Features Music Year End 2020 Pass The Mic: Artists and labels on 2020

Year End 2020

Music: Pass The Mic: Artists and labels on 2020

Reptoid (Jordan Sobolew)

photo by Christopher Sturm

1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2020? (In order 1-5)

In no specific order:

  • The Tunnel - Shapeshifter
  • Metz - Atlas Vending
  • Idles - Ultra Mono
  • Blacklisters - Fantastic Man
  • Wailin Storms - Rattle

Notable mentions:

  • Vincas - Phantasma
  • Hum - Inlet
  • Human Impact - s/t
  • Conan Neutron and the Secret Friends - Dark Passengers

2. What band did you discover in 2020 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?

Oddly for the first time, I have been getting into Killing Joke. I’ve heard them before but it never really clicked for me. Their output is quite varied but I have been enjoying their more aggressive material, specifically the 2003 s/t album a lot lately. Jaz Coleman’s insane throaty growls really give me something to strive towards with my own voice.

3. How will you remember 2020? (In terms of music)

This has been an interesting year because I’m not discovering new bands every night, either by playing shows or working in live sound. In the interest of keeping my sanity and mental well-being, I’ve reverted to a lot of old favorites and even classical music and Middle Eastern music in order to desperately sooth my mind. I think a lot of great releases came out this year from some of my favorite active bands but obviously, without the live component, the experience of enjoying music this year has been greatly lacking.

4. What can we look forward to from you in 2021?

It’s hard to say. I’m probably not going to release another record in isolation. I would love to be able to hit the road to support Worship False Gods as much as possible. Maybe if this vaccine thing works out, we’ll see a little of that but it’s more likely to happen in 2022. The best I can do is to think of some creative ideas to release live session videos. I’m already in process with this as we speak.

5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2021?

Truthfully, I have no idea what is coming down the pipeline. Most of my friends in bands are taking a break, understandably. I thought it was surprising that we had so many great releases in 2020 as it was. I can’t tell if bands have run out of steam by now or if they’re ramping back up. Hopefully the latter.

6. Trying to put a positive spin on things, what is your favorite development from the global pandemic this year? (Is there a new medium you enjoy, a specific song or collaboration, personal news, etc. that was a bright spot?)

Well, now that I plugged a bunch of other great bands, I can shamelessly say that by far, my highlight of the year was releasing my debut LP as Reptoid, Worship False Gods. With the world being what it was this year, I expected to put the album up, have a few people buy it and then have it drift into the ether, mostly forgotten. Thankfully, the record was well received and I sold way more copies than I could have even hoped. I am endlessly thankful for all my friends and fans for sticking with me and supporting the record. It came out in a time that I was struggling mentally and in need of something positive to happen in my life. I worked very hard on this record in the midst of health challenges in 2019 so seeing it succeed despite the setbacks and current state of the world really meant a lot to me. Thank you, worthy humans.

Beyond that, I have invested more time into my other, non-music related passion, pizza. I started an underground pizza club called Temple of the Pizza Mason where I serve local friends through isolated takeout orders from my front door. I’m looking forward to expanding into pop-ups and perhaps my own space in 2021.

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Words by Loren on Dec. 13, 2020, 11:25 a.m.

Main photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

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Pass The Mic: Artists and labels on 2020

Posted by Loren on Dec. 13, 2020, 11:25 a.m.

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Pages in this feature:

  1. A-F Records / Nightmarathons (Chris Stowe)
  2. Asbestos Worker (Josh Stever)
  3. Attic Salt (Skip Davis)
  4. Black Dots (Wade Henderson - guitar/yelling)
  5. Body Stuff (Curran Reynolds)
  6. Bootblacks (Barrett Hiatt)
  7. Bothers (John Massel)
  8. Broadway Calls (Ty Vaughn - guitar/vocals)
  9. Burnt Tapes (Phil LaTour)
  10. City Of Industry (Ossa Humilata)
  11. Cloud Rat (Rorik Brooks)
  12. Primitive Teeth (Christine)
  13. Days N Daze / Escape from the ZOO / Chad Hates George (Jesse Sendejas)
  14. DC-Jam Records (Darron Hemann)
  15. Deaf Club (Brian Amalfitano)
  16. Dirt Cult Records / Low Culture (Chris Mason)
  17. Divided Heaven (Jeff Berman)
  18. Foxfires (Josh Lyford)
  19. Heart and Lung
  20. Iron Lung Records (Jensen)
  21. Lamniformes
  22. Locrian / The Holy Circle / Axebreaker (Terence Hannum)
  23. MakeWar (Edwin)
  24. Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band (Nato Coles)
  25. Neighborhood Brats (George Rager)
  26. Netherlands (Timo Ellis)
  27. Old Ghosts (Derek)
  28. Partial Traces (Brad Lokkesmoe)
  29. Quattracenta (Andrea - drums)
  30. Real Numbers (Eli Hansen)
  31. Red Fiction / Secret Chiefs 3 / Estradasphere (Jason Schimmel)
  32. Red Scare Industries (Tobias Jeg)
  33. Reptoid (Jordan Sobolew)
  34. Salinas Records / Quaker Wedding (Marco Reosti)
  35. Sam Russo
  36. Scuba Cop
  37. Secret Fun Club (Sal Gallegos III)
  38. SpiritWorld (Stu Folsom)
  39. Sutekh Hexen / In Solace Publishing (Kevin Gan Yuen)
  40. The Carvels NYC (Lynne Von Pang)
  41. The Path (Jon Berg)
  42. The Pretty Flowers (Noah Green)
  43. Tibetan Sky Burial
  44. To Live A Lie Records / Tired Of Everything (Will Butler)
  45. Western Addiction (Jason Hall)
  46. Strangelight (Nat Coghlan)
Spacecase Records - skyscraper

Series: Year End 2020

Our wrap-up of the best music and more for the year we'll all want to otherwise forget, 2020.

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