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The Best Albums of 2020


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Some favourites from this year: 

Chassol - Ludi

Trees Speak - Shadow Forms

Ustad Saami - Pakistan Is for the Peaceful

Guided By Voices - Mirrored Aztec

Hollow Ship - Future Remains

Lukas Lauermann - I N

Prins Thomas - Traens

Soul Jazz Records Presents Deutsche Elektronische Musik: Experimental German Rock And Electronic Music 1971-83

 

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Thanks, Scott - the Deutsche Elektronische Musik comp is excellent. On a similar tip, you should keep an eye out for Cafe Exil - New Adventures In European Music 1972 - 1980, which is due on Ace in a week or so's time.

It features a lot of familiar names - Amon Duul II, Faust, Eno, Michael Rother, Cluster, Popol Vuh etc - as well as people like Annette Peacock, Piero Umiliani, Tony Esposito. I can happily eat this stuff for breakfast.

I can also heartily recommend Soul Jazz's Cuba: Music And Revolution comp, Experiments In Latin Music: 1975 - 1985 Vol 1.

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Just pre-ordered Cafe Exil, it looks like an interesting compilation 🙂

And thanks also for the recommending the Soul Jazz Cuba comp. Apart from listening to some Os Mutantes and Caetano Veloso a few years back, I'm not very familiar with Latin music. So this looks like a good place to start!

 

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14 hours ago, Scott said:

Just pre-ordered Cafe Exil, it looks like an interesting compilation 🙂

And thanks also for the recommending the Soul Jazz Cuba comp. Apart from listening to some Os Mutantes and Caetano Veloso a few years back, I'm not very familiar with Latin music. So this looks like a good place to start!

 

Soul Jazz are just the very best at that kind of thing, I think.  I still rate their % Dynamite series as among the very best reggae + compilations.  On a similar note, digging around in my record collection the other day, I came across Blue Note's Blue Juice and Blue Breaks & Beats comps - which were equally well curated. Easy enough, I guess, if you have access to everything in the cupboard.

Let us know what you think of Cafe Exil and the Cuba comp!

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1 hour ago, Michael Bonner said:

Soul Jazz are just the very best at that kind of thing, I think.  I still rate their % Dynamite series as among the very best reggae + compilations.  On a similar note, digging around in my record collection the other day, I came across Blue Note's Blue Juice and Blue Breaks & Beats comps - which were equally well curated. Easy enough, I guess, if you have access to everything in the cupboard.

Let us know what you think of Cafe Exil and the Cuba comp!

I think you're right, Soul Jazz are just the best at making these kinds of compilations. I only have a few (Deutsche Elektronische Musika and New Orleans Funk series, Future Bass, Soul of a Nation, New York Noise), but I'm always really impressed with their selection of tracks, and the fantastic booklets. I've been meaning to pick up some of their Studio One collections, and I'll be adding the % Dynamite to my wishlist 🙂

Just listening to Blue Breakbeats Vol 1, great shout!

 
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It has without doubt been an exceptional year for music, thankfully in these strange times. However I was surprised that 6 of my top ten didn't make the Uncut top 75. The guilty 6 are:

Samantha Crain - A Small Death

Kris Drever - Where the World is thin

Orlando Weeks - A Quickening 

North Americans - Roped In

Oscar Jerome - Breathe Deep

Tim Bowness - Late Night Laments.

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In no particular order:

Jason Isbell - Reunions (Maintaining his high-level consistency)

Bob Dylan - Rough & Rowdy Ways (Just... mesmerising)

Margo Price - That's How Rumors Get Started (Lovely stuff)

Gretchen Peters - The Night You Wrote That Song (I'm a sucker for Mickey Newbury's songs)

Bruce Springsteen - Letter To You (Has Max Weinberg played the drums any better than on this?)

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On 27/11/2020 at 12:20, Pannaltiger said:

It has without doubt been an exceptional year for music, thankfully in these strange times. However I was surprised that 6 of my top ten didn't make the Uncut top 75. The guilty 6 are:

Samantha Crain - A Small Death

Kris Drever - Where the World is thin

Orlando Weeks - A Quickening 

North Americans - Roped In

Oscar Jerome - Breathe Deep

Tim Bowness - Late Night Laments.

If you like the North Americans album, check out the Barry Walker Jr album Shoulda Zenith. He plays pedal steel on Roped In. It’s similarly spacious, ambient, meditative anchored by Walker’s playing.

You can check it out here — it’s seriously good.

https://holymountainrecords.bandcamp.com/album/shoulda-zenith

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For me, album of the year has to be the cruelly unheralded I Am Not a Dog on a Chain by Morrissey. Listen to it, it's really great.

Others include (in no particular order): The Strokes -The New AbnormalPhoebe Bridgers - Punisher, Bruce Springsteen - Letter To You, Haim - Women In Music Part III, King Krule - Man Alive!, Paul McCartney - McCartney III, Blu and Exile - Miles and Nick Cave - Idiot Prayer.

 

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