The last 12 months have seen us indulged with outstanding long players from artists new and old, and as the holiday season tradition goes, we’ve drawn up a list of albums which we feel are the best of 2020.
Of course, we cannot feature every album we grew fond of, or which meant something to us. This list goes some way to show the albums which soundtracked our year, notable releases which gave us some inspiration. Stay tuned for our list of the top extended players.
ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ – High School Blues
Actress – 88
Actress – Karma & Desire
Against All Logic – 2017 – 2019
Ana Roxanne – Because Of A Flower
Autechre – SIGN
Autechre – PLUS
Beatrice Dillon – Workaround
Bibio – Sleep On The Wing
Bing & Ruth – Species
Capitol K – Birdtrapper
Charles Webster – Decision Time
Chester Raj Anand – Strawberry
Chevel – Elvine Unlocked
Clap! Clap! – Liquid Portraits
Critical Amnesia – Critical Amnesia
Dana Ruh – Time Out Of Mind
Darkstar – Civic Jams
DJ Fett Burger – Thank U 4 Letting Me Live My Life (B.G.F.D.F.R)
DJ Kassir – Brown White
DJ Metatron – Loops Of Infinity (A Rave Loveletter)
DJ Python – Mas Amable
Dman + Roger 23 – 222
Dream_E – Dreams on 22
DVS1 – Beta Sensory Motor Rhythm
Earth Trax – LP1
Earth Trax – LP2
Eluize – Gone
Folder – New Path
Gigi Masin – Calypso
GILA – Energy Demonstrations
Glenn Astro – Homespun
His Master’s Voice – Log a Canis Majoris
Heathered Pearls – Cast
Hodge – Shadows In Blue
Ian William Craig & Daniel Lentz – FRKWYS Vol. 16 In a Word
Jabu – Sweet Company
Jacaszek – Music for Film
Jon Hassell – Seeing Through Sound (Pentimento Volume Two)
LOG – LOG ET3RNAL
Loke Rahbek & Frederik Valentin – Elephant
Low End Activist – Game Theory ft. Flowdan
Lorenzo Senni – Scacco Matto
Lucrecia Dalt – No era sólida
Luke Abbott – Translate
Manonmars – In Colour
Minor Science – Second Language
Nathan Fake – Blizzards
Natureboy Flako – Ambitus of Beauty
Oliver Coates – Skins n Slime
Olivier Alary & Johannes Malfatti – u,i
Oneohtrix Point Never – Magic
Phew – Vertigo KO
Phillip Sollman – Monophonie
Photay – Waking Hours
PG Sounds – SUED023
POLE – Fading
Pontiac Streator – Triz
Reptant – Return To Planet X’Trapolis
Rival Consoles – Articulation
Romare – Home
Roza Terenzi – Modern Bliss
Saint Abdullah – In God’s Image
Sangre Voss – Expressions of a Mind in Slumber 2017-19
Shaw & Grossfeldt – Klavier
Shinichi Atobe – Yes
Soela – Genuine Silk
Squarepusher – Be Up A Hello
SW – Night
Torn Hawk – Here Comes Language
Vadin – Taiyo
Verraco – Grial
Vladislav Delay – Rakka
Vril & Rødhåd – Out of Place Artefacts
Waveform Transmission – V 2.0-2.9
XDB – Inspiron
Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind
Zenker Brothers – Cosmic Transmission
10. Grand River
‘Blink A Few Times To Clear Your Eyes’
‘Blink A Few Times To Clear Your Eyes‘, reminiscent of the emotional power and drama of Caterina Barbieri’s ‘Ecstatic Computation‘ — and equally deserving of such high praise — achieves many great things in this album, amongst the greatest of these is Grand River’s seamless marriage of the acoustic and electronic into a composite whole that fully envelopes the listener.
Released 4 September via Editions Mego
‘Finds You Well’
While this may not be the type of banger that Khotin re-issued via Ghostly in 2019, this album has more movement than the purely introspective soundscapes we saw on the outstanding, ‘Beautiful You‘.
Released 25 September via Ghostly International
Clocking in at over an hour in length, the engrossing compositions on ‘Peel’ form an intangible layer over reality. Embodying the nature of work by Brian Eno and Yoshimura, the music is perhaps not a focal point, but an embellishment of the natural environment for those who wish to pay attention to it.
Released 23 July via Editions Mego
For those that are looking for substance outside the realms of Tiger King and TikTok impressions, Heavenly renaissance, wherefore art thou? Seek seclusion in Cape Cira, the debut LP of K-Lone, and a deep dive into a fruitful concept built out from long days and a hard winter – a contribution of detached thoughts that are regenerative in output.
Released 24 April via Wisdom Teeth
6. Lyra Pramuk
Lyra Pramuk’s pre-release album listening session in Berlin, right on the cusp of lockdown, gave us at Inverted Audio a lucky chance to plunge into the artist’s album ‘Fountain’ as it was unleashed for the first time. It was a surreal feeling, with the impending fears of Coronavirus at the back of mind, but to an intimate crowd Lyra expressed much through her celestial and beautiful voice.
Released 20 March via Bedroom Community
‘Maxyboy’ demonstrates that Patricia is no newcomer to the full-length format. While the 10 tracks here all have the potential to feature in DJ sets of various kinds, it’s an electronic LP that’s also fit to listen to in its entirety, which can feel like a feat at times. It’s diverse, but not to the point where it feels like a compilation, and manages thematic consistency that’s impressive given the range of genres which it explores.
Released 26 June via Ghostly International
4. Leafar Legov
There is a drifting, improvisational quality to much of ‘Mirror’. Harmonies and sections seem to blur into one another, with Legov throwing the odd curveball in places and eschewing expectation. Take ‘In Your Mirror’, a club music abstraction retaining only the essential kick-hat interplay of house. After 5 minutes just shy of 120 BPM, Legov uses a breakdown to morph into a 90 BPM, beat-free stroll through the forest, complete with gently chirping crickets and the crystalline sounds of a music box. This transition has all the organicism of a live DJ mix, and you temporarily forget you are in fact listening to an album track.
Released 22 March via Giegling
‘Serwed II‘ is tactile without ever being overly aggressive or unlistenable and its vivid rhythmic contours propel you in every direction. OL and Flaty, alongside their fellow Gost Zvuk associates, have created a micro-ecosystem of exploratory sound design. Likewise, with this latest offering, their discography becomes richer, more adventurous and unique.
Released 12 March via West Mineral Ltd.
2. The Phantasy
‘Ibiza Pt. 1 & II’
Whether you’re dropping in a set or kicking back for yet another repeat listen – because that is precisely what you will be doing – what is important is that ‘Ibiza I & II’ has been expressed, ready for another period of extended silence and a brand new intrigue to surface.
Released 20 October via All Possible Worlds
1. Florian T M Zeisig
Coming like a crosswind hurricane via Enmossed, this is Florian T M Zeisig’s debut vinyl record, with just two cassette releases to his name prior to the wax. Despite this, Zeisig’s debut to the world of vinyl has hardly left our turntables since its release.
‘Coatcheck’ garners its name from Zeisig’s moonlight job as a Berlin nightclub cloakroom attendant. Fittingly, the music is reasonably passive when compared with that which typically pounds ceaselessly from Berlin’s booths.
Released 2 July via Enmossed