Another year draws to a close, and caveats about list-based articles notwithstanding, it’s as good a time as any to revisit music that was released over the course of the year. Year-end picks are a longstanding tradition in the annals of music writing, and this is no arbitrary list, being determined by Dandin’s users. So without further ado, your top artists, albums and tracks on Dandin in 2016:
1- Dina El Wedidi: Your pick for artist of the year is currently working on a sophomore album after debut Tedawar W’Tergaa (Turning Back) was released in 2014. Rooted in traditional music modes, her standout trait is her technical vocal control.
2- Abyusif: Highly regarded as the apotheosis of rap coming out of Egypt, Abyusif is a technical wizard with a prolific discography. What he pulls off on his records he easily replicates onstage and as we’ve mentioned in the past, he’s a master of quotidian ennui.
3- Zig Zag: Last year’s number one still remains popular due to his dedicated fan base, who tune into his music regularly despite his relatively sedate year on the release front.
1- Hayawan Nateq Remixed: Album of the year is a group effort, as some of the best producers in the region such as Al Nather and Zuli took a stab at remixing tracks from the original Hayawan Nateq album by Palestinian rapper/producer Muqata’a. Released by Jon Kennedy Federation, every track is remixed by a different producer.
2- PreData EP: Second EP release by Egyptian producer Ismael following Odd One Out, and an accurate portrayal of what his work is all about; sonic recordings gone awry in ominous industrial surroundings.
3- Pieces From Exile: Album by Paris-based Syrian producer Kaan Wafi, who describes Pieces from Exile as “in memory of those lost, abducted and displaced by the war. It is dedicated to every free Syrian and inspired by some Syrian artists and activists.”
4- Mashallah Mix – Hello Psychaleppo: If only one work could be broadly representative of the region, it would be this one. A compilation of much of the region’s music as selected and mixed by Hello Psychaleppo.
1- Shuk – Ritza