Avant Music News Best of 2020: Part II – Albums of the Year

To the extent that these lists mean much of anything, here are our favorite recordings of 2020. Many of these albums have been reviewed here at AMN, and such reviews have been linked in the list below.

As usual, our list is so lengthy that we broke it into two separate postings. The “best of” is today, and the honorable mentions were yesterday. Let me add the usual disclaimer that this list is incomplete, I have not heard all 2020 releases, and have probably missed a few really good ones. Enjoy.

Like this list? Feel free to peruse previous years’ lists.

Albums of the Year

Doctor Nerve – LOUD
Happy Place – Tendrils
Webber, Anna / Angela Morris – Both Are True
Wooley, Nate – Seven Storey Mountain VI

Best of 2020

African Head Charge – Churchical Chant of the Iyabinghi
Allemano, Lina / OHRENSCHMAUS – Rats and Mice
Argyre Plantia – Tenth Region of the Night
Behold… The Arctopus – Hapeleptic Overtrove
Berne 7, Tim – Adobe Probe
Berne, Tim / Matt Mitchell – 1
Berne, Tim / Snakeoil – The Deceptive 4 (Live)
Berne, Tim / Snakeoil – The Fantastic Mrs. 10
Big Heart Machine – Live at the Jazz Gallery
Bishop, Jeb / Nate McBride / Tim Daisy – Alive at the Hideout
Braxton, Anthony / Jaqueline Kerrod – Duo (Bologna) 2018
Brooklyn Raga Massive – In D
Brotzmann, Peter / Moukhtar Gania / Hamid Drake – The Catch of a Ghost
Cameron, Lisa / Damon Smith / Alex Cunningham – Dawn Throws its First Knife
Carrier / Gadecki / Bozek / Lambert – Wide
Chromb! – Le Livre des Merveilles
Collier-Ford, Randal – Advent
Colossloth – Plague Alone
Corecass – VOID
Crazy Doberman – Illusory Expansion
Dahlia’s Tear – Descendants of the Moon
Davis, Gareth / Merzbow – Broken Landscapes
DeathOrchestra – Symphony of Death
Decker, Sam – Shrove
Deerhoof – Love-Lore
Dronny Darko – Origin
Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel – Halocline
Eastmond, Sam / Spike Orchestra – Splintered Stories
Ellman, Liberty – Last Desert
Evangelista / Hawkins / Moholo-Moholo / Watts – Apura!
Ewen, Sandy – You Win
Exit in Grey – Control Points
Flowers for Bodysnatchers – Infernal Beyond
Freakdom – Session One
Fulmedesh – Caracoles de una Ciudad Enterrada
Grand Sbam, Le – Furvent
Granelli, Jerry / Trio – Plays Vince Guaraldi & Mose Allison
Grdina, Gordon / Septet – Resist
Halvorson, Mary / Code Girl – Artlessly Falling
Hammond, Ross / Oliver Lake / Mike Pride – Our Place on the Wheel
Harnik, Elisabeth / Paal Nilssen-Love – Tangram
Hausswolff, Anna von – All Thoughts Fly
Icepick (Nate Wooley, I.Haker-Flaten & C.Corsano) – Hellraiser
Insect Ark – The Vanishing
Irreversible Entanglements – Irreversible Live in Berlin
Irreversible Entanglements – Irreversible Live in Italy
Jack O’ The Clock – No Outlet (Volume 2 – 2014-2018)
Jarguna / Seetyca – Tales of Millenial Trees
Jordan / Futterman / Parker / Drake – A Tribute to Alvin Fielder, Live at Vision Festival XXIV
Karris, Reid – Solo Guitars
Laplante, Travis and Yarn/Wire – Inner Garden
Lavoie, Joel – Souvenir
Llyn Y Cwn – Dinorwic
Lords of the Drift – The Arecibo Message
Love Supreme Electric, A – A Salvo Inspired by John Coltrane – A Love Supreme & Meditations
McGuire, Ryan – Lessness
Merzbow / Mats Gustafsson / Balazs Pandi – Cuts Open
Mitchell, Nicole / Moor Mother – Offering – Live at Le Guess Who
Mitchell, Roscoe – Splatter
Moore / Edwards / Day / Butcher / Beresford – Stovelit Lines
Morris, Joe / Chris Pitsiokos / Kevin Murray – Species Machine
Motl, Kyle / Patrick Shiroishi / TJ Borden – In This Failing Light
Motl, Kyle / Rhonda Taylor – Sepulchers
Nakatani, Tatsuya / Shane Parish – Interactivity
Necks, The – Three
New Risen Throne – The Outside
Nihil Impvlse – Stasis
Nimh & Rapoon – Post-Folk Lore Vol. 1
Noise Eating Monsters, The – Voracious
Park, Han Earl / Catherine Sikora / Nick Didkovsky – Parabiosis: Eris 136199 Live at The Vortex
Pavone, Jessica / String Ensemble – Lost and Found
Quail, Jo – Five Incantations
Rader, Abbey / John McMinn / Kyle Motl – To Ignite the Fire
Redhead, Lauren – The Octopus
Regenorchester XII – Relics
Roach, Steve – The Sky Opens
Rosenboom, Daniel – Absurd in the Anthropocene
Sadeghi, Kamran – Between Us
Schnellertollermeier – 5
Seabrook, Brandon / Trio – Exultations
Shiroishi, Patrick – Descension
Shocron, Paula / William Parker / Pablo Diaz – Live at IBeam
Sonar / David Torn – Tranceportation Vol. 2
Sonologyst – Ancient Death Cults and Beliefs
Stirrup+6 – The Avondale Addition
Talibam! / Silke Eberhard / Nikolaus Neuser – This Week is in Two Weeks
tetema – Necroscape
theBABAorchestra – Marigold Live at the Ford Theater
Thirlwell, J.G. / Simon Steensland – Oscillospira
Threadbare (Stein / Cruz / Hunton) – Silver Dollar
Thumbscrew (Halvorson / Formanek / Fujiwara) – The Anthony Braxton Project
Tineidae – Exo
Titan to Tachyons – Cactides
Toninato, Ida – We Become Giants
Triptykon – Requiem – Live at Roadburn 2019
Tropos – Axioms // 75 AB
Ugasanie – Freedom and Loneliness
Undirheimar – Heljarrúnar
Vairinhos, João – Vénia
Various Artists – Anthology of Persian Experimental Music Vol. II
Various Artists – Anthology of Experimental Music from Mexico
Various Artists – Music for Abandoned Cold War Places
Vertessen, Raf / Quartet – LOI
Wadada Leo Smith / Barry Schrader – Pacific Light and Water / Wu Xing – Cycle of Destruction
Walerian, Mat / Okuden Quartet – Every Dog Has Its Day But It Doesn’t Matter…
Webber, Anna – Rectangles
Weiss, Dan / Starebaby – Natural Selection
Williams, Mars – Presents an Ayler Xmas Vol. 4: Chicago vs. NYC
Xerxes the Dark – Final Crisis
Xerxes the Dark – X-Theory (Best of 2005-2020)
Zorn, John – Beyond Good and Evil: Simulacrum Live
Zorn, John – Calculus

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