The Best Of 2016: Marcus Clarke


In 2015, we reached out to a host of our comrades who had been involved with Birthday Cake For Breakfast somehow during the previous 12 months, getting their take on the best releases of the year. For 2016, we’ve looked closer to home – those who’ve contributed to the site itself and been influential in such a prosperous 12 months!
In the lead up to 2017, Birthday Cake For Breakfast will feature Top 5’s from our contributors. Take it away, Marcus…

5: Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (XL Recordings)

Just as Brexit means Brexit, Radiohead means Radiohead, as the band returned this year to give us exactly what we wanted (which, incidentally is the opposite of what we’ll probably get from Brexit). I might be the only person who actually enjoyed 2011’s ‘The King Of Limbs‘, but this latest album takes the approach of pleasing every kind of Radiohead fan. Much like a Wes Anderson film, it’s a formulaic masterpiece. Jonny Greenwood’s cinematic string arrangements bring the band to new levels of the sublime. Well executed mardy sonic poetry.”

4: Show Me The Body Body War

For starters this band use a bloody banjo instead of a guitar, though it’s rammed through a butt tonne of distortion mind – sounds quite outrageous. Rock and Hip-Hop have had a troubled relationship over the years (Danny Brown blames Fred Durst), but with enough nuance a sweet spot can be achieved. Dope Body did it, Run The Jewels play with it at times but Show Me The Body charge full speed ahead with their unique brand of groove laden noise-punk. Like Girl Band managed to pull off last year, this album sounds like nothing else around at the moment. That’s one of the many reasons why I find it so exciting to lose my shit to.”

3: Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 3 (Mass Appeal Records)

Thank fuck Mike and Jamie dropped this shit early on Christmas Eve, otherwise I wouldn’t be talking to you about it now. The third installment of the self-titled trilogy from rap’s middle-aged rebel-rousers does not disappoint. It sees the pair going for gold, killing their masters and basically just proving they’re the shit. Featuring some of their most radical lyrics and supreme production yet (‘Everybody Stay Calm’ manages to work as a throwback to Gang Starr’s ‘Mass Appeal’ while simultaneously dropping us into a dystopian future/present). Dope beats, super-charged lyrics and a surprise appearance from your favourite Chicano-Americano emcee makes this record a sweet bonus to a healthy year in music.”

2: BADBADNOTGOOD – IV (Innovative Leisure Records)

Most people I know discovered this Canadian quartet through their collaboration with rapper Ghostface Killah, but (like the hipster I am) i’m inclined to tell you i’ve been following this talented bunch for a good while. It’s really fulfilling to see how far they’ve come and how far they’ve brought Jazz to the forefront of popular music (see also Kendrick Lamar and Kamasi Washington). I mean, it wasn’t that long ago when the only Jazz popstar we could fathom to talk about was Jamie Cullum (…eww). Through their love of Hip-Hop and (more importantly) records that Hip-Hoppers love to sample, they’ve delivered the most beautiful record of 2016. For me this is like Jazz Fantasia, wonderfully colourful and epic in its ambition, playfulness and instrumentation. It’s got me picking up the bass guitar again as well as being my most played record. Put quite simply: it’s stunning.”

1: Death Grips – Bottomless Pit (Harvest Records)

Now Death Grips are here at the number one spot because… well, I’m not gonna lie… They’re here because they’re my favourite band. I bum Death Grips big time, that’s no secret, but like I said about Radiohead, they’ve delivered an album that pleases every kind of Death Grips fan. I’ve been with them from the beginning, experiencing all of their wildly diverse incarnations, but what they manage to achieve on ‘Bottomless Pit’ is give you a definitive picture of what Death Grips is about – and that’s just pure unbridled energy (I saw them live this year for the third time and it was rahhwwww). It’s as poppy as it is fucking mental, there are as many sweet hooks as there are blast beats, it’s the sound of my brain on the daily – perfect chaos. Essentially Death Grips are The Prodigy for millennials (but don’t tell anyone that), more power to them!”

Listen to the sounds of 2016 for Birthday Cake For Breakfast in our jam-packed Spotify playlist!

Like what you see? Why not stick around and check out the other articles and interviews!
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