Staff Picks: January 2016 Edition

A guide to the ten best releases of 2016. So far.

Wiki: Lil Me Deluxe Edition

In December, Ratking’s Wiki released Lil Me: an 18-track collection that captures New York circa now -- grime, decay and regeneration, the sound of a city that’s slipping away. Lil Me is a love/hate letter to a lost place, layered over terse, noise-influenced beats. The deluxe edition includes the original album, plus the new video for “Crib Tax”, bonus track, and lyric book.


Flume: Skin LP Preview

Ever since Flume’s literally perfect self-titled debut in 2012, we’ve been waiting to hear what’s next from the Australian producer. In January, Flume shared a first look at what he’s been working on, and it’s holy shit epic.


Big Gigantic: A Big Gigantic Bundle

Every single track, ever, from the Denver livetronica duo.


Branko: ATLAS Expanded

Branko’s ATLAS was one of 2015’s most important records: a potent, post-genre trip bridging baile funk and Baltimore club, UK hardcore and kuduro, neon rave and garage. ATLAS is about why music matters; the power of song to take us around the world and back again, the power of sound to bridge culture and political divides. In January, the producer re-issued ATLAS, this time without borders. ATLAS Expanded features the original album, art, new remixes, bonus tracks, and an exclusive sample pack.


GTA feat. Rich The Kid: My Mamacita

Just totally, unrepentantly turnt.


SMASHD: Vol. 01

In SMASHD Volume 01, music industry critic Bob Lefsetz breaks down the streaming wars. Entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso talks about what it takes to be a boss. Steve Aoki goes off the record. The Dalai Lama weighs in. (So does Fetty Wap.) If you care about tech, culture, and hustle: read up.



Nick Fitzhugh: Conflict

The must-watch doc series examines the role and reality of conflict journalism, tracing the experiences of six embedded photographers.


Robots With Rayguns: RWR & Friends

The producer shares Electro Isn’t Dead and RWR, plus an exclusive remix pack.


Halos: A Compendium

The rising LA-based indie band is anthemic and intimate in equal measure, rightly drawing comparisons to The National, Coldplay, and Conor Oberst. In January, Halos shared two new tracks, plus a collection of songs from their upcoming album, Stay Within Yourself.


Wildcat! Wildcat!: Straight To The Top

The indie electronic project released their first new material since 2014’s No Moon At All. Picking up right where they left off, Straight To The Top is nimble, ethereal pop perfection.