Yet, 2016 was also a year of musical highlights, both live and on heaps of releases. Perhaps it's the fact that I work for this website but to me, the music inudsitry has never been so varied and so overloaded with albums before. That's why compiling this list is not a rewarding task. I've been writing lists for weeks now. I've been re-listening to albums and I've been re-reading my reviews to the brink of insanity. But here it is, my massive 2016 list
Once again, I'll make it easier for myself by dividing the music industry into three major categories. In 'Breeze', I'll list the calm ones like ambient, dark ambient, jazz and classical music. On 'Wind' we go a bit heavier with post rock, alternative rock and such. Finally, 'Storm' handles the world of metal and other heavy genres. I've based my list mainly on the albums that make the day-to-day playlist, because those are the one that stick. Right, ready?
Dirk Serries - Microphonics XXVI-XXX- Resolution Heart
Angelina Yershova - Piano's Abyss
Virta - Hurmos
Syndrome - Forever And A Day
Eluvium - False Readings On
Daghraven - #1
René Aquarius - Blight
Druhà Smrt - Mythologem
(ghost) - The First Time You Opened Your Eyes
Barst - The Western Lands
Pray for Sound - Everything Is Beautiful
Russian Circles - Guidance
The KVB - Of Desire
Wang Wen - Sweet Home, Go
Nadja - Sv
Meniscus - Refractions
pg.lost - Versus
Svin - Missionær
Soon - Vol. 1
Slomatics - Future Echo Returns
Coldborn - Lingering Voidwards
Phantom Winter - Sundown Pleasures
Bismuth - Unavailing
Hyponic - 前行者
Riti Occulti – Tetragrammaton
Dö - Tuho
Rorcal - Creon
Spoiwo (Dunk! Festival)
Sunnata (Antwerp Music City)
The Cure (Sportpaleis)
Russian Circles (Dunk! Festival)
Black Swarm (Desertfest)
The Merchants Of Air Awards
Oh well, nevermind that. Let's just go over some of the 'Of The Year' Awards.
This was another tough decision to make because Dunk! Festival was awesome again and I really enjoyed both Rocktoberfest and Rodeo Fest. However, since the good people from Desertfest somehow managed to turn all my last year's little wrongs into rights, they succeeded in creating a blast of a festival, never to be forgotten. You can read all about that here.
A very small venue in Antwerp, which has given me some incredible moments in 2016. With Telepathy and Sunnata they managed to deliver two of the best gigs of 2016, but those were merely the headliners. Their support acts, including Lambs and Hungry Like Rakovitz blasted with tremendous energy through the speakers. It's pretty much always nice in the Music City so this award is truly deserved.
Of course I'm extremely happy with all Merchants Of Air writers and I'm glad that a talented writer like Michiel joined our ranks, but it's Wagner that has had the most influence on the evolution of Merchants Of Air into the webzine we are today. He revived the 'A Small Neat Journal' section with movie reviews, social studies, biographies and much more and his albums reviews are always a pleasure to publish. So yes, Wagner deserves this title...
Puchased at Desertfest, right before a nice chat with guitarist Jeff Henson, this shirt definitely is the Shirt Of The Year. The interview is still to be published by the way, along with some other nice conversations at that very festival. They're still in the pipeline, due to severe illness immediately after the event. Nonetheless, I adore this old school horror shirt.
Wrestling is a life-long fascination of mine and 2016 was the year I finally got to see it live (although, according to my mother, that's not really true. Apparently, I obsessively observed a wrestling event while on vacation when I was a little kid). In 2016, I got to see two events. First, the WWE Wrestlemania Revenge Tour, which was somewhat disappointing. Second, this FWF Wrestling Matinee which was fun from start to finish. Read all about that here.