Best of 2016: Kristina Westernik’s Picks
I am rooting for the newer producers out there who possess a fresh approach to remixing. I’d consider Igama to be one of those producers with his latest remix of “Sankar’s Lake” by the French producer, CloZee. His remix is mesmerizing. I hear a prominent fusion of Eastern and Western sounds: he samples the sitar and couples it with a deep bass line, driving arps, and danceable percussion.
HÆLOS, Full Circle
I consistently listened to HÆLOS’ LP, Full Circle, throughout the year since it was released in March. This LP is a masterful concept album that isn’t superficial. It’s stirring, heart wrenching trip-hop music with an enduring message. I can’t wait for more music from HÆLOS in the future!
Best New Artist
Manatee Commune is slaying as a producer of chill out electronic music. He dropped a new album in September 2016 and is making serious traction with radio play on several stations, including KEXP and NPR. Couple that accomplishment with a successful North American tour and you’ve got my pick for Best New Artist of 2017.
Honorable Mention: 2 8 1 4
Track of the Year
2016 was an unprecedented year. What strange times we currently live in! As such, I gravitated towards moodier, introspective music that carried a substantial message. “Pray” is my song of the year because despite all the turmoil and chaos, the message of love prevailing over all the evil in this world is something I think the world desperately needs right now.
Honorable Mention: NoMBe, “California Girls”
Artist of the Year
The recent Grammy nomination for Tycho’s latest album, Epoch, is the cherry on top of a fantastic year for Tycho. ‘Nuff said.
Favorite Show of the Year
The Tame Impala & M83 show at Merriweather Post Pavilion on June 16th was absolutely thrilling! The memory of dancing in a torrential rainstorm to my favorite tunes from two of my favorite artists is simply unforgettable.
Label of the Year
Fête Records, based out of Washington DC, reps a roster of talented electronic producers, DJs, rap artists, and hip-hop artists from around the globe. I dig the diverse line up and am all about supporting local independent labels.
DC Artist to Watch
Imagined Herbal Flows (IHF), based out of Fairfax, VA, has all the feels with his downtempo musical compositions. Fortunately he just dropped new music on December 2nd, with his latest release, Departure. I plan to keep tabs on what IHF accomplishes in 2017.
Honorable Mention: Ayes Cold