Best Of 2020: Albums

New records are what make our life more interesting at Phonica, not knowing what we are going to hear as we open boxes from far-flung labels and distributors from all over the world who just keep on finding us mind-blowing music. Even in the deepest lockdown times, we still had a skeleton crew coming in and getting all these records on the site and sent out to you. Albums are a little easier to choose than singles & tracks, as there is some consensus as to what constitutes a 'good' album. Leading the pack have been two releases from the mysterious, previously unknown Sault - it's quite apt in the year we have been locked away at home, the albums of the year have been by an act we know very little about. Both albums are excellent, combining elements of jazz, soul & hip-hop - it's very easy to see how its become a Gilles Peterson favourite. The two records were released after the death of George Floyd and the much-needed attention on the Black Lives Matter movement, Sault themselves actually stating their Untitled albums “mark a moment in time where we as Black People, and of Black Origin are fighting for our lives… Change is happening…We are focused. Actress returned with one of his best albums to date with 'Karma & Desire', Four Tet continues to satisfy all we want to hear both on a dancefloor and at home and Jeff Parker's magnificent ' Suite for Max Brown' was a staff favourite where Jeff balances his contemporary digital explorations with excursions into older jazz. We could go on but our selection says it all.

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