1 – Eartheater – Phoenix : Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin, PAN
Acoustic guitars and soft voices hold sway over a dramatic, freaky world of mechanic manipulations and electronic disturbances. NY-based musician Alexandra Drewchin combines folk songwriting and chamber music with the post-club aesthetic, achieving an elegant and intimate synthesis even in the most baroque passages: a perfect balance between the warmest flames and the chilliest dew. Two years after IRISIRI, she delivers another outstanding album on PAN which perfectly sums up her multifaceted artistic attitude.
2 – Oneohtrix Point Never – Magic Oneohtrix Point Never, Warp Records
On what sounds like a “lost&found” collage of pop transmissions mingled and stitched with fragments of radio interferences and experimental episodes, OPN confirms his fascination with more canonical song format already tackled by Age Of. Themes of memory, longing, nostalgia and technology are present as always, yet molded in a form which is at the same time familiar and uncanny.
3 – SALEM – Fires In Heaven, self-released
The unexpected comeback of the cult band SALEM reminds us how the taste for Southern rap, Dj Screw and shoegaze of the Midwest duo (originally trio) has always been there as an influence for a whole decade dominated by the idea of the end of the world. Now they come full circle, resuming the speech at their best during one of the most dramatic years of the modern history.
4 – Autechre – SIGN, Warp Records
On their much awaited – and perhaps unexpected – return after the epic mayhem of elseq1-5 and NTS sessions, the British duo returns with Sign. Favoring accessibility and melody over extreme impenetrability, Sign is Autechre at their most easy-listening without sacrificing any complexity they got us used to.
5 – Actress – Karma & Desire, Warp Records
Extremely delicate and light digital dreamscape and a steady stream of consciousness whispered by the masterful voices of Zsela and Sampha are the key element of the seventh album of the british producer. However, there is no shortage of club aimed tracks, such as “Leaves Against the Sky”, “Loveless”, featuring Aura T-09, or “Loose” with Christel Well.
6 – galen tipton – ungoliant, Orange Milk Records
2020 is without any doubt galen tipton’s year. After one sensational LP, two excellent EPs, three brilliant singles and a sample pack, the Ohio-based artist is back again on Orange Milk Records with Ungoliant, a throbbing and haunting sonic experience, made out of dark soundscapes, fantasy melodies and vocals, bashing club beats and organic samples, featuring some of the most talented producers of the present time.
7 – Kamixlo – Cicatriz, PAN
Long awaited debut album from British-Chilean producer based in Brixton, after the widely acclaimed King Kami, Angélico and Demonico EPs and after the Bala Club experience. Kamixlo keeps their attitude for industrial dembow bangers and deconstructed reggaeton in a darker and more minimalistic mood, putting on an extremely personal album, covered in scars as the title suggests.
8 – Drew McDowall – Agalma, Dais Records
Drew McDowall is a legend that dosen’t need any introduction, and with his latest LP, Agalma, delivers a true otherworldly experience, far from his more industrial work. A sonic ritual enriched by the collaborations with contemporary artists such as Caterina Barbieri and Kali Malone.
9 – Autechre – PLUS, Warp Records
On the – even more unexpected – companion to Sign, AE take a step back towards more prominent and hyperkinetic rhythms one would expect from them. Less ambience and more skittish beats make it the middle ground between Sign and their previous releases.
10 – Rian Treanor – File Under UK Metaplasm, Planet Mu
Treanor second full-length is a brilliant exploration/violation on the patterns of electronic dance music. It is a body work as twisted as it is accomplished, technically excellent and constantly exciting. A perfect example of calculated insanity.