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Panel held to discuss the future of public policy and the Universal Basic Income -

October 17, 2017

Reconsidering Hillary Clinton -

October 17, 2017

Trump’s Twitter has unprecedented influence on society -

October 17, 2017

Author and professor at the University of Oregon discusses the push of a corporate agenda through state governments -

October 17, 2017

Letter: Join the movement against student debt -

October 17, 2017

Northampton City Council votes to oppose local charter school expansion -

October 17, 2017

UMass men’s soccer takes on Rhode Island with top conference spot on the line -

October 17, 2017

Fulton, Smith leading the way for UMass Soccer offensively -

October 17, 2017

UMass field hockey loses to Northwestern in double overtime -

October 17, 2017

The remote: a bridge between two siblings -

October 17, 2017

UMass Style Watch: Jenny Pham -

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Sports Editors S1 E5: This one goes off the rails -

October 16, 2017

Members of the Pioneer Valley’s Native community march in celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day -

October 16, 2017

Club hockey skates to 1-1 tie with UMass Lowell -

October 16, 2017

UMass men’s soccer moves to 8-0-1 at home in win over La Salle -

October 16, 2017

It’s time to break the mold on breaking up -

October 16, 2017

‘MASSEDUCTION’ is St. Vincent at her best -

October 16, 2017

Beck’s ‘Colors’ is fun, well-crafted nightclub simplicity -

October 16, 2017

UMass hockey beats AIC 3-1 to win third straight -

October 15, 2017

Two goals from freshman John Leonard lead UMass hockey to 3-1 victory Saturday -

October 15, 2017

The 10 most overlooked albums of 2016

It has been an eventful year for music in ways both good and bad. While the year has offered us a seemingly constant string of exciting material in the underground and the mainstream, an unbelievable amount of legendary artists have also been taken from us in a single year.

It is near-impossible for one person to stay on top of everything as it is, and the extra amount of positive and negative events that transpired in music this year made it even more difficult. That being said, this list is a look back on albums of a variety of different genres from this past year that sadly did not end up receiving enough attention, despite their quality.

 

LOK 03+1: “Signals”

“Signals,” a collaboration between Aki Takase, Alexander von Schlippenbach, DJ Illvibe and Paul Lovens, is one of the most interesting sounding free jazz albums in years. DJ Illvibe contributes prominent elements of turntable music, introducing a musical element entirely alien to free jazz. A truly innovative fusion.

Listen here:

 

 

The Kill Devil Hills: “In on Under Near Water”

One of the world’s most underrated alt-country bands for over a decade, The Kill Devil Hills released this year’s best country album in general. “In On Under Near Water” has a dark and moody southern atmosphere that reinforces the group’s status as one of the best acts in the gothic country scene.

Listen here:

 

Mara Balls: “Vuorten Taa”

On “Vuorten Taa,” Finnish artist Mara Balls tried her hand at a solo release and came out with a noisy and psychedelic head-trip of a debut album. “Vuorten Taa” is a caustic cocktail of every drugged-out rock genre there is, including garage rock, heavy psych and acid-rock.

Listen here:

 

Elliott Power: “Once Smitten”

UK-based singer Elliott Power made his entrance into the young singer-songwriter arena with his debut album, “Once Smitten.” The album exhibits a fascinating marriage between downtempo music and synthpop, two genres that are usually complete opposites. Power’s hushed and salacious Massive Attack-inspired rap flow also brings trip-hop to mind.

Listen here:

 

Pierrot Lunaire: Dog Chakra

It seems that tape music has thankfully found a home on, well, cassette tapes in recent years. Pierrot Lunaire’s new tape, “Dog Chakra,” is one of the finest examples to come out of this new resurgence. Lunaire’s emphasis is on drone, free improvisation, musique concrète and noise, rather than repetition.

Listen here:

 

blank body: “EASY PREY”

blank body is one of trap’s better artists, but his sophomore record, “Easy Prey,” was criminally overlooked. These are straight-up hard trap beats, and it is one of the most well-produced albums to come out in the genre all year, and he’s not even from the U.K.

Listen here:

 

Western Skies Motel: Settlers

Folk music is all about sounding organic and intimate, but instrumentalist Western Skies Motel has attempted something completely new by melding atmospheric ambient music with contemporary folk music. The two genres are bridged through the incorporation of chamber folk and more avant-garde American primitivism, and the result is astoundingly beautiful.

Listen here:

 

Phobocosm: “Bringer of Drought”

This past year has been packed with great metal releases of the most extreme caliber, and rising band Phobocosm emerged to put out one of the heaviest displays of doom metal that the genre has to offer. “Bringer of Drought” embraces both slow and fast riffs to gargantuan effect.

Listen here:

 

Moor Mother: “Fetish Bones”

The sheer amount of styles that Philadelphia rapper Moor Mother tackles on this album is mind-boggling. His entirely unique brand of hip-hop is abstract but intensely political, saturated in the aesthetic of industrial music, noise and power electronics. He even abandons his rap flow at times to recite beautiful poetry on the record.

Listen here:

 

Poison Headache: “Poison Headache”

The amount of effort that went into the production on this hardcore punk band’s self-titled debut album is quite impressive. Punk generally sounds best when it’s raw, so most underground bands do not fine-tune the production on their albums to this extent, but Poison Headache should be recognized for going above and beyond the norms of the genre.

Listen here:

 

Alexander Beebe can be reached at asbeebe@umass.edu.

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