aJazzNoise’s picks of 2020

Between COVID-19 putting a stop to touring, and Bandcamp Fridays, there’s been a lot of music released in 2020. The following are the albums that settled deepest into my heart, imagination and/or gut this year. In the proverbial no particular order… – Ferran Besalduch“Argonauta”(call it anything records) “…a gloriously artificial natural world… a self-contained ecosystem…




Anthony Osborne’s 2020 picks

My best of 2020 – albums that I have particularly enjoyed this year (albeit one recorded decades ago), and have stuck in my mind and which seem to be saying something … about us, about music, about the world.  In no particular order, because hierarchies are anathema to me – I’m dead Harmolodic, don’t you…




Dave Jackson’s 2020 picks

I don’t generally like these end of year top ten’s since they omit so much great music and it seems unfair on those who put so much effort into their artistic creations and didn’t make the list. If I’d known that I was going to be invited to contribute to this thing, I’d’ve kept a…




Patrick Shiroishi & Eldar Tagi – Flock / Jessica Ackerley & Patrick Shiroishi – Extremities

Two new albums, both available as downloads and very nice cassette editions, featuring  the prolific and inventive saxophonist and composer Patrick Shiroishi, both duos, each fascinating in their own right, each well worth seeking out. I’m a great admirer of Patrick’s work, while I must admit electronic/multimedia artist Eldar Tagi was new to me when…




Sly & The Family Drone – Walk It Dry

Like most (all?) of Sly & the Family Drone’s output for me, Walk It Dry is far beyond words. (cue more words…) It bruises. It’s relentless. It can be heavy as fuck (heavier than most). And it can convey a quiet stiletto sense of dread.I put this on to wake me up.I put this on…




The Golden Age of Steam – Tomato Brain

Is it me, or is this a bit creepy? Title track aside, this album consists of the six-part Loftopus, a 31-minute suite that begins minimal, gets gradually less so, layers accreting upon layers, threatening by the end to become almost lush but in reality is more like a sonic quicksand, gently but inexorably drawing you…




gnaarf – Beyond Repair

An otherworldly set of tunes channelling a loosely-assembled freak-jazz vibe. A broken-noir soundtrack, oddly disturbing and full of disintegrating ennui. An avant blues-jazz kaleidoscope; each crystal facet inevitably evolving into the unexpected. The piano scaffolding of Fixed, embracing a landscape out of phase, shifting, blurring, with no secure or predictable footing. The empty, damp streets…




Phicus – Solid

So, in the spirit of been there, done it, got the t-shirt, I was fortunate enough to see one of Phicus’ early live performances* (maybe even the first – ooh!). And much as I like their recordings to date, it’s this one that best approximates the rush, the energy, the feeling of waves and eddies…