The penultimate part of the top 200 countdown brings numbers 26-50 and every single one of these tracks could and arguably should have featured higher up the chart.


Listen to the top 200 at your own leisure with playlists on most of the major streaming sites (it should be noted that they’re all missing tracks so the only way to hear everything is to scroll and play on the blog itself).  / Youtube / Spotify (Web / Player) / Soundcloud

MORE: TOP 200 TRACKS OF 2016 (26-50) (51-100) (101-150) (151-200)

26. Gideon Conn – Crystallised (feat. Yvette Riby-Williams) / Crystallised (Paper Tiger mix)

As much a part of mankind as anything else ,we can always attempt to reinvent ourselves
Consequently we are never satisfied with status quo, wherever we have reached there will be further to go

Inexplicably six years have passed since Manchester troubadour and national treasure Gideon Conn last featured in the Music Like Dirt end of year list – 2010’s jaw-droppingly good whispered diatribe against capitalism ‘Wild Fire’.
‘Crystalised’ features Gideon’s trademark intricate wordplay with motivational affirmations floating over spacey beats with former Boxette, Yvette Riby-Williams adding her soothing vocals on the chorus.
There’s also a wonky but wonderful remix by Leeds/Wolverhampton Space Funk combo Paper Tiger who speed up the beats but slow down Conns voice to a slur. Also check out the trippy 3D VR version of the Crystalised video.

While putting this together I stumbled across an audicious cover of Roots Manuva’s classic ‘ Witness The Fitness’. This is either utter genius or a crime against music. I’m wavering between the two.

27. Charles Bradley – Changes

My heart was blinded
Love went astray

Charles Bradley path to soul stardom has been anything but straightforward. He released his debut LP at the age of 63 after being ‘discovered’ by the founder of Daptone Records while working as a James Brown impersonator.
The centerpiece and title track of his 3rd LP ‘Changes’ is a soulful reworking of a Black Sabbath break-up ballad beautifully transformed to an agonizing paean to his late mother. “I think about the lyrics very closely when I sing ‘Changes’ and get emotional,” Bradley said after the songs release, “It makes me think of my mother and the changes in my life since she passed away.”
In October last year Bradley had to cancel his tour to receive treatment for a cancerous tumor in his stomach but the recent announcement of fresh dates is hopefully good news in terms of his overcoming health issues.

28. Jay Rolex & MC Almond Milk – Studz Up

I’m not a rapper, this isn’t hip-hop

‘Scotland’s greatest Rapper’ MC Almond Milk and the ‘Madlib of the Clyde Valley’ Jay Rolex returned with a 12 track cassette “Smell The Audi”.
For ‘Studz Up’ Jay musters a killer old school head nodding beat as Almond Milk performs the verbal equivalent of a two footed challenge, lyrical braggadocio with tongue firmly in cheek.
If nothing else ‘Studz Up’ should earn a tidy sum in royalties every time Sky Sports’ ‘Soccer AM’ need music for a montage of ‘crunching’ tackles.

29. Blueprint & Aesop Rock – Graffiti Writer Killed

Need to know more about the crime
So I ask my drone to compile all the information on line

Master storyteller Blueprint releases a Hip-Hop murder mystery in collaboration with Aesop Rock.

30. The XX – On Hold

“And every time I let you leave
I always saw you coming back to me”

‘Have fun but pay me’ said Daryl Hall, one half of 80’s blue-eyed soul legends Hall & Oates when asked about artists sampling his songs. ‘I can’t go for that’ was famously lifted by De La Soul (who eventually paid) along with 2 Live Crew, Heavy D and the Notorious BIG who all lifted the beat. However it’s Daryl’s voice that gets twisted by Jamie XX’s sampler as the go to band for TV producers looking for a soundtrack that says urban, bleak, sad miraculously transform into purveyors of the finest upbeat pop (if still very sad).

31. Armour – Wheel Riddim (Bun A Fire Freestyle)

What happened to MC Armour? Even those on the scene were at a loss at the whereabouts of one of the original Grime MC’s and former Nasty Crew member. Now D Double E has brought his old band mate back to absolutely destroy with his gruff booming voice on the fantastic “Bun A Fire” via D Double E’s Bluku Music label.

32. Duwap Kaine – A Stove Is A Stove

Spongebob Squared… and looped and looped.

33. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker / Steer Your Way

34. Jean Grae – The White Hot Room

35. Lizzo – Good As Hell

“If he don’t love you anymore
Just walk your fine ass out the door”

36. Murkage Dave – Car Bomb

“I feel like I’m cracking’ up
Am I rapping like I’m black enough?”

Murkage Dave on ‘Car Bomb’
“I was in a band for six years. We got famous in France, made zero cash, and then broke up. Now I have all these stories to tell”.

I wrote ’CAR BOMB’ in 30 minutes,” he explains. It was easier than speaking to someone. People keep asking if it’s actually me singing, like they don’t know I’ve got soul. Nobody wants to give man credit for shit.” It’s understandable – this is brave new territory. Speaking on the video, he says “Marco Grey directed this shit. I spent fuck all on the video. No sunglasses and no free clothes with bait logos. I just wanted to sit in my house and say some real shit on camera.”

37. Acid Arab – Buzq Blues

38. A. K. Paul – Landcruisin’

39. Jenny Hval – Conceptual Romance

“A sexual holding pattern
Stuck in erotic self-oscillation”

40. Mr. Fingers – Qwazars

41. Sinkane – U’Huh

42. Konshens – Gal Tan Up / Bruk off

43. Dream Wife – FUU (feat. Fever Dream)

44. Nas & Erykah Badu – This Bitter Land

45. Equiknoxx – Last of the Mohicans / Bubble

46. Rider Shafique – I-Dentity

47. Emeile Sandé – Breathing Underwater (Matrix & Futurebound Remix)

48. Alogte Oho and his Sounds of Joy – Mam Yinne Wa

49. Liss – Sorry

“I’m not that one that you should count on
I’m sorry for all the shit that I have done”

50. Sir Spyro – Topper Top (feat. Teddy Bruckshot, Lady Chann and Killa P)