2016 Favorites

Welcome to Vibes4YourSoul 2016 Favorites, an incomplete revisit of the records that inspired me most this year. In this (obviously always incomplete) selection, you'll find a healthy dose of eclectic vibes from all over the world, edging from nu-jazz, to indie, pop, folk,  hip-hop, lo-fi & electro.

It comes with a special chill podcast focusing on the "non-dancefloor" releases mentioned, plus a few extras (tracklisting below, dwlnd link here).

I hope you'll enjoy the journey,

Jm / Vibes4YourSoul


Thomas Cohen - Bloom Forever
(Indie, Folk / Stolen Recordings) 

Written in the wake of a personal tragedy (the brutal passing away of his wife), Thomas Cohen debut solo album echoes the best hours of 70's melancholic rock. A flawless orchestration built around slow rhythms and spacy guitars acts as a warm frame for his deep and touching voice (which reminds me of Suede's Brett Anderson in some way). The type of fluid record that almost immediately sounds like a long-time companion.

Melanie De Biasio - Blackened Cities
(NuJazz / PIAS Records) 

A fascinating one-track, 25mn-long record, built as a deep techno set, Blackened Cities is also the fusion of one of the most gifted & creative Jazz singer of her generation, into the notes of a handful of trusted talented musicians. If the words "musical journey" means something, this must be it.

Frank Ocean - Blond(e)
(R&B,NuSoul / Boys Don't Cry Records) 

4 years after the beautiful Channel Orange, another home-run from the young R&B UFO Frank Ocean. A nostalgic moment tainted with lo-fi shades of folk & soul, supported by a remarkable singing achievement. 

Bon Iver - 22, A Million 
(Indie, Folk / Domino Records) 

A musical rebirth following a deep depressive period for band leader Justin Vernon22, A Million blends the band's sublime melodic signature, to an addictive mysterious atmosphere distilled by an innovative homemade vocoder.

Blood Orange - Freetown Sound
(Electro-Pop, Indie, R&B / Domino Records) 

An unclassifiable artist, London-based Dev Hynes offers another fascinating musical experiment with his third LP as Blood Orange. Melancholic pad synths & Dev's majestic voice act as a common denominator for 17 ethereal tracks smelling something like futuristic soul with an indie-flavored pop accent. As chaotic as his compositions may sometimes sound, you'll easily get carried away by the warmth of the ensemble.

A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here...Thank You For Your Service 
(Hip-Hop / Epic Records) 
When a record has been rumored and hoped for so long, when the band in question is nothing short of legendary, there's this lingering "will they spoil the myth?" type of fear. Well...they didn't, and the 90's Golden age of Hip-Hop got a fast forward ticket to the 21st century.

Lee Fields & The Expressions - Special Night
(Soul / Big Crown Records)

Still brilliantly supported by his band The ExpressionsLee Field's voice seems immune to the passage of time. Classic soul ballads, funkier moments, he still does it all in 2016, as back in the day. A delightful old-school soul/funk journey.

Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
(Folk, Indie / Secretly Canadian Records)

Unpretending soulful folk melodies, a sweet falsetto voice singing love stories, a laid-back melancholic atmosphere...US indie duo Whitney do not reinvent anything there, but their debut LP flows naturally...and it simply feels good.

BadBadNotGood - IV
(Nujazz, Hip-Hop / Innovative Leisure Records) 

Pursuing their exciting journey in the worlds of NuJazz, Hip-Hop & Soul, the Canadian trio, now quartet, delivers its best record so far, retaining the fresh live-like sound from their debuts, while adding some wonderful vocal featurings & high standards studio quality to the mix.

DIIV - Is The Is Are
(Indie Rock / Captured Tracks Records) 

17 tracks, 17 great shoegaze infused indie anthems. If hazy effects still surround Zacharie Cole vocals, their presence is less pronounced than on the band acclaimed debut release Oshin, a successful evolution for the Brooklyn band which confirms its talent.

Ablebody - Adults Contemporary
(Indie, Pop / Lollipop Records) 

Bright, shimmering and nostalgic at the same time, Ablebody debut album is a perfect example of a "dream pop" wave that keeps getting bigger year after year. The twin brothers from LA master the art of designing crystal clear synths & guitars-led melodies, dressed-up with delicate ethereal vocals.

Flamingods - Majesty
(World, Jazz, Pop / Soundway Records) 

A multicultural collective blending Arabic and UK roots, Flamingods' sound transcends genres to create an exotic melting-pot hard to describe. Entering the jungle of Majesty is plunging into a luxurious atmosphere where disorientation is the new normal.

Nicolas Jaar - Sirens
(Electro, Downtempo / Other People Records)

One step further in the experimental & disorientation kind, the new LP from Nicolas Jaar is also a true concept LP. More than a collection of amazing sound textures, Sirens is an ambitious electronic symphony, where new doors open after each new listening experience.

Carlos Niño & Friends- It's All Happening
(NuJazz, Downtempo / Leaving Records) 
Also very much "experimental"It's All Happening is a Yogi-style cosmic Jazz experience and a condensed version of Carlos Niño intense creativity. Think Alice Coltrane, The Doors most cuckoo-land moments. Track-by-track zapping not recommended: if you really wanna open this gate to sweet transcendental meditation, you need to immerse yourself in the whole record, it's all happening here!

 EPs / Beat Tapes (more electro-centric)

Photay - Sadie EP
(Downtempo / Astro Nautico Records) 

A feelgood EP filled with lush sounds textures, dreamy keyboards and joyful grooves confirming the talent of this young American producer.

Mocky - The Moxtape Vol. III
(Downtempo, Pop / Domino Records)

The splendid third batch of Mocky's "Moxtape" series, gathering more of his signature dreamy moments, made of sweet piano and bells-led melodies.

Moscoman & Red Axes - Dikembe Manutu & Rage In The Cage EP
(House, Techno, Nudisco / ESP Records)
Israeli duo Red Axes have been resonating more and more loudly with me these last few months. Their techno sound is also delicately groovy, and fits well in my nudisco-oriented DJ sets. Among the many great releases from them this year, I picked this excellent deep slo-mo EP done with Berlin minimal producer Moscoman.

Yuksek - Sweet Addiction EP
(Nudisco, Pop / Partyfine Records)

The hit single's groove is infectious, spiced up by a remarkable vocal featuring from Her. But that's not all, a slo-mo dub pearl and a downtempo version of Make It Happen,feat. Juveniles make this EP a perfect teaser for a soon-to-be released new album.

Alex Gopher - Back To Basics EP
(House, Go 4 Music Records)
When I started DJing for fun, almost 20 years ago, Alex Gopher was one of my most trusted purveyors of fat French house sound. His come back hasn't made me feel any younger...but certainly almost as euphoric as back in the day, courtesy of an explosive EP that has been on heavy rotation in my sets all year-long.

Voilaaa - On Te L'Avait Dit Remixes EP
(Nudisco, House / Favorite Recordings)

French producer Patchworks's Voilaaa afro disco project meets Dimitri From Paris remixing magic. Funny French lyrics, unstoppable percs, what a dancing machine!
Lovebirds - The Hamburg Years Pt.2 EP
(Deep House, Nudisco / Teardrop Recordings)

German House producer Lovebids has been a core member of my house moments through his regular drop of groovy soulful mid-tempo house gems. This EP is a great example of his sound, the track National being one of my most-played track in 2016.

Sirens Of Lesbos - I Got New Feelings Ep & Essays Vol#3 Ep
(House, Deep Techno / Armada Music & Exploited Records)

Will your resist the infectious slo-mo grooves from this Spanish collective oscillating between house and deeper tech-inspired beats.

Alaia & GalloFeat. Kevin Hadden - Who Is He Ep
(House / Soul Heaven Records)
The timeless Bill Withers classic getting three quality house revisits courtesy of a powerful vocal performance by Kevin Hadden and producing skills of Alaia & Gallo, but also the inevitable Claptone as well as The Reflex, who definitely ranks high in my purveyors' list of amazing edits.

 EDIT of the year

Delegation - Oh Honey (Poolside Edit) + Le Pamplemousse - Gimmie What You Got (Poolside Edit)

For the last three years, Californian DJs and producers Poolside have been my number one source of inspiration and quality as a DJ and producer. These two reworks are just another splendid example of their gift for refreshing forgotten grooves.

Podcast Tracklisting:

Carlos Nino-Calimayan (feat. Nate Morgan & Yaakov Levy) / Mala-Sound Of The River (Feat. Sylvia Falcon) / Maylight - How Soon Is Now (The Smiths Cover) / Bon Iver-666? / Photay-Monday / Mocky-Exception To The Rule / Blood Orange-I Know / Frank Ocean-Pink+White (Feat. Beyoncé) / Kendrick Lamar-Untitled06 / Lee Fields & The Expressions-Special Love / Anderson Paak-Celebrate / A Tribe Called Quest-Whateva Will Be / BADBADNOTGOD-Times Moves Slow (feat. Sam Herring) / Whitney-No Woman / The Tibbs-The Story Goes / Thomas Cohen-Bloom Forever / Cass McCombs-Opposite House / Ablebody-Backseat Heart / DIIV-Bent (Roi's Song) / Melanie De Biasio-Blackened Cities / Flamingods-Majestic Fruit

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