of 2016 (So Far)

2016 is halfway over, and there has already been a great many remarkable releases from this year. This list is a representation of the recordings that have grabbed my attention through the last six months. It is not comprehensive or complete, and does not try to be. I’m sure that there a few albums sitting on my desk or hard drive that should be on this list, but I haven’t been able to get to putting them on. This year, I have been unusually busy at my “real” job, which has unfortunately reduced the amount of time for listening.

Nonetheless, enjoy this list. Consider it to consist of pointers to music that is likely to be enjoyable to AMN readers. I’ll be back in January with the 2016 year-end “best of” post.

Like this list? Feel free to peruse previous years’ lists.

Anthony Braxton

Album of the Year Candidates
Dan Weiss – Sixteen: Drummers Suite
Anthony Braxton – 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011
Perhaps Contraption – Mud Belief
Bent Knee Say So
Merzbow / Keiji Haino / Balazs Pandi – An Untroublesome Defencelessness
Thumbscrew (Halvorson / Formanek / Fujiwara) – Convallaria

Excellent Releases
DC Improvisers Collective – Ministry of Spontaneous Composition
Mark Dresser / Nicole Mitchell / Myra Melford / Michael Dessen – Virtual Tour: A Reduced Carbon Footprint Concert Series
Devin Gray – Devin Gray’s Fashionable Pop Music
Mats Gustafsson – This is from the Mouth
Nathan Hubbard / Skeleton Key Orchestra – Furiously Dreaming
In Slaughter Natives – Ventre
Reid Karris – Oscines et Ensifera
Jockel Leiss – Fluid Variations
Naima – Bye
Luca Nasciuti – Morpheus
Daniel Rosenboom – Book of Storms
Sirius Quartet – Paths Become Lines
Space Sweeper – Alien Oceans
Troum – Acouasme
Harvey Valdes Trio – Point Counterpoint
Vaults of Zin – Kadath
Vortex – Moloch
Nate Wooley – Argonautica

Honorable Mentions
Rez Abbasi / Junction – Behind the Vibration
The Apophonics (Butcher / Edwards / Robair) – In Situ
Aidan Baker – Dualism
Andrew Bernstein – The Great Outdoors
Beyond Sensory Experience – The End of it All
Anthony Braxton Quintet – (Tristano) 2014
Lucas Brode & Grant Calvin Weston – Spiritual Branches, Sleepless Burial
Carrier / Beresford / Lambert / Edwards – OUTgoing
Rhys Chatham – Pythagorean Dream
The Claudia Quintet – Super Petite
Rodger Coleman / Sam Byrd – PerihelionEnglish: The Vijay Iyer Quartet performed an i...
Colossloth – Outstretch Your Hand
Common Eider, King Eider – Extinction
Dal Niente & Deerhoof – Balter / Saunier
Gareth Davis / Merzbow – Atsusaku
Deus Ex Machina – Devoto
Moppa Elliott – Still Up in the Air
Empirical – Connection
Ergo – As Subtle as Tomorrow
Forrest Fang – The Sleepwalker’s Ocean
Ross Hammond / Sameer Gupta – Upward
George Hurd – Navigation Without Numbers
I.P.A. – I Just Did Say Something
International Contemporary Ensemble – On the Nature of ThingnessWadada Leo Smith
Vijay Iyer / Wadada Leo Smith – A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke
Jambinai – A Hermitage
Kaada / Patton – Bacteria Cult
Sebastian Lexer / Steve Noble – Muddy Ditch
Jon Lundbom / Big Five Chord – Bring Their ‘A’ Game
Jon Lundbom / Big Five Chord – Make the Magic Happen
Rob Mazurek / Emmett Kelly – Alien Flower Sutra
Jemeel Moondoc / Hilliard Greene – Cosmic Nickelodeon
Morgen Wurde – Brach Auf
Mossenek – Paranoia Plague Shrine 1
Naked Truth – Avian ThugBritish saxophonist Evan Parker
Nhung Ngyuen / Cinchel – The Movement of an Old Soul
Michael Nicolas – Transitions
Tomonari Nozaki – Concession
Tomonari Nozaki – Credence
Ed Palermo Big Band – One Child Left Behind
Evan Parker / Seymour Wright – Tie the Stone to the Wheel
The Paul Swest – Wizard Talk
Poppy Nogood – Music for Mourning
Noah Preminger – Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground
Rhyton – Navigating by Starlight
Rova – Channeling Coltrane Electric Ascension + Cleaning the MirrorEnglish: Trevor Dunn live at Saalfelden 2009 I...
Roswell Rudd / Jamie Saft / Trevor Dunn / Balazs Pandi – Strength & Power
Scheerling / Thaumaturgist – Vertoeven LVI / Mysteries van de Droom
John Scott (Stereocilia) – The Road to the Unconscious Past
Sloth Racket – Triptych
Sophia – Unclean
Spires That In The Sunset Rise – with Michael Zerang Kata Physin
Subterraneanact & Machinefabriek – Persistent Objects
Various Artists – A Year in the Country – Audiological Transmissions Artifact #1
Daniel Wohl – Holographic
Erik Wøllo – Star’s End 2015 – Silent Currents 4
WorldService Project – For King and Country
Z’ev – Eleven Mirrors to the Light
Christopher Zuar / Orchestra – Musings
Tim Brady – Instruments of Happiness
Stephen Grew / Trevor Watts ‎- Con Fluent
Gaudi – EP
Eleonore Oppenheim – Home
Kamran Ince – Passion and Dreams

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