The Music Factory’s Favourite Albums of 2020

The home-bound year of 2020 allowed for more time for music than ever, and the lack of gigs, clubs and festivals made the album all the more relevant. Here Piers Barber runs down the best LPs the year had to offer. Full lists from previous years can be found here, here, herehereherehereherehere, here and here

Honourable mentions

Earth Trax – LP1; Call SuperEvery Mouth Teeth Missing; Actress – Karma & Desire; Seltene ErdenScorched Earth; Jezzy Lanza – All The Time; Zenker BrothersCosmic Transmission; Roisin Murphy – Roisin Machine; Theo ParrishWuddaji; Cut Copy – Freeze, Melt; Paul Epworth – Voyager; Andrea – Ritorno; John Beltran – The Season Series; Skepta, Chip, Mainz – Insomnia; Daniel AveryIllusion of Time; Caribou Suddenly; Omar S – You Want; King KruleMan Alive!; The Orielles – Disco Volador; Rolling Blackouts Coastal FeverSideways to New Italy; Working Men’s Club – Working Men’s Club; Romare – Home; Dan Kye – Small Moments; Earth Trax – LP2; MJ Cole – MJ Cole Presents Madrugada, Moodymann – Taken Away; J Hus – Big Conspiracy; Jam City – Pillowland; SAULT – Untitled (Rise); SAULT – Untitled (Black Is); Knxwledge – 1988; Luke Abbott – Translate; The Soft Pink Truth – Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?; Moses Boyd – Dark Matter

5. Ultraista – Sister

Ultraista’s Rough Trade launch was the last gig I managed to fit in before the first lockdown, and the resulting album – all pretty glitchy beats and lovely melodies – was a triumph of modern pop pioneered by half of Atoms For Peace with the added vocal talents of Laura Bettinson.

4. Daniel Avery – Love + Light

Daniel Avery’s third solo full-length, which dropped as a much-appreciated lockdown surprise in June, makes the top five mainly because of centrepiece ‘Dream Distortion’, a big room atmospheric masterclass that made me suddenly yearn for clubs. Elsewhere Love + Light is all tasteful, often thumping electronica which is indebted to the influence of Avery’s friend Andrew Weatherall, who died earlier in the year.

3. Darkstar – Civic Jams

The unexpected return of post-dubstep heroes (Civic Jams is the duo’s first album since 2015) was a tasteful snapshot of our strange era, with murky electronics, almost shoegaze atmospherics and vulnerable vocals capturing the confusion and isolation of lost lockdown communities within a deserted city.

2. K-Lone – Cape Cira

Bristol producer K-Lone’s first full-length effort was a restrained and beautiful departure from previous club-focused EPs. Full of natural samples and recordings, Cape Cira is a delightful slice of tropical meandering rollers – ideal escapism from long days in a small London flat and ideal earworms to amplify the year of existential wanderlust that was 2020.

1. DJ PythonMas Amable

The pulsing rhythms of Brian Piñeyro’s second full-length, which flows from start to finish like a single piece of music, was the ultimate lockdown accompaniment. His take on deep reggaeton is captivating and idiosyncratic, with ‘ADMSDP’, the album’s LA Warman-featuring centrepiece, a memorable meditative self-help healer. 2020 was Piñeyro year, with the New York producer also releasing a run of triumphant remixes as his sleepy, meditative groovers struck a chord with the mood of the year. A classic.

Follow the Music Factory on Twitter @MusicFactoryNo1.

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