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Inspired by other lists that also picked some of my favourites I thought I’d gather a list of my own.
It’s been a year of missing live performances and staying in and music has been a great solace.

So, in no particular order, here are my 2020 earworms. Hope you find something new.


Alabaster DePlume – To Cy & Lee. Instrumentals Vol 1 Bandcamp
I saw him perform a brief set at the Union Chapel and could see he was going in an interesting direction. Then this album came out in Feb 2020 and became a bedrock during lockdown. Undefinable and comforting.

SAULT – UNTITLED (Black Is) Bandcamp
One of the most important albums of the year. Amazing music, hopefulness and resistance – and all profits to charity.

Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again YouTube
Just a great voice and a lovely album. What’s not to like.

Matthew Haslsall & The Gondwana Orchestra – Into Forever Bandcamp
Originally from 2015, but I’m working through the back-catalogue now. So many great albums. Spiritual jazz.

Matthew Bourne – 1674 Bandcamp
New release this year from the brilliantly inventive keyboard player. Great soundscapes and spaces. Lots more in the back catalogue.

Ed Dowie – The Adjustable Arm EP Bandcamp
Another Union Chapel find. New album coming in 2021 but I needed more now! It’s been three years since ‘The Uncle Sold’, so I picked this up from 2014. Filling that Robert Wyatt space but making it his own.

Nat Birchall – Mysticism Of Sound Bandcamp
Anther 2020 release. He plays everything himself this time. Cosmic!

Ranjana Ghatak – The Butterfly Effect Bandcamp
Just a beautiful voice. Sanskrit / devotional / mystic / inspired. See her live if you ever get a chance.

Gia Margaret – Mia Gargaret Bandcamp
Another find. Her second album, released this summer. Uplifting instrumentals with a bit of Alan Watts voiceover.

Emily A. Sprague – Hill, Flower, Fog Bandcamp
Another American instrumentalist who delivered this year. Full of soft squeaks and drips, a warm cocoon.

Steve Lawson – The Best Of Steve Lawson Pt1 Bandcamp
Where has he been hiding? Superb British solo bass player with 20 years of releases. He generally releases everything under a lifetime subscription model but I think this was a pay-what-you-can release.

Christine and the Queens – La Vita Nuova YouTube
Surely the soundtrack of the year. We played it a lot. Thanks Chris.

Gil Scott-Heron – Pieces of a Man YouTube
Been working my way through his back catalogue and this one is still as fresh and relevant as it was in 1971.

What a year…

I was inspired by a couple of posts by my old friend, but new blogger,  Rob; and new social media contact Asha to post some 2008 highlights of my own. 

So, in no particular order…

Podcasts of the year: 

  • Mr Trick and Wrongtom: Two UK-based DJ’s who describe themselves best on their Faceboook page “Like two old soaks chatting by the fire, Trick and Tom swap songs, talking with passion and insight about the music they love, both new and old. Uncovering music you may have missed is usually the order of the day, with “but I bet you’ve not heard this…” being an oft-muttered sentence. Anything from doo-wop to gospel, punk to dub is pulled out for consideration, with the sole hope of having you wanting to look up these artists when the show’s over.”   Best thing since John Peel 🙂 IMHO
  • Daily Source Code – Adam Curry: Well, I first listened to Adam ‘The Father of Podcasting’ three or four years ago and then dropped it from my list as being a bit too long and disjointed. Returning this year was been a hoot. Adam has a mission to help us all wake up to knowledge we don’t know, and barely gets reported. Yeah Adam… “They (should) work for us”. Entertains me on those commutes. And, if you like this, then also check out the weekly ‘No Agenda’ show with Adam and John Dvorak.

 

Technology of the year: 

  • Nokia E71 Phone: Got this on contract from ‘3’ and it just does (almost) everything perfectly… now I just need an unlimited data plan 🙂

 

Music of the Year: It’s been a year of reawakening to new and old interests.

  • Tha Carter 3 > Lil Wayne:  Well, I am late the scene, but this one brought ‘gangster rap’ to my doorstep and took it in like a pint of milk.  Challenging but honest, musically coherent.
  • Eskimo > Balloonatic Part Two: Maybe not his greatest albumn but representative of my flip into the dance music this year. Ten years too late on the scene of course, but still making me hop around the room like a teenager 🙂
  • Esborn Svensson Trio > Leucocyte: A new jazz line line-up to me, but sadly their last album. Think Keith Jarrett meets Brian Eno meets <insert name here>.  Great pianist and composer.

So many more deserve mention  – been a great year for re-awakening of my consciousness.

Have a great 2009 everyone.

A year has gone by. When it started, I made a vow to try and record 2007 by posting a photo every day to Flickr.  Now, 395 photos later (I missed a day or two and then posted more than one on some days) I can look back and see what has the experience been like.

Well, it has been a challenge. But also a delight. Eye-opening. And definitely a learning experience.

A challenge to remember to keep a camera in my pocket and to keep up the daily routine. In fact my first camera got worn out.

A delight in finding photos that came out better than I expected. and then in finding strangers and friends commenting on them (thanks especially to top commenter starstruck232 for being so encouraging).

Eye-opening in the way that I learnt to start looking at the world in a new way. Often the shot I chose was not what I saw in front of me but what was behind me. You learn to look back a lot more. And down. And up.

So what have I learnt?

To take a moment to enjoy the world. Nearly all the shots are made inside 60 seconds, maybe 3 minutes if I was cycling at the time; and I often was on my daily commute; that’s not a lot of time out of the day – but many of those moments (like this , this and this) are still so vivid in my memory. and would be even if I had not taken a photo, because I saw something, stopped and snapped.

And what of next year?

I will still bring my new camera with me, often…maybe not every day. But I still want to stop, look, listen and absorb my environment every day.

Stay tuned for 2008’s challenge.

PS. This was the most viewed image!

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