Music: Best of 2016

Cameron Jamie

Cover of John Duncan’s Bitter Earth (iDEAL Recordings, 2016).

1 JOHN DUNCAN, BITTER EARTH (iDEAL Recordings) Since the 1970s, John Duncan’s performance art and sound/music works have radically transgressed the boundaries of both fields. His latest album continues to follow this path, creating an intensely compelling and poetic exploration of the inner self and beyond: the gospel according to John Duncan.

2 RAGNAR JOHNSON ASSISTED BY JESSICA MAYER, SACRED FLUTE MUSIC FROM NEW GUINEA: MANDANG/WINDIM MAMBU (Ideologic Organ/Editions Mego) This rare rerelease of sacred flute recordings carries a potent magic. It seems to share the DNA of everything that we have grown accustomed to hearing in the history of modern compositional music—except it doesn’t. No effect pedals or amplifiers were harmed during the recording of this album.

3 MARTIN REV (Festival Sonic Protest, Montreuil, France, April 8) Rev unleashed a bombastic set of electro–rock ’

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