20 Best Avant Albums of 2016 - Rolling Stone
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20 Best Avant Albums of 2016

The year’s best in ambient, noise, out-jazz, synth music, contemporary composition and more

Tanya Tagaq, Wadada Leo Smith and Mats Gustafsson made some of the year's best avant-garde releases.

Courtesy of Six Shooter Records, Jack Vartoogian/Getty, Brian Rasic/Getty

The year's best avant-garde and experimental music includes both Merzbow, the biggest name in noise, and Moor Mother, its most exciting new star. There's artists that sculpt with cassette tapes, overtones, generative software and field recordings of Icelandic geothermal activity. And a pair of Grammy-nominated albums, soundtracking one of 2016's most popular TV shows, may be a gateway to experimental music for years. Here's 2016 in the off-center and exploratory.

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