In no particular order, here are 25 records I particularly enjoyed this year. Aho Ssan – Simulacrum KMRU – Peel Laura Luna Castillo – Tuberose Speaker Music – Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind King Rambo Sound – Strange Reality 奇妙な現実 Menzi – Impazamo Atariame – Completeness Pantea – Things BLÓM – Flower Violence
Lockdown dance parties, loosening the Nutcracker’s limbs, finding space to breathe. The songwriter and saxophonist discusses three important albums. Ashley’s picks: Jonathan Richman – I, Jonathan Duke Ellington – The Nutcracker Suite Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Mandatory Reality Ashley’s excellent new record, Ray, is out now on Slip.
For some reason I have a very vivid false memory of seeing Ashley Paul live at Cafe Oto, even though I’ve never managed to make it out to see her play. Does the intense detail and intimacy of her music trick me into thinking that we’ve shared company?
Like some disastrous tightrope act, Ashley Paul’s beautifully fragile patches of song – gently quivering, poised in a state of equilibrium – are surrounded by the threat of collapse. Even its spots of explicit beauty (first seen in hushed vocals and cascading guitar petals of “Clouds”) feel destined to lose balance,