Which is the hottest English album

The culture department recommends: The best music of 2020

Album: Sault - Black Is & Rise

This British band has released four albums, two of them doubles, since 2019. The mixture of afrobeat, soul, gospel and urban funk experiences an aura through the mysterious anonymity of its creators, which is reinforced by political positions. For all their casualness, Sault exude a melancholy urgency that is difficult to escape. Which of the two albums to take? All four.

Song: Moodymann - Do Wrong

The deep house god Kenny Dixon Jr. sampled together on his album Taken Away Al Green and various gospel snippets to the brutally infectious hallelujah boom Do Wrong. Even organ bumps and ecstasy sounds from black churches, whose effect has been confirmed a thousand times over, can add added value to Dixon alias Moodymann by means of sensitively curated sound snippets. The result is actually divine.

Newcomer: Granted - freak. Make a fair

Great chastisement music from the Catholic boarding school, which rocks into exorcism and counter-exorcism and disgusts disgusting complaints such as false sow or freak with a thin voice. In addition, the trio led by the author Lydia Haider delivers the feel-good hit with The viruses should die at the moment. Partial kneeling and electric shocks as music - the best local band on top. Absolution? Damnation.

Surprise: Prince - Sign o 'the Times Deluxe Box

1987 is actually over. But the deluxe re-release of this milestone, based on slim 13 LPs, sounds like the unknown oeuvre of a just discovered genius. The prince's body, abdomen and life issues - sex, sex and making love - exploded into a wealth of species that was insubordinately dismissed early in 2016, making the Kamasutra seem celibate and lacking in imagination.

Album: William Basinski - Lamentations

With The Disintrigation Loops In 2001 he provided the soundtrack for 9/11. With Lamentations and his orchestral tape loop and ambient music, droning a thousand tears deep in melancholy and grief in a church of the last few days, hits the US musician again this year on the mark. The tapes slowly begin to crackle and crumble. The world is tired. She has to do without people now.

Song: Skyway Man - Night Walking, Alone

This year there can only be this song for lonely night walks through deserted streets: "Turn on the radio and fade away". The wonderful Californian Skyway Man offers on his album The World Only Ends When You the heart-touching, irradiated gospel and country. John Lennon and Boney M., interpreted from Alice in Wonderland's perspective. And he gives us consolation: "Sha la la la".

Newcomer: Backxwash - Stigmata

The Afro-Canadian transfemme rapper Backxwash (the x stands for an upside-down Christian cross) is driving on his work Stigmata and God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out the devil out of Christianity. Colonialism-exorcism included. We hear heavy metal samples from the Hellmouth, brutal hip-hop beats and lyrics soaked in black magic. Breathtaking and demanding.

Surprise: Ennio Morricone - Morricone Segreto

Apart from the well-known classics, the grandmaster of film music, who passed away this year, lived out his love for experimental sounds quite unrestrainedly. This fantastic new compilation with some hitherto unreleased pieces sends us on a rollercoaster ride between cool jazz, crazy psychedelic rock, hair-raising pizzicato attacks, love afflictions with siren rehearsals and sweet death kitsch.

Album: Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia

As far as mainstream pop is concerned, no one could hold a candle to her this year. Dua Lipa, the British climber with Kosovar roots, turned the lockdown apartment into an 80s disco and couch potatoes into dancers. She managed to tear us away from everyday life and beam us to a glittering "happy place" for the duration of her album. Future nostalgia sounds sexy, happy and fresh despite the retro flip page.

Song: Cardi B. / Megan Thee Stallion - WAP

The number of the year has to be one that you couldn't get past, that followed you at every turn, that flooded the Internet. Yeah, "I'm talking WAP, WAP, WAP". The ode of the two rap superstars Cardi B. and Megan Thee Stallion to a certain, well, body juice bar was not only characterized by catchiness and memorable one-liners ("Bring a bucket and a mop"), but was an obscenely funny political issue .

Newcomer: Helena Deland - Someone New

Sitting in the bathtub with a glass of wine, feeling sad and not knowing why. The first album by the Canadian Helena Deland about love is suitable for this. It sounds melancholic, furious, delicate and dark and lies somewhere between shoe gauze and gentle indie rock. Anyone who likes Phoebe Bridgers and Weyes Blood or is generally a sad guitar-loving child will also like Ms. Deland.

Surprise: Sault - Black Is & Rise

That Sault make good music isn't a big surprise. That the British soul collective with Untitled (Black Is) and Untitled (Rise) In 2020 he presented two phenomenal albums, but can be considered as such. Even if the reason for so much productivity, the murder of George Floyd, the police violence against blacks and their fight for justice, is a bitter one. More urgent albums have not been heard in 2020.

Album: M. Halvorson‘s Code Girl - Artlessly Falling

There it is again: the fragile voice of Robert Wyatt (75) - still the most tender temptation since there was pop music inspired by Karl Marx. The jazz sextet around guitarist Mary Halvorson from Boston does everything else right: Poems are set to music, but without annoying song structure. Halvorson understands clay chains in changing positions à la Robert Fripp. Prog without the nerd factor.

Song: Cinder Well - Our Lady's

The acoustic guitar rattles and groans like a dying animal: Amelia Baker lives in County Clare, Ireland. Under the name "Cinder Well" she records the most heartbreaking folk of these days. The nine-minute "Our Lady's" forms the pulsating center of the album "No Summer". Inmates of an abandoned mental hospital somewhere in the wilderness are sung about. Here evil is driven out with the patience of angels.

Newcomer: Sorry 3000 - nasal spray

With the miserable pandemic, there is even no prescription requirement. Sorry 3000, wearing a training jacket from Halle an der Saale, scourge the ephedrine intoxication from the plastic bottle in "nasal spray" with urgent warning words. By the way, her debut album is called "Why Overthinking Destroys You". Sorry 3000 sing about the drama of the sensitive child: Sociologists' speech, bedded on brightly colored "loser pop".

Surprise: The Monochrome Set - Love Zombies

42 years of the most wonderful British independent pop without Her Majesty's commission: The band around the texting Dandy Bid built small works of art from the 1970s, when (almost) anything seemed possible at short notice. They consisted of swing and art-pop, Morricone, Music-Hall and Monty Python. Bid also recited ravishing nonsense verses. In particular, the re-released album "Love Zombies" is absolutely essential

Album: Rudolf Buchbinder - The Diabelli Project

An excellent idea to create something from the Beethoven year (his 250th ...) with and for contemporaries: pianist Rudolf Buchbinder does not simply have Ludwig van Beethoven's sovereign Diabelli variations recorded (DG). Eleven new pieces dealing with Diabelli's waltz have also been commissioned. Have participated among others. Lara Auerbach, Master Hosokawa, Johannes Maria Staud, Max Richter and Jörg Widmann.

Song: Diana Krall - Don't Smoke In Bed

Good advice in these all too domestic times: "Don't smoke in bed", sings the Canadian Diana Krall on her new recording This Dream of You. It sounds smoky, sleepy, so it seems to be in that state in which one should be careful with fire. For the interpretation of jazz ballads, however, this constitution is ideal. Krall hits the right note with understatement, and the song goes straight to the heart.

Newcomer: Nubya Garcia - Source

The British jazz scene is very popular, including tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia. Rightly. On their new CD Source it presents itself with a radiant shade of sun and a relaxed approach to time. Her style lives from a "laid back" attitude, Garcia stays relaxed, lets notes breathe extensively and prefers large intervals. It all adds up to an interesting personal style. And that's what you need in jazz.

Surprise: Ambrose Akinmusire - On The Tender Spot

Ambrose Akinmusire explores the complex and tragic sides of African American life in the United States. On the trumpeter's current CD, On the tender spot of every calloused moment (Blue Note), merges commitment with instrumental quality (between hard free jazz and sleek post-bebop). It became the surprisingly powerful document of a musically high-profile melancholy lament over the sad circumstances.

(18.12.2020)