|Discovolante's Best of: 1996|
From the beginning of the year to the end, via the Sputnik release calendar.
Powder was a short lived alt rock band from London that released only a few singles and one compilation EP "MCMXCV" before splitting up. The album is loud, grungy Britpop covered in glitter and is a total hidden gem. It's a shame they didn't stick it out just a bit longer to release some more material and a legitimate album.
A brilliant best-of album for one of the most eccentric and unique rap groups of the early 90s.
Bird Fish or Inbetween
Swedish alt rock band Souls topped their fantastic debut "Tjitchischtsiy" with the vastly superior "Bird Fish or Inbetween". It's a lot more of a focused effort in its sound, which works wonders in its end result.
Haunting and puzzling, the first album of one of Kool Keith's many alter egos Dr. Octagon is a horrorcore masterpiece from the other side. A stunning reincarnation.
It Was Written
Admittedly not even in the same universe as "Illmatic", "It Was Written" is still a classic and fulfilling follow-up.
One of the holy grails of alt hip hop, and its searing impact can still be felt today.
One of the most radical rap albums released in 1996, Busta Rhymes came and conquered out the gate with his impeccable debut "The Coming".
|8||Insane Clown Posse|
Tunnel of Love
Insane Clown Posse's "Tunnel of Love" EP is an underground masterpiece that is home to some of their most comedic songs, but also home to one of their most disturbing songs as well, "Prom Queen". The beats on the EP are slamming with ICP's oddball raps meshing together perfectly.
While "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik" was cool, "ATLiens" was the album that made OutKast young rap royalty, and started their journey into becoming the real kings of Southern hip hop.
Mushroomhead really honed their sound with the release of their sophomoric album "Superbuick", which is probably their most consistent and impressive original album to date. Take out the sour politics and cut all the strings attached, and this is an outstanding underground metal classic.
One word... "Pinkerton".
Soul on Ice
Lyricism on another plateau, "Soul on Ice" is Ras Kass at his best, which is odd since... well, this was his debut after all lol. One of the most sacred albums in underground hip hop and one that must be heard to really believe.
"Antichrist Superstar" is the album that is proof of what made Marilyn Manson such a killer band. Deafeningly loud, uncompromising and white hot with rage and misanthropy, this is the daddy of all industrial metal albums in my eyes, and is still one of my favorite metal albums ever released.
"Hard Core" was the album that broke down every barrier for female rap, and is pretty much the prototype all the female rappers out now follow. Except with "Hard Core", the bar was set so high that no other copycat female rapper could match, nor did Lil' Kim herself.
Richard D. James Album
Richard James, aka Aphex Twin, is one of the maddest men in electronica history, and has produced some of the most iconic releases in the genre’s history. Although most will say his best effort was his debut "Selected Ambient Works 85-92", my vote goes for the "Richard D. James Album". It’s all over the place while still somehow maintaining a solid focus. Classic, unrelenting, beautiful electronica chaos.
An underrated West Coast hip hop gem that, due to circumstances, was dead in the water. Thankfully people have since reevaluated it and it has garnered a strong cult word-of-mouth following within the last decade or so.
One Fierce Beer Coaster
With tons of musical variety and juvenile humor at max level, "One Fierce Beer Coaster" is undoubtedly one of the best albums in comedy rock history. Another album that has since been certified a classic of sorts.
This is Teen-C Power!
Hailing from Scotland, Bis popped onto the UK charts in 1995 while still in their teens as the perfect antithesis to the Britpop explosion of the time. With a snotty pop punk sound with heavy synths and at times surprisingly conscionable lyric matter, Bis were nearing their all-time commercial high with the release of their EP "This is Teen-C Power!" in 1996. Consisting of 6 tracks and running at just over 15 minutes, the EP contains some of their best and most classic material in their catalog, and shows a young, ambitious group about to take over the world... well, at least for a year lol.
One of the finest trip hop albums ever, and probably the one I’ve listened to in its entirety the most.