Five 2020 albums for an electronic Christmas
The great Christmas albums are few and far between. A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector: wonderful, but the man’s a murderer and you’ve probably heard Marshmallow World a million times this month. A Charlie Brown Christmas: a masterpiece of the form, but ultimately too dreary for these most Scroogian of times. Wherever you are, this is probably going to be a pretty weird Christmas. So rather than settle for the usual Classic FM snoozefest, why not try out some of 2020’s best electronic albums to soundtrack your day? Here’s a rough plan for you.
Shygirl – Alias
The south east Londoner’s sing-raps are the stuff of dreams and nightmares. In just shy of 20 minutes, Shygirl tears up the pop music rulebook to deliver sci-fi tunes that remind us the future is already here. The tension, anticipation and fist pumping climaxes to these tracks make this the only music you should be opening presents to.
Bad Boy Chiller Crew – Full Wack No Brakes
UK dance music’s nostalgia for Bassline and Garage comes full circle with this pumped-up album by Bradford’s Bad Boy Chiller Crew. Their tongue-in-gurning-cheek attitude has invited comparisons to People Just Do Nothing’s Korrupt FM, but Bad Boy Chiller Crew are the real deal. Their X-rated bars, Monster-energy basslines and intense harmonies make this the perfect album to get you on your feet and roasting those veggies.
Beatrice Dillon – Workaround
Beatrice Dillon is a genius. Her debut album, Workaround, takes fragments from Jazz, House, and even Footwork. But it’s never alienating. In fact, Workaround is practically easy listening. Workaround 2 is low-key the track of the year: it’s everywhere, from adverts to Zoom club-nights. Stick this propulsive album on over your Christmas lunch and everything will be gravy.
Autechre – Sign
Between Chicken Run and the next box of Roses, Christmas Day often stretches out indeterminably. Authechre’s latest opus, Sign, is full of lengthy, challenging tracks that bring avant-garde sounds in line with melodies that will have you saying “glory hallelujah!”. If that’s not enough, Autechre followed up Sign with Plus, a collection of B-sides that expands their sounds and your festive mind.
Oneothrix Point Never – Magic Oneothrix Point Never
Even if you can’t handle Christmas carols, Magic Oneothrix Point Never is like going to church. The Brooklyn-based experimental electronic artist follows up his Uncut Gems soundtrack by turning the mirror on himself for a selection of vintage samples, vocoded harmonies and ambient sounds. If midnight mass is cancelled, this will do the trick.