Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/929/24114
From The Socialist newspaper, 14 December 2016
Deaths and comebacks - 2016 sounds for your stocking
photo Christian Ferronato/Creative Commons (Click to enlarge)
Dave Gorton, Chesterfield Socialist Party
The political tremors of 2016 stretched into music with multiple deaths of well-loved figures. Thousands of people singing Starman in Brixton after the death of David Bowie will remain in the memory. Similar scenes were witnessed in the US on the demise of Prince.
Their back catalogues will become Christmas presents for many, as will those of Leonard Cohen, Prince Buster, Fairport Convention's Dave Swarbrick and The Eagles' Glenn Frey.
But there was a wonderful array of new music in 2016.
A Tribe Called Quest heralded a return with the excellent We Got It From Here... also tinged with tragedy as band member Phife Dawg died during recording. Standout track is We The People whose point is clear:
All you Black folks, you must go
All you Mexicans, you must go
And all you poor folks, you must go
Muslims and gays, boy, we hate your ways
So all you bad folks, you must go
Hip hop and R&B hit a purple patch. Kano deservedly won the Mobo best album for Made In The Manor - a modern-day homage to east London. Anderson.Paak, Kendrick Lamaar and Kaytranada also hit the spot.
Kate Tempest's Let Them Eat Chaos is part of a new London sound along with Ray BLK - one of my tips for 2017. Her mini album Durt is a downloadable steal at a fiver.
PJ Harvey's The Hope Six Demolition Project tops my rock choices while jazz is well served with Josef Leimberg's Astral Progressions, Shabaka and the Ancestors' Wisdom of Elders and BADBADNOTGOOD's IV. Applewood Road's eponymous album featuring three-part female harmonies on original folk tunes rightly received reviewer plaudits.
My favourite is Black Focus by Yussef Kamaal, another London sound of jazz, grime and broken beat.
Finally, a leftfield offering: Wreck His Days' Tomorrow The Rain Will Fall Upwards, a dub/ambient collection, features a reworking of Spanish Civil War song Ay Carmela, a track dedicated to revolutionaries Rosa Luxemburg and Alexandra Kollontai and strains of The Internationale to close out the album.
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In The Socialist 14 December 2016:
Socialist Party news and analysis
NHS crisis: we're fighting back!
End the Tories' war on the working poor
Amazon workers living in tents
Pfizer drug extortion - nationalise big pharma!
Trust in politicians reaches all-time low
No to home seizures for care bills
Them & Us
What we think
Establishment EU crisis deepens - fight for a socialist Brexit
A socialist programme for education
What kind of education?
Education for all - not exam factories
International socialist news and analysis
CWI: opportunities for substantial growth
Workplace news and analysis
Glasgow Labour leaders deluged with protests
Victory for UPS parcel workers
Nationalise Tata Steel to save jobs and pensions
Bin workers strike against draconian management
Derby TAs to strike against pay cut
Southern: back the strike, nationalise the railways!
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Birmingham Labour: Corbyn supporters need not apply
The Socialist Party and fighting women's oppression
Doncaster: cuts give rise to 'tent city'
Scrooge Tory council confronted over treatment of homeless
Comment and review
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2016 sounds for your stocking
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