I’m not going to try to tell you here what 2020 was about. I mean, you were there, and you had your own experience of it, and there’s not much I can add.
One observation that is, however, blogworthy, is that I wound up listening to a lot of drone music. And some ambient and field recordings and the like, but especially, like, an awful lot of drone. I loved the albums from Lisa Lerkenfeldt, Ellen Fullman & Theresa Wong, Lea Bertucci, and Jacaszek. But this was a closely fought category and they all got edged out.
I didn’t listen to so much dance-type music. The Monolake record would have been on the shortlist if he hadn’t been in last year’s selection. I’m pretty sad not to have found space for the Beatrice Dillon record (although I suspect she’ll have made a tonne of end-of-year lists).
But the winners are:
- Golem Mecanique’s Nona, Decima et Morte, which is epic heavy drone and excellent at blocking the world out.
- France Jobin’s Death Is Perfection, Everything Else Is Relative, which is delicately shimmering drone and excellent at getting me lost in the tiny details.
- DJ Python’s Mas Amable, which he calls deep reggaeton, and which sweeps me along in a deeply satisfying way.
- Ewa Justka’s Upside Down Smile, which I’ve called experimental hardcore acid techno, and which is so thrillingly bonkers that I can’t help grinning.
- Nozomu Matsumoto’s Sustainable Hours, which might be arthouse ambient, and which I find intensely calming.
Or check out this YouTube Music playlist.