So 2020, Fighting Boredom attended two gigs. Before the world became a mixture of isolation, sitting at home staring at video calls and slowly losing mental well being.
Martin Ward, our snapper, managed to do two sets of pictures this year, Wire and Damo Suzuki. But while he lacked gigs to capture he did listen to a container ship load of music. Loudly. We managed to prise a list of his favourite albums of 2020 and here they are.
Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death
They said – ‘Fontaines D.C. have returned with an intensely confident, patient, and complex follow up album. ‘A Hero’s Death’ arrives battered and bruised, albeit beautiful – a heady and philosophical take on the modern world, and its great uncertainty.’
Wire – Mind Hive
They said – ‘WIRE exhibit little inclination to look back or trade on past glories, rather they remain resolutely focused on producing music which is smart, vital and defiantly modern. The post punk hero’s seventeenth new album.
The Bubble Chamber LP GU002
They said – ‘The goal of this compilation is to showcase the reach and influence which Drexciya had through generations of electronic music producers and also link them together with compositorial predecessors from the early 80s. The musical timeline on this compilation starts from 1982 and reaches its contemporary end in 2019.’
Autechre – Sign
They say – ‘Effectively they’ve gotten better to grips with their live set-up, and the hyper ideas found in their work-in-progress demonstrations on the five volume ‘Elseq’ and 8hrs of ‘NTS Sessions’ have been refined into moments of crystalline ambient baroque beauty and liquid-limbed swag on ’Sign’.’
Loop – Sevens
No one who knows the snapper will be suprised by this choice of the reissue of the first three Loop seven inch singles. The story about obtaining a copy aside, this is indispensable.
Coriky – Coriky
They say – ‘Coriky is a band from Washington, D.C. Amy Farina plays drums. Joe Lally plays bass. Ian MacKaye plays guitar. All sing.’ Of course what that doesn’t say is that this is two people from Fugazi together again making righteous emotional music again.
Juniore – Un Deux Trois
They say – ‘French ‘60s influenced indie-pop three-piece Juniore have been described as a cross between Cat Power and Françoise Hardy.’ We say – It’s truly bonkers magical pop music.
Clipping. – Visions Of Bodies Being Burned
They say – ‘Their new album finds Clipping. building upon the language of their already-revolutionary music, while still making the trunk rattle on dilapidated hearses and demon-possessed Plymouth Furys. Never, ever, under any circumstances, assume the killer is dead. ‘
Cabaret Voltaire – Shadow Of Fear
They say – ‘it dances across techno, dub, house, 1970s Kosmische, and general esoteric explorations coupled with mangled vocal samples. It’s a voyage through the history of electronic music that arrives at a new destination.’
Black Mekon – The Lumpiness Of Demand
They say – ‘a quick detour right back the start, recorded fast and live as a two-piece with all the consideration and skill of a flaming, wingless jet engine heading for the mountain.
Jetstream Pony – Jetstream Pony
They say – ‘Schrammelig post punk and indie-pop’ We say – a proper indie record That rush of blood to my head, the sheer exuberism of the music and the emotions raw and open are all here on Jetstream Pony.
Sonic Boom – all Things Being Equal
They said – ‘This album began in 2015 as electronic jams. The original sketches of electronic patterns, sequenced out of modular synths. Three years later he added vocals inspired by Sam Cooke, The Sandpipers, and the Everly Brothers (which he admits “don’t go far from the turntable pile”)’
Bob Mould – Blue Hearts
He said – ‘the catchiest batch of protest songs I’ve ever written in one sitting’. Through some of the most direct, confrontational lyrics of his four-decade career, Mould makes his point of view clear: ‘I never thought I’d see this bullshit again/To come of age in the ’80s was bad enough/We were marginalized and demonized/I watched a lot of my generation die/Welcome back to American crisis’.
Grand Veymont – Persistence & changement
They said – A single song, with several movements, several moods. “The idea of a single song with several movements soon emerged, something unprecedented for us and quite rare in pop music”.
Idles – Ultra Mono
They said – ‘Not far beneath the surface of their self-admitted sloganeering lies a deeply complex and brutally relevant album that chews up clichés and spits them out as high art for the masses. This is momentary acceptance of the self. This is Ultra Mono.’
Squarepusher – Be Up A Hello
They say – Tom Jenkinson returns to the vintage hardware used in his early ’90s works on ‘Be Up A Hello’ – his first project as Squarepusher following a 5-year hiatus. We say – It’s a bleepy, bonkers multi textured smash to the skull
So there you have it, what got the snapper through the year as he sat at his home office desk all year. We were hoping to see at least three gigs in 2021 but at the moment even that seems like a remote possibility.