Music took on an even more important part in my life during 2020. Often providing solace and always providing joy. I spent a lot of time and money on vinyl as well as time spent on my own mixes this year. It was all worth it.
I could’ve had a top 50 list but here’s my favourite albums of 2020. I’ve got 11 for some reason.
11. Michael Rother – Dreaming. This took me by surprise. I heard a track from the album courtesy of Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone. The ‘Krautrock’ legends first album in many years they said. Not a hint of krautrock about it. Lovely downbeat stuff.
10. Olafur Arnald – Some Kind of Peace. I didn’t like the lead tune ‘Woven Song’ but once in the context of the album it made more sense. This is a beautiful album and seems to have influences from many places.
9. FSOL – Cascade 2020. My first Record Store Day purchase this year. My favourite FSOL tune turned into a full album 20 odd years later. Cascade Part 1 permeates throughout.
8. Joris Voorn – GU43 Rotterdam. It’s been many a year since I spent a lot of time listening to a house mix. The last Global Underground left me cold (Patrice Baumel – pretty heavy duty stuff) but this is a masterpiece. 100+ tunes over the 2 CDs. It’s totally inspiring stuff and pushed me to put a mix together. Sadly, not quite to this standard.
7. Fontaines DC – A Hero’s Death. I loved Dogrel, but after listening to this, that album feels like them just getting started. I love this album. Musical, catchy and mature.
6. Nils Frahm – Empty. Glad this got a vinyl release later in the year. A surprise arrival early in the year with no fanfare. Lovely piano work. His ‘Tripping’ gig on Mubi is amazing. It shows just how hard he works in a live setting.
5. Sonic Boom – All Things Being Equal. Really pleased to have Sonic back making the stuff i’ve always loved. Listening to this, it was like he was never away.
4. Goldmund – The Time It Takes. Keith Kenniff never disappoints. This grew on me over a period of time and still gets better with every listen.
3. Ghostpoet – I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep. Lockdown will always be synonymous with this album. Lyrically clever and with loads of hooks.
2. Max Richter – Voices. Reminds me of the summer. As with all of Max Richters proper artist albums, it is full of emotion. I won’t lie, I prefer the voiceless version but I have made a point of listening to the human rights version a few times as I did buy the vinyl.
1. Bruce Brubaker and Max Cooper – Glassforms. Loved it from when I first heard it and love it now. The piano work of Brubaker and the electronics of Max Cooper is a beautiful combination. I’m playing it again now as I write this. I can only hope they collaborate again.
Notable others include Doves – The Universal Want, Motionfield – Always There, Jonas Munk – Minimum Resistance, Sigur Ros – Odin’s Raven Magic and Tineidae – Exo.
Already pre-ordered for Jan/Feb 2021:
- Tripping with Nils Frahm (Jan)
- As The Love Continues – Mogwai (Feb)
- Invisible Cities – A Winged Victory For The Sullen (Feb)