Category Archives: Charts

Best Albums of 2020

2020 (among many much more important things) was the year when Bandcamp became a lifestyle, and a focal point for distinguishing algorithmic pacification from active patronage. It was a safety net for artists whose last remaining stream of funding had been cancelled. It is an exemplar of how art can operate in future, for those who hope to subsist by their passion, and those who simply want to share their art with the world in a way that puts the art first. Although my list here is not “about” Bandcamp, I want to encourage everyone to think about their role in music, since the algorithmic subscriber has effectively become the source of income for the exploiters. I  have been harping on about this all year, and will continue to use this harsh rhetoric to try to get the point across. A passive consumer of the algorithm is actively feeding exploitation. Establish a connection with the art you love. Nurture and explore. Purchase what you enjoy, because it will make a difference to the future of the artist who made it. The only subscription model that supports art today is direct patronage (like Patreon and Bandcamp subscriptions). If subscription “works for you”, then subscribe to artists rather than those who exploit artists. And if that all seems too weird, then just buy some good music.

That said, on to the list.

Likwid Continual Space Motion – Earthbound

One hour and forty seven minutes of monument to broken beats and much that informed the divergence of this strain from all that proceeded it. There is no other word for it than “monumental”. The most important broken beat album since 4 Hero’s Creating Patterns, 19 years later. It really doesn’t lend itself to words, as words always fall short of something it is doing well. I can’t offer any higher praise. Best album of the year, and possibly of the decade or century. Masterpiece #1 of 2020.

Rian Treanor – File Under UK Metaplasm

Given the height of praise for LCSM, it must be hard to follow, right? Well, for many of the same reasons, this is right up in that same praise bracket. Although the end results diverge, they are both amalgamations that bring together strains in the best completely novel ways. Once you’ve heard this, it becomes a new reference for everything that is happening. Especially if you are paying any attention to what is happening in Africa and the UK, and reflect a bit on the influences from Chicago and Detroit, this is clearly global music. Where LCSM unifies past and present, Rian Treanor unifies space. Masterpiece #2 of 2020.

The Transcendence Orchestra – Feeling The Spirit

Not sure this is a masterpiece per se, but it is an absolutely wonderful album, and I will be listening to it for a very long time. It has earned itself a place beside the best ambient albums in my collection. While I have followed everything The Transcendence Orchestra have done quite closely, this is the peak of what they’ve achieved so far. And while it is its own whole, it hints at new directions. Some of this picks up where Coil’s ambience left off, but with a unique flavour, and that is probably the best stretch of a comparison I could make, as it does so many other things as well. One thing I notice when I listen to this album is that the tracks are distinct, but they work so well together that I scarcely realise the first one has finished when I reach the end of the album.

Pole – Fading

I believe I have all of Pole’s albums, and am certainly not one to see the first two or three as the canon and everything else as the rest (as I think may be common), but in any case I see this as the best album he’s created since the first two, and perhaps even better than them. It is brilliant. Everything you know about Pole is here, but it’s all under new direction. It’s not really different, but it is impeccable Pole. This is one that will stay in “rotation” for years.

LEYA – Flood Dream

With many thanks to Actress for the tip, this album opened up a world of music from LEYA and Eartheater to me, which has drifted rapidly from discovery to immersion. The remixers alone may add some weight to the recommendation, with both Actress and Drew McDowall (formerly of Coil) adding their interpretations. But the originals stand their ground, and if there is any criticism to be found of this album it’s that the best tracks are so outstanding that some of the others become less memorable. Nevertheless, the whole album is what you will probably choose to listen to once you make this connection. Detuned harp wasn’t really on my radar for 2020, but I will have an emptier 2021 if it transpires without it.

Bass Clef – Maze Greys

I couldn’t say it better my friend Brendan, “Like your brain just found a previously unknown room in its house which is vast, well-lit, and contains a massive chaise longue.” A completely novel thing that demands and rewards immersion.

Legowelt – Pancakes With Mist

Danny Wolfers released so many good albums this year, you would think it would be hard to pick one. I must have bought at least 100 of his new tracks, which is incomprehensible, but probably accurate. However, this is the clear album choice among these, if you must pick only one (I would encourage you to do more). There is scarcely a duff moment in all that work, but this album is so great. I only included one track here as reference because there was no way I could single out two or three from the rest. My kids once mistook this track for Drecxiya, which I think says it all.

Gan Gan Garmana Kacapi Suling – Javasounds Vol. 7

I have had a peripheral interest in Gamalan since I first learned about Reich’s early influences 20ish years ago, but it is fair to say that I never pursued it until now, and that recent interest was largely pushed along after hearing the Gamalan Degung track that featured in the Netflix short film, “John was trying to contact aliens”.

So I went on a bit of Gamalan binge. It is one of the most pure forms of music, wearing its connections to the trance-like states it can inspire on its sleeve. And this is the best new Gamalan I’ve found in 2020.

Linkwood & Other Lands – Face the Facts

Other Lands and associated acts have been a major musical presence this year, so picking one album is difficult, but this collaboration with Linkwood really stands out. It sounds like itself but still covers a fairly wide range, and some of the tracks boil over with sincerity and funk. 

His Name Is Alive – Return To Never (Home Recordings 1979 – 1986 Vol 2) and Ghost Tape EXP

The second and prelude-to-third volumes of Warren Defever’s tape archive releases – some made when he was as young as ten, but largely his high school years before His Name Is Alive arrived on 4AD. Beautiful droney effected guitar on tape. Unfathomable that he made all of this at such a young age, and that they were made before most of the things they remind us of today. The Ghost Tape EXP cassette is still available, so act fast if you want this music for tape on tape.

Five honourable mentions

Reggie Dokes‘ Deep House Remix of Teyana Taylor-Still, which is probably my favourite house track of the year.

Polypores, who had many great albums this year, including the recent WF 11 – Tempus album.

Plant43‘s Storm Control includes two of his best tracks – the title track which is what we expect of him but definitely one of his best, and the surprising downtempo Sparks in the Grey Light, which I absolutely adore.

Eartheater‘s Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin. Probably lacking the highs or Trinity, but making up for that with consistency and breadth.

Jordan JCZ‘s jams on Patreon.

Best of 2008

Gigs (don’t get out much anymore, but this stuff was good)
Autechre @ the Hearn Street Car Park in London (easily one of the best gigs ever)
The Pole and then the Surgeon/DJ Pete Bleep 43 parties
Each of the Süd parties, which got better and better as the year went on


New artists

Old artists
Reggie Dokes
Jacek Sienkiewicz
Wayne Gardiner
Deep Chord/Echospace
Terrence Dixon
Move D
Flying Lotus
Juju & Jordash

Third Ear

2006 charts

Top 5 albums and compilations
Convextion – Convextion [downLow]
Herbert – Scale [!K7]
V/A – Lifeworks [Open Mind]
Stereolab – Fab Four Suture [Too Pure]
Traxx presents The Dirty Criminals – Collision Between Us And The Damned [Gigolo]

Top 25 12″s
John Beltran presents Nostalgic – Going Home EP [Groovia Sound Project]
D5 – Neutrino EP [Delsin]
Koss – Ra1030in [Mule Electronic]
3 Chairs – No Drum Machine [3 Chairs US]
Point B – Cutouts [SCSI]
Atjazz – For Real EP [Innervisions]
Marcellus Pittman – # 2 [FXHE US]
Move D – Silk & Shmoove EP [Compost Black Label]
T.O.M. Project – Renaissance [Sound Signature]
Monolake – Alaska Melting [Monolake]
Dabrye feat DOOM – Air [Ghostly International US]
Erell Ranson – Sleeping Beauty EP [Arne Weinberg]
Jacek Sienkiewicz feat Marek Raczkowski – Warsaw For Beginners [Recognition]
Pascal Schäfer – Day Return EP [Karaoke Kalk Pets]
Steve Spacek – Baby Baby [Jazzy Sport Japan]
Atom Heart – Repetetive Digital Noise [Recognition]
Alif Tree – Forgotten Places (Moodymann remix) [Compost]
DJ Yoav B – Language Of The Open Heart EP [Delsin]
Escort – Starlight [Escort Records]
The Mole – In My Song [Wagon Repair]
Chateau Flight – Baroque EP [Innervisions]
Dan Curtin – Tricks (part 1) [Tuning Spork Germany]
Redshape – 2084 [Music Man Belgium]
I:Cube – Acid Tablet EP [Versatile]
Steve Spacek – I Wanna Piece Of Ur Luv [Jazzy Sport]

Finally got last year’s Movement report up

Lots of pics and some video clips if you don’t feel like reading the whole thing.

…and Here’s April’s top 10:

Zero Duma – DJ Tools Volume 5: Alternative Conclusions [Ibadan]
Sam Prekop – Who’s Your New Professor [Thrill Jockey]
Orlando Voorn – Underwater [Ignitor]
Chateau Flight – Celestial Showers [Versatile]
James Duncan – Peoples Are Peoples [Real Soon]
Hieroglyphic Being – Liquid Sex EP [Spectral Sound]
Henrik Schwarz – Leave My Head Alone Brain [Sunday Music]
Dubious – Heavy Hands [Prize]
Recloose – Dust [Peacefrog]
32 Project – Rule Of Humanity [Ibadan]

Charts and Rekkids

March 2003 – Top 12

1. James Duncan : Night Tracks [Le Systeme]
2. Wen / Even Tuell / Hendrik Luuk / Move D : Airbag Craftworks Compilation Vol 2 [Out To Lunch]
3. Pascal Schafer : Rhythmes EP [Karaoke Kalk Pets]
4. Luke Vibert : Lovers Acid [Planet Mu]
5. Afx : Analord 05 [Rephlex]
6. Shed : Citylicker EP [Soloaction]
7. Omar S : 001 [AOS]
8. Plant Life : When She Smiles She Lights The Sky [Sonar Kollektiv]
9. Georg Levin : Heaven EP – Rima Remix [Sonar Kollektiv]
10. Cris Prolific : People [Versatile]
11. The Model : Robotiko [Traum]
11. Kid Sublime : Basement Works Volume 4 [Jahwell/Rush Hour]

New rekkids (with some slightly dated comments, as I now know most of these inside and out)
v/a – “Amsterdam Remix EP” (Regal Recordings) 12″
32 Project : Rule Of Humanity (Ibadan US) [Hiroshi Watanbe in fairly-technoish mode. Not sure if I’ll like it quite as much as the last 32 Project, but sounds nice]
Dubious : Heavy Hands (Prize) [Couldn’t conclude on this one at first, but finally decided I needed it for the 2nd track]
James Duncan : Peoples Are Peoples (Real Soon US) [second recent thing from him – both great]
Ferrer / Sydenham Inc / Zero Duma : DJ Tools Volume 5 – Alternative Conclusions (Ibadan US) [finally answered my Wayne Gardiner question! He is Zero Duma on this, and the track sounds sick. Imagine him doing proper techno! Not sure how I missed this on release. Also found some other pseudonyms for him that aren’t listed as him on discogs, like Sinister Concepts, which sounded OK from the clips, but nothing I’d rush to buy]
Wayne Gardiner & Eddie Maduro : The Warning (Bolshevik US) [Remixes of classic Logic track. Think these mixes are new, but not 100% sure. Don’t sound terribly different than the original]
Orlando Voorn : Underwater (Ignitor US) [first ignitor thing I’ve picked up. Sounds dope]
Sam Prekop : Who’s Your New Professor (Thrill Jockey US) [new solo album from the lead singer of my favourite band. Fans of that one toilet paper advert with the lovely piano-based music should take note, that’s a track off his first solo album]
Arthur Russell : World Of Echo – 2xLtd LP [waiting for the vinyl finally paid off!]
Daniel Bell : The Lost Traxx EP (Klang Electronik Germany) 12″ (just stumbled across this one randomly, following that comment on the Bleep thread. Didn’t think I’d find any new copies of it. Sweet!)
Chateau Flight : Celestial Showers (Versatile France) 12″ (the A-side sounds wicked)
Fila Brazillia : The Googlebox (23) 7″ (couldn’t say no at £2.15)
Hieroglyphic Being : Liquid Sex EP (Spectral Sound US) 12″ (for the Portable remix, which sounds sick)
AFX : Analogue Bubblebath Vol 3 – 2xLP (purports to be a ltd to 500 repress which includes all the tracks that were on the CD)
Mathew Jonson & The Mole / Axel Bartsch : Dirt Road And A Boat From A Soundwave / Galaxy – 12″ (hope this is as good as the clip makes it sound)
Herbert – Secondhand Sounds 3xLP #2 [Peacefrog] (for the Herberts Murdered My Poodle Remix, which Akufen caned over the Bank Holiday)
Recloose – Dust 12″ [Peacefrog]
Henrik Schwarz : Leave my head alone brain [Sunday Music]
Sleeparchive : 1 [Sleeparchive]
CLASHCORNER presents RITON feat WATINE : By My Side [Parisonic France] 12″ (was trying to find this for ages then stumbled across it under this Clashcorner name that I had no idea about. Doh. Anyway, it’s good)
SCHAFER, Pascal : Melody Express [Karaoke Kalk Germany] LP
SCHAFER, Pascal : Rhythmes EP [Karaoke Kalk Pets Germany] 12″
SUTEKH : Two Rhapsodies [Context Free Media US] 12″
TROLLEY ROUTE : A Occhi Chiusi (remixes) [Pure Plastic] 2×12″ (the Rachmad mix sounds dope, and the Hood mix sounds purty good too)

Charts and Gigs, Old and New

February Top 15

1. Dirk Leyers : Wellen EP – 12″ [Kompakt]

2. Syclops : Mom, the Video Broke – 12″ [Tirk]

3. Fat Freddy’s Drop : Flashback / Midnight Marauders (Lives for Gilles) – 12″ [The Drop]

4. Freedom Soundz : Journeyz – 12″ [Neroli]

5. Roisin Murphy : Sequins EP 2 – 12″ [The Echo Label]

6. Roisin Murphy : Sequins EP 1 – 12″ [The Echo Label]

7. Various Artists : Acido Records 002 – 12″ [Acido]

8. Omar-S : Track #8 – 12″ [AOS]

9. Starship 727 : All Depends on You – 12″ [Pigna]

10. Take : Colossal Volume 2 – 12″ [Buttermilk Records]

11. Slope feat. Capitol A : Komputa Groove – 12″ [Sonar Kollektiv]

12. AFX : Analord 03 – 12″ [Rephlex]

13. DJ Mitsu the Beats : New Awakenings Remixes Part 3 – 12″ [Planet Groove]

14. DJ Mitsu the Beats : New Awakenings Remixes Part 6 – 12″ [Planet Groove]

15. Alex Attias Presents Mustang : Help Me (Remixes) – 12″ [Compost]

16. Quasimoto : Bus Ride – 12″ [Stones Throw]

17. AFX : Analord 04 – 12″ [Rephlex]

18. The Mole : Meets the Bacon Smugglers – 12″ [Musique Risquee]

19. Pal Joey : Compuer Love/Battle – 12″ [Lood d’ Loop]

20. DJ Bone : Body Bags – 12″ [Subject : Detroit]

January Top 15

1. Thomas Barnett : Thrill of the Hunt – 12″ [Audiomatique]

2. AFX : Analord 02 – 12″ [Rephlex]

3. MF DOOM : MM… FOOD – 2 x 12″ [Rhymesayers]

4. Carl Craig : Just Another Day – 12″ [Planet E]

5. Marcellis : Dry Delivery EP – 12″ [Black Label]

6. Various Artists : See Mi Yah – 7 x 7″ [Rhythm & Sound]

7. Wookie : Taboo – 12″ [EMN]

8. Ame : Ojorno / Nia – 12″ [Sonar Kollektiv]

9. Bugz in the Attic : Booty La La – 12″ [V2 Music]

10. AFX : Analord 01 – 12″ [Rephlex]

11. Arne Weinberg : Confessions of a Believer – 12″ [11th Hour]

12. DJ Bone : Encounter 1 – 12″ [Subject : Detroit]

13. Raiders of the Lost Arp : Funk Series Part 2 – 12″ [Pigna]

14. Steevio : Rogue Patterns – 2 x 12″ [Mindtours]

15. Hanna : Music for the Savant Part 1 – 12″ [Flat and Round]

…and my tracklist from Broken Funk @ George IV on Saturday, February 12 (which went very well BTW):

1. MF DOOM – Kon Queso [Rhymesayers]
2. AFX – Phonatacid [Rephlex]
3. Marcellis – Dry Delivery B3 [Black Label]
4. Moodymann – Analog:Live [KDJ]
5. Wookie – Taboo [EMN]
6. Ame – Sarari [Sonar Kollektiv]
7. Ame – Nia [Sonar Kollektiv]
8. DJ Gregory – Elle [Faya Combo]
9. Bassment Jaxx – Same Old Show [BK]
10. Convextion – Spice Tea [downLow]
11. Carl Craig – Sandstorms [Planet E]
12. The Visitors – The Race (Henrik Schwarz Remix) [Playhouse]
13. Max Mohr – Sound City [Playhouse]
14. DJ Bone – Strain 1 [Subject Detroit]
15. Raiders of the Lost Arp – Funk 006 (Drop) [Pigna]
16. Thomas Barnett – Thrill of the Hunt [Audiomatique]
17. Analogue Fingerprints – Tribute [Pigna]
18. Thomas Barnett – Daybreak [Audiomatique]
19. Maddslinky – Cargo [Laws of Motion]
20. Outkast – Happy Valentine’s Day [Arista]

Next gig is Sunday, March 13 @ Jam, f/k/a Bar Lorca in Brixton.


September 2004 Top 15 (caught up)

1. Juan Atkins : Back To Basics (Part 2) 12″

2. Mathew Jonson : Decompression EP 12″

3. Ame : Mifune / Shiro 12″

4. Omar S : Oasis – Detroit #1 12″

5. Henrik Schwarz : Supravision EP 12″

6. Freeq Unique : Who Are We / Mind & Soul 12″

7. Ethnic Heritage Ensemble : Running In The Streets – Charles Webster Remixes 12″

8. Bjork : Medulla 2 x 12″

9. Omar S : Always There 12″

10. Mathew Johnson : Love Letter To The Enemy EP 12″

11. Henrik Schwarz : Chicago 12″

12. Kenny Dixon Jr : Private Collection – 12″ 12″

13. Mathew Jonson / The Mole : Moss Rocks EP 12″

14. V/A : Bad Acid – Album Sampler 12″

15. Alex Gopher & Etienne De Crecy / Etienne De Crecy : Overnet / Soul Seek 10″

August 2004 Top 20 (making up for lost time)

1. Madvillain : Madvillainy 2 x 12″

2. V/A : Bigger Bear Vs. Hairy Claw – Clash Of The Big Paws 10″

3. Silvio Manuel : The Master Of Darkness EP 12″

4. Umod : Tromboline – Domu Mix / On The Down Low – Zoltar Mix 12″

5. Orgue Electronique : Texas Brooklyn Heaven 12″

6. I:Cube : F33z EP 12″

7. Madlib : Remixes 2 : 1980s Saturday Morning Edition (All Samples 1977-1982) 2 x 12″

8. DJ Yoav B : First Blood EP 12″

9. Spymusic : Cloak 12″

10. DJ Spinna : Compositions 2 LP

11. Rima : Subdued (Amp Fiddler and Isoul8 remixes) 12″

12. Bounce : Drop the Ball 12″

13. Lazyboy feat. Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry : Penguin – Mad Professor & Manasseh Remixes 2 x 7″

14. Just One : Love 2 Love 12″

15. DJ Genesis / Omar S : Tribute To Betty (Tonight) / U 12″

16. Renaissance : Do it to It 12″

17. Dabrye : Game Over (Feat. Jay Dee And Phat Kat) 12″

18. Lindstrom : Plague the Kid 12″

19. RJD2 : Exotic Talk (Ltd edition) 12″

20. Amy Winehouse : In my Bed (BITA Remixes) 12″

March Top 10

1. DKD : Future Rage – 12″ [Bitasweet/2000 Black]

2. Moodymann : KDJ16 – 12″ [KDJ]

3. Joe Dukie & Fitchie / Fat Freddy’s Drop : This Room / Ernie (Live) – 12″ [Best Seven/Sonar Kollktiv]

4. Directions : Busted Trees – Carl Craig Mix – 12″ [Diaspora in Session]

5. Wildchild : Wonder Years Remix – 12″ [Stones Throw]

6. Theo Parrish : The Twin Cities – 12″ [Harmony Park]

7. Skalpel : 1958 – Quantic Remix – 12″ [Ninja Tune]

8. Sixtoo : Boxcutter Emporium (Bad Luck Comes In Threes) / Storm Clouds & Silver Linings – 12″ [Ninja Tune]

9. Nick Wilson : Ligeia – 12″ [Inceptive]

10. Matthew Herbert : On Your Feet EP – 12″ [Soundslike]

January and February Top 20

1. Ennio Morricone : Remixes Volume 2 – Compost 3xLP

2. Dani Siciliano : Likes… – !K7 2xLP

3. Kerrier District : Kerrier District – Rephlex 3xLP

4. Kai Alce : M-7 – Mahogani 12″

5. DJ Genesis : Back in the Middle (The Remixes) – Dynamite Soul 12″

6. Siriusmo : Sirius EP – Sonar Kollectiv 12″

7. Ursula Rucker : This – With Jazzanova / Tempest – !K7 12″

8. Rene Lowe + Paul St. Hilaire Faith – False Tuned 12″

9. John Beltran : Candela / Starlight Memories – Kirk Degiorgio Remix – Ubiquity 12″

10. $tinkworx : Los Gatos Lloros EP – Delsin 12″

11. Everyday People Feat. Loretta Heywood : I Can’t Sleep – Earth Project 12″

12. Talib Kweli : Get By (Blackbeard Reworks) – Yam Who 12″

13. DJ Kent : In The Bush (Theo Parrish Remixes) – Bear Funk 12″

14. Monolake : Cern / White II – Monolake 12″

15. Russ Gabriel : The Crossing – Soul on Wax 12″

16. Squarepusher : Ultravisitor – Sampler – Warp 12″

17. Osunlade & Nadirah Shakoor : Pride / Touched My Soul – Set 12″

18. Moodmusic Limited : Unreleased Vol.2 – Moodmusic 12″

19. Mark Force : Running In The Red – Archive 12″

20. Kathy Diamond : Sunshine – Cottage 12″

Musical Highs and Lows of 2003


-The Summer of Insanity, Brixton ©™®

-The UK scene pulling even closer together, geography meaning less, and so many great local nights pushing forward from their successes in 2002

-Some of the up and coming local live sets we’ve been treated to, especially Orphan, the Werk boys, Plant 43 and Nick Wilson

-All that beautiful wax

-ATP (every moment from start to finish)

-Movement (so many amazing live sets)

-Carlos Souffront, Derek Plaslaiko, Ectomorph and Traxx @ the Movement Cannonball party

-Atkins, KDJ, Ron Trent and more @ The Works Movement afterparty

-Surgeon repeatedly

-Hood repeatedly

-Theo Parrish repeatedly

-The birth of Homerton ©™®

-The return of LFO

-Dan Bell @ OC (and the aftermath it inspired)

-Cynic’s Titonton, FBA and Tom Churchill in-a-row party @ Rhythm Factory


-Larry Heard, Brett Dancer & Mr. Fingers w/Robert Owens @ Barrumba

-FK @ Deep Space NYC

-Blaze Live w/Danny Krivit, NYC

-Carl Craig spinning with his child in a stroller in the Vinyl Junkies bassment – just me and the staff in attendance (albeit for only 15 minutes) + his set @ Plastic People

-The lineups at Fabric over the last few months, and a few really excellent nights there, especially the sets from LFO, Fabrice Lig, Akufen and Technasia

-Gene Farris or Maurice Fulton @ the Notting Hill Arts Club

-Joakim @ 93 Feet East

-Stewart Walker @ Clever Music

-Werk’s Gescom, Ghostly and Surgeon parties

-The London invasion of Weymouth

-Larks in the Park (although perhaps not that electronic)

-Return of the [313] party

-So many birthday parties


-Cosmic Twins ahem

-Rob Hood getting shut down after 20 minutes @ a Movement afterparty, and me getting shut down

-Thomas Fehlmann @ 93 Feet East

-Yokota @ 93 Feet East

While I’m sure there were some other lows I’m not remembering at the moment, they were certainly few and far between, and almost all of them were overcome by the crowd. The three above stand out in my mind because they were not.