Best of 2016

KAOS DJ’s Top Albums of 2016


BEST OF 2016: DJ’s Top 10 Album Lists

Perhaps we can all agree that 2016 was a devastating year for iconic musicians and other culture stars, with the loss of several music greats we have been grieving. But we bet that the jam session happening in the afterlife right now sounds absolutely incredible. To recognize just a few: Natalie Cole, David Bowie, Phife Dawg, Prince, Merle Haggard, Guy Clark, Sharon Jones, & Leonard Cohen: may you Rest in Peace and jam eternally.

On the bright side, another thing we can all agree on is that 2016 was an excellent year for new music! Each year, we tally up our DJs and Staff’s Top 10 (or so) favorite releases. Our DJs have a diverse and quite eclectic taste in music, making every year-end list a wild ride. Here’s what our DJs loved in 2016:

KAOS Top 10 (or so) Album Lists of 2016

Alex Nolting, aka DEECOY DEEJAY, Assistant Music Director and host of Rhythm Science

Vin Sol – Creepin’ In
Buttechno – Teplix Stan EP
Fugal – Oil Panes EP
Joe R. Lewis – Lost in Tracks
IVVY – Diamond Eye
Cleanser – Violence Is a Dream
Yakima Slow – Take It Slow
Albert/Person of Interest – EDR002
Ex-Terrestrial – Paraworld
Music People – Always On

 Anch Bergeson, host of Sundrenched

Richard Bona and Mandekan Cubano – Heritage
Various Artists – Mornes de Cabo Verde
Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil – Dois Amigos, Um Se Culo de Musica
Bossacucanova – The Best of Bossacucanova
LaVon Hardison – Come Together
Daniela Mercury – Virtual Vinyl
Brian Andres and the Afro Cuban Jazz Cartel – Esto Puede Ser Eso
Grupo Fantasma – Problems
Black Masala – I Love You Madly
Pink Martini – Je Dis Oui!


Anna Gordon, aka Annabel, Music Director and host of Folkin’ Around

Courtney Marie Andrews – Honest Life
Agnes Obel – Citizens of Glass
Gazebos – Die Alone
case/lang/veirs – case/lang/veirs
Kacy & Clayton – Strange Country
Johanna Warren – Gemini I
Daniel Romano – Mosey
Anna Tivel – Heroes Waking Up
Globelamp – The Orange Glow
Eleanor Murray – Jazz Demos

Anna’s Honorable Mentions:
Fruit Bats – Absolute Loser
The Coathangers – Nosebleed Weekend
Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat To Earth
Guayaba – Black Trash/White House
Nots – Cosmetic


DJ Super Loser, host of Happy Hour in Frownland

Mike and the Melvins – Three Men and a Baby
Validation – Validation
G.L.O.S.S. – Trans Day of Revenge
Serivener – Demo
Head Wound City – New Wave Of Violence
Xylitol – Demo
Nasa Space Universe – 70 A.D.
The Body – No One Deserves Happiness
Lightning Bolt – Fantasy Empire
Morricone Youth – Night of the Living Dead


Dr. Funkenstein, host of Reggae Roulette and The Soul Connection

Charles Bradley – Changes
NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
Lee Fields and The Expressions – Special Night
A Tribe Called Red – We Are The Halluci Nation
RJD2 – Dame Fortune
Fela Kuti – Fela Ransome Kute & His Koola Lobitos
Esperanza Spalding – Emily’s D+Evolution
David Bowie – Blackstar
Grave Love and the True Loves – Grave Love and the True Loves
James Hunter Six – Hold On!


Gabriel Andrada, former host of the Monday Block Party

Kano – Made in the Manor
Remi – Demons & Divas
Wretch 32 –  Growning Over Life
J-Zone – Fish & Grits
Bohan Phoenix – Foreign EP
Dumbfoundead – We Might Die
Skepta – Konnichiwa
Kevin Gates – Islah
Koins – Familiar Faces
AJ Tracey – Lil Tracey EP


Miss Emma, host of the Wednesday “Ladies First” Block Party

A Tribe Called Red – We Are The Halluci Nation
Jamila Woods – HEAVN
Noname – Telefone
Lion Babe – Sun Joint
Ivy Sole – Eden
Oddisee – Alwasta
Various Artists – Soulection White Label: 018
Shovels & Rope – Little Seeds
Beyonce – Lemonade (because of course)
SassyBlack – No More Weak Dates


Jason Matthews, host of The Club Is Open

Islander – Power Under Control
Jonah and the Lion – Folk Hop ‘N Roll
Run River North – Drinking From A Salt Pond
Octagrape – Aura Obelisk
Steve Taylor and the Danielson Foil – Wow to the Deadness
Star Wars Headscape
Anchor and Braille – Songs for the Late Night Drive Home
Brianne Danter – Follow
Globelamp – The Orange Glow
Penny and Sparrow – Let A Lover Drown You


Jeff Beebe, host of re:covered

King Crimson – On (and off) The Road: 1981-1984
Hedvig Mollestad Trio – Black Stabat Mater
case/lang/veirs – case/lang/veirs
Explosions In The Sky – The Wilderness
Nosound – Scintilla
Brian Eno – The Ship
Susanna – Triangle
The Pineapple Thief – Your Wilderness
Steve Jansen – Tender Extinction
Sleep Experiments – Passages

(December 2015 Special Mention: The Unthanks – Archive Treasures 2005-2015)


JJ Syrja, host of Retroactive

(in no particular order)

Alejandro Escovedo – Burn Something Beautiful
Rene Marie – Sound of Red
Charles Bradley – Changes
case/lang/veirs – case/lang/veirs
Bonnie Raitt – Dig In Deep
Ian Hunter & the Rant Band – Fingers Crossed
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive
Suzanne Vega – Lover, Beloved: An Evening with Carson McCullers
Drive-By Truckers – American Band
Deerhoof – The Magic

Favorite election year lyric (from Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself”): “My mama don’t like you–and she likes everyone”


Joe Tocher, host of the Thursday Block Party

Ed Scissor & Lamplighter (Edward Scissor Tongue) – Tell Them it’s Winter
Nicolas Jaar – Sirens
Cappo – Dramatic Changes of Fortune
Lee Scott – Nice Swan
Flatbush Zombies – 3001: A Laced Odyssey
Mick Jenkins – The Healing Component
Kojey Radical – 23Winter
Danny Lover – Career Suicide
Kareful – Deluge
Atmosphere – Fishing Blues

K. Punk, host of The Sound

Big Business – Command Your Weather (Favorite track: “Popular Demand”)
Clinton Fearon – This Morning (Favorite track: “Turn up the Music”)
Courtney Marie Andrews – Honest Life (Favorite track: “Only In My Mind”)
Camille Bloom – Pieces of Me (Favorite track: “Zombie”)
Tom Collier – Impulsive Illuminations (Favorite track: “Impulsive Illuminations”)
Gazebos – Die Alone (Favorite track: “There Are Worse Things I Could Do”)
Globelamp – The Orange Glow (Favorite track: “Washington Moon”)
Le Grotto – Le Grotto (Favorite track: “Waves”)
Rocky Votolato – Sawdust and Shavings (Favorite track: “Hospital Handshakes”)
Rosewater – Golden Hour (Favorite track: “Magic”)
Scott Yoder – Looking Back In Blue (Favorite track: “Alien”)
Tacocat – Lost Time (Favorite track “Dana Katherine Scully”)
Tobias the Owl – Every Eye Is A Universe (Favorite track: “Punxsutawney Lullaby”)
VHS – Gift Of Life (Favorite track: “Art Decay”)
Crater – Talk To Me So I Can Fall Asleep (Favorite track: “Habits Die Slow”)
Damien Jurado – Visions of Us On The Land (Favorite track: “Orphans in the Key of E”)
Eduardo Mendonça – Steps (Favorite track: “Evergreen Samba”)
Eleanor Murray – Jazz Demos (Favorite track: “Artist”)
New Born Babies – Hitting the Pool (Favorite track: “Pillow Queen”)
Geloey Galdrielle – Universal Lullaby (Favorite track: “Unicorn-Pegasus”)


Hundred Dollar Bill, host of Tuesday Blues

Selector Dub Narcotic – This Party Is Just Getting Started: fun dance tracks, killer videos, Olympia has got The Beat!
Mitski – Puberty 2: Strong Songwriting that sneaks up on you, real emotion.
Mark Ronson – Uptown Special: Single of the year with “Uptown Funk”… An instant classic!
Kristin Kontrol – X Communicate: ex-Dum Dum Girls leader goes Electro Pop, to fantastic effect.
Hartle Road – Maxx: trio from Columbus, Mississippi channels twang, surf, punk, and a James Dean vibe into something riveting and fun!
Phantogram – Three: total control of mood creation, atmosphere, alluring menace. More, please!
Fever High – All Work: what a nice surprise! Total POP treat, made with Adam from Fountains of Wayne fame. Super-catchy songs, vocals like an ‘American Bananarama’…a little shot o’ Musical Sunshine.
Miike Snow – 3: Further amazing song craft from these Euro-Masters. Hooks a mile wide with amazing and twisted lyrics.
Brian Eno/Karl Hyde – Someday World: WOW. Ace collaboration between the Bill Gates of audio Production and the multi-faceted leader of Underworld. Unexpected, pleasing, satisfying music.
Chris Janson – Buy Me A Boat: I have a not so secret country music loving streak, and this song is an absolute treat. Well played, insanely catchy, and what a fun thought: “Money may not buy Happiness…but it’ll buy me a boat!”


Louis Gasper, aka DJ Louie G, Office Assistant and host of the NEW show Poets of Rhythm, beginning  January 2017.

Childish Gambino – Awaken My Love
Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book
NF – Therapy Session
Futuristic – As Seen On The Internet
Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
Sam Lachow – Friends, Funk, and Liquor
J Dilla – The Diary
Macklemore – This Unruly Mess I’ve Made
NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
Mac Miller – The Divine Feminine


Mads Miller, Assistant Training and Ops Manager

Local Natives – Sunlit Youth
Two Door Cinema Club – Game Show
Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost
Kygo – Cloud Nine
Tegan and Sara – Love You To Death
Flume – Skin
TV Girl – Who Really Cares

Justice – Woman


Matt Turner, host of Underground Impulse

Nicolas Jaar – Sirens
Blank Banshee – MEGA
Sao Paulo Underground – Cantos Invisiveis
La Femme – Mystere
Suuns – Hold/Still
David Bowie – Blackstar
2814 – Rain Temple
Gobby – No Mercy Bad Poet
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Marissa Nadler – Strangers


Miss Melissa, host of Cottleston Pie

Taco Cat – Lost Time
Caspar Babypants – Away We Go
Amy Lee – Dream Too Much
Recess Monkey – Novelties
Lisa Loeb – Feel What You Feel
Troll Original Movie Soundtrack – Trolls
Hamilton – The Hamilton Mixtapes
Vanessa Trien and The Jumping Monkeys – Fireworks
Rachael Yamagata – Tightrope Walker
10 Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – Infinity Plus One


Nikole Clark, Office Assistant and host of Moving in Stereo

TV Girl – Who Really Cares
Water Color Weekend – Strange, Strange Days at Sea
Deerhoof – The Magic
Jay Som – Turn Into
Deep Sea Diver – Secrets
The Avalanches – Wildflower
Lily & Madeleine – Keep it Together
The Head and the Heart – Signs of Light
Le Grotto – Le Grotto
Of Montreal – Innocence Reaches



Paul Peck, host of American Anecdotes
(in no particular order)

The Wooks – Little Circles
Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands – The Hazel And Alice Sessions
The Del McCoury Band – Del & Woody
The Jim Hurst Trio – JHT 1
Dwight Yoakam – Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars…
Kristen Scott Benson – Stringworks
Molsky’s Mountain Drifters – Molsky’s Mountain Drifters
Mile Twelve – Mile Twelve EP
James Reams and the Barnstormers – Rhyme & Season
Red Tail Ring – Fall Away Blues

Paul’s Honorable Mentions:
Town Mountain – Southern Crescent
Claire Lynch – North By South
Sister Sadie – Sister Sadie
Irene Kelley – These Hills
Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice – Poor Boy’s Pleasure


Radio Ray, host of Wheel of Wonder

Ray gives special mention to The Green Album Compilation: Saving The Rainforest One Song At A Time


Raven Redbone, host of Make No Bones About It

Top episodes and interviews of the year:

4-hour Tribute to a true Human Being: “The voice of Indian Country and beyond” JOHN TRUDELL – Pt. 1-4
Visit with Uncle Eddie Little Crow, and Kisa , founder of Goodthinking and All Our Relations
Willie Frank III, Nisqually Nation
Keala Kelly from the Hawaiian Kingdom
Caro Gonzales on Standing Rock Resistance
Truth Through Art – the Peltier Story continues, Parts I and II
Mark Shark of Bad Dog
Tara Trudell, artist, poet and activist
Chief Arvol Looking Horse speaks about Sacred Sites and Protecting Mother Earth.
Sarah Skywind and Juan R. Leõn


Remy, host of Type II Era

(in no particular order)

Jessy Lanza – Oh No
Tribe Called Quest – We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
Santigold – 99 Cents
ANOHNI – Hopelessness
Vivien Goldman – Resolutionary (Songs 1979-1982)
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Pony Time – Rumors 2: Rumors are True
Nots- Cosmetic
Slow Dakota – The Ascension of Slow Dakota
Christine and the Queens – Chaleur Humaine*

*UK/US release in 2016, originally issued in France 2014

Remy’s Honorable Mentions:
Fatima Al Qadiri – Brute
G.L.O.S.S. – Trans Day of Revenge
Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
Beyonce – Lemonade
Solange – A Seat at the Table
Summer Cannibals – Simple Life
SIA – This is Acting


Ruth Brownstein, aka Ruby Ru, General Manager and host of Tuesday Blues

Miss Sharon Jones! – Original Soundtrack
Charles Bradley – Changes
Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands – The Hazel And Alice Sessions
Colin James – Blue Highways
Bonnie Raitt – Dig In Deep
Curtis Salgado – The Beautiful Lowdown
The Soul Of John Black – Early In The Moanin’
Rory Block – Keepin’ Outta Trouble: A Tribute To Bukka White
Lurrie Bell – Can’t Shake This Feeling


Scott Eaton, host of God’s Misfits

Damien Jurado – Visions Of Us On The Land
Wovenhand – Star Treatment
Norma Jean – Polar Similar
Steve Taylor and the Danielson Foil – Wow to the Deadness
Rival Choir – I Believe, Help My Unbelief
Showbread – Showbread is Showdead
Emerald Hymns – Songs, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
Silent Planet – Everything Was Sound
Joseph – I’m Alone, No You’re Not
Amanda Winterhalter – Olea


Scott Stevens, host of Spin The Globe

Sociedade Recreativa – Sociedade Recreativa
Noura Mint Seymali – Arbina
Yemen Blues – Insaniya
Sun Hop Fat – Sun Hop Fat
Tuuletar – Tules Maas Vedes Taivaal
Rokia Traoré – Né So
Cacique 97 – We Used to Be Africans
Bixiga 70 – III
The Bongo Hop – Satingarona Part 1
Seheno – Hazo Kely


Simosin, host of Against the Grain

GoGo Penguin – All Res
The Bronzed Chorus – Summering
Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns – Bad Kids Club
The Coathangers – Nosebleed Weekend
Basement – Promise Everything
Derek Minor – Reflection
The Snakebites – Blue Curse #2
Little Mike – How Long?
Victor and Penny – Electricity
Junior Boys – Big Black Coat


Tim Sweeney, host of Sweeney’s Gumbo Ya-Ya

Corey Henry – Lapeitah
New Orleans Suspects – Kaleidoscoped
Eric Lindell – Matter of the Heart
Dee-1 – Slingshot David
The Roamin’ Jasmine – Blues Shuffle Heart
Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns – Bad Kids Club
Cha Wa – Funk N’ Feathers
Roddie Romero and the Hub City All Stars – Gulfstream
Leyla McCalla – A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey
Lena Prima and the Lena Prima Band – Live at the Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall


Zach “Z” DeLucco, Media and Outreach Coordinator

Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book
Frank Ocean – Blonde
Post Malone – August 26
Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
Bon Iver – 22, A Million
James Blake – The Colour in Anything
Gnash – Us
Bruno Mars – 24k Magic
Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love
Post Malone – Stoney


Zack Shaver, aka DJ FlExIN’ U$A, Tech Director and co-host of Happy Hour in Frownland

FIEND – Split 7″ W/ Endless Demise
Sumac – What One Becomes
Warpvomit – Barbaric Triumph of Evil
Mike and the Melvins – Three Men and a Baby
Column of Heaven – Split LP W/ Suffering Luna
Mysterious Skin – Hard Grip CS
Tomb Mold – The Bottomless Perdition Demo CS
Graf Orlock – Crimetraveler
Head Wound City – A New Wave of Violence
HIRS – You Can’t Kill Us
The Coathangers – Nosebleed Weekend

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