2021 favourite Compilations/Reissues/E.P.s/Live Albums/DJ Mixes/etc

I can only think of one live album I loved, Tunisian experimental artist Emel’s Everywhere We Looked Was Burning (Live). One for fans of Bjork, I reckon.

And only one great cover version comes to mind, Anna B Savage’s ice-cold take on Edwyn Collins’ A Girl Like You (which comes from a very good EP I missed off my list above).

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I do love a concept album (or admire the endeavour, at least). My favourite of the year was this celebration of the 100th anniversary of Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R. It is ambient electronica using excerpts from a 1937 radio performance of the play to tell the story.

Čapek’s play was a fundamental work about artificial, factory-assembled servants called “robots”, a word derived from Czech term for forced serfs’ labour. This word was suggested to Čapek by his brother Josef but it was the very play, R.U.R., that introduced it to the world.

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I love a good compilation! The Friday release threads have had some tasty ones in the last year.

my fav came out in February and I nabbed a vinyl copy over Christmas - Colemine Records Presents: Brighter Days Ahead. I guess you would class it as a record label sampler type of thing.

EP wise… India Jordan’s - Watch Out!. It’s banger! For some reason a “disc 2” has been recently added to the Spotify version.

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COMPILATIONS:
Jackie Leven - Straight Outta Caledonia
Nancy Sinatra - Start Walkin’

LIVE
Shizuka - Paradise of Delusion
Oh Sees - The Chapel, SF 10.2.19

REISSUES
Spiritualized - Lazer Guided Melodies
My Morning Jacket - At Dawn 20th Anniversary reissue

BOX SET / REISSUE / PHYSICAL ARTEFACT OF THE YEAR
PAUL Quinn - Unadulterated / Unincorporated Boxset - includes the 2 PQ & the Independent Group LPs plus live cuts and rarities as well as a hardback book featuring photos and press cuttings, and a couple of prints.

I bought all of these on vinyl.

EDIT: Forgot the EPs
Sofia Kourtesis - Fresia Magdalena
Satomimagae - Colloid

7” SINGLE
Horsegirl - Ballroom Dance Scene

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Sort of cheating cos it’s not really a compilation themed around anything other than the year of release, but the Bleep 100 is always worth buying I think (I don’t think they stay available for too long each year, not sure).

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Also I went on at length about the Optimo 2021 mixtape series (particularly in the unused download codes thread), but if you don’t go in there then the tracklists are here:

And for another few days they’re available to download in exchange for a £25 charity donation, details:

^that message is from Jan 5th, so I assume Jan 12th is when that offer ends.

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Loved Habibi Funk II md Somewhere Between (both mentioned by @zanimos above)

A few others

A brilliant compilation which ranges across some spritely electro pop and lots of gossamer light ambient instrumentals. FFO Talk Talk, Blue Nile, Eno, YMO etc.

A companion piece to the above - mostly U.K. stuff from the same era and in a similar vein.

Great reissue of a superb album by the Japanese pop singer Akiko Yano, recorded in London in the eighties with members of Japan and Ryuichi Sakamoto (her romantic partner at the time) providing the music. Incredibly catchy eighties electro pop.

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Everything Logic1000 touched last year was pure gold. If she ever puts an album out rather than just keeping releasing singles/EPs, it’s going to be special! House/electronic goodness and championed by Kieran Hebden:

My other big favourite EP from 2021 was Tamaraebi’s Spectrum. I’ve seen him list Prince, Outkast and Tame Impala as his big influences and they’re a good indication of the sound. Maybe some D’Angelo too? Really addictive stuff and he deserves to be huge.

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The three volumes from Martyn’s 3024 Artist Mentoring Program is pretty lovely.

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Going to try my first link, for Cameroon Garage Funk (Analog Africa). My introduction to the label which I am now obsessed with (and a second for Habibi Funk)

https://open.spotify.com/album/1OKfcvDJwS1DwokTAxp07H?si=11vilQD0SjahVIMI4SKvGg

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This is one of my favourite eps of the year. A mix of electronica and experimental pop. I had to drop it from my write up as I just couldn’t put why I liked it into words, which is rubbish on my part.

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I did enjoy this EP, The Dream We Had by a Polish band called Midsommar that I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned in any other threads. Very pretty shoegaze/dream-pop. The guitars are nice but the vocals are probably what make it for me - layers of ethereal type stuff that sort of refract all over the place. Very chilled.

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The Record Club releases from reissue label Melodies International have been pretty tasty. “Artist curated mini compilations” …very mini, only two tracks on each release. First one was put together by Four Tet

Only two releases strong, very much looking forward to what comes next.

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Favorite EPs are

Meat Wave - Volcano Park EP

Eluvium - Virga II EP

A Place to Bury Strangers - Hologram EP

You can’t go wrong with a Numero Group comp. I signed up to a vinyl subscription for the last 3 months of 2021 and the December record was this :arrow_down:

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For some reason, writing this has broken me. But here it is, my EPs of the year.

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Great write up. I’d forgotten all about that Broken Suns EP. It’s excellent. Love how percussive it sounds.

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Thanks :smiley:

Downloaded when it came out but I still haven’t listened to this.