Written by Joshua Mooney
Illustrated by Prince Pretzl
DJ Joshua Mooney shares his Sounds of 2020 playlist and accompanied article so you can simultaneously reminisce and discover those tracks you missed. Below is just a sneak peak, you can listen to the full playlist here.
The Avalanches – The Divine Chord ft. MGMT & Johnny Marr
Sneaking in with a late 2020 release, Australian legends The Avalanches unleash their 3rd album in 20 years We Will Always Love You. This standout track featuring MGMT and The Smiths’ Johnny Marr echoes the vibe of classic 2000s Avalanches with their trademark joyful sampling and dreamy tranquil vocals.
Frits Wentink – Trouble Man
Amsterdam-based DJ and producer Frits Wentink (the most popular of his seemingly never-ending list of aliases) has cultivated such a unique sound over the years. Trouble Man is a relentless house banger full of wild percussion and leftfield sampling which you never want to end as soon as you press play.
Giggs – Buff Baddies
The King of Peckham is back with new mixtape Now Or Never. Buff Baddies is one of those standout tracks with the classic monotone delivery we’ve all come to love over the years. If we could have gone out to clubs this year this would have been absolutely inescapable on every dancefloor up and down the UK.
Fiona Apple – Shameika
Reclusive songwriter Fiona Apple’s album Fetch The Bolt Cutters is most likely going to be top 5 on every music publications list this year. She even got a rare 10/10 review from Pitchfork which hasn’t been done since Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy ten years ago. It’s difficult to pick just one tune off the album but Shameika is a good start to understanding the vibe of the whole release. Now we’ll have to wait another decade ’til she decides to release another one.
Run The Jewels – Ooh LA LA ft. Greg Nice & DJ Premier
El-P and Killer Mike’s ongoing collaboration as Run The Jewels released their fourth album, RTJ4, back in June and they’re still as sharp and consistent as ever. Ooh LA LA in particular is a boom bap future classic featuring the legends that are DJ Premier and Greg Nice. It wouldn’t be out of place in your classic 90s hip hop set but it’s also so very 2020.
Kevin Morby – Sundowner
Texan folk rock god Kevin Morby released his sixth studio album back in October. It’s tough trying to pick just one track off it but the title track is a good start. Beautiful lyrics and guitar work makes this one of his best to date in my opinion, the guy is just so consistent. Once you get into this you’re going to want to listen to his entire discography.
Idles – War
It would be difficult to top their 2018 release Joy As An Act Of Resistance but somehow Bristol’s Idles have become a whole new beast. Angsty, angry and smart, their newest album ULTRA MONO is a driving guitar record like no other with WAR being the opener. Seeing this live is going to be a trip but for now you’re gonna have to turn it up and crowd-surf on your housemates I’m afraid.
Loski – Captain Hook
South London drill rapper and Harlem Spartan, Loski, dropped one of the most underrated gems of the genre this year with Music, Trial and Trauma – A Drill Story. The first half is made up of classic drill instrumentals and street stories, the second half being more thoughtful and delicate with features from the likes of Akala. Captain Hook is going to be blasting out of every white Mercedes speeding down dual carriageways for the foreseeable future.
Little Dragon – Hold On
Sweden’s Little Dragon rarely disappoints and 2020s long awaited New Me, Same Us was no different. There’s too many tunes on this album but this single stood out back in February. Yukimi’s classic bouncy vocals and the bands off-kilter production make it a future classic in the Little Dragon Catalogue.
Ejeca – Polar
Belfast’s Ejeca, aka Garry McCartney, is back again adding to his already booming house/techno back catalogue. Belfast’s dance music scene is constantly evolving and one person responsible for that is him. It’s a relentless peak time banger that doesn’t stop morphing into something new at every twist and turn. Every DJ should have this in their arsenal.
CHRISSY – CAN’T YOU FEEL IT (SOUNDBWOY KILLAH REMIX)
I don’t know much about either of these artists but I stumbled upon this early on in the year. The muffled rolling bass under this UK Garage/UK Funky banger reminds me of lonely dance-floors that have been closed all year. I know a whole heap of DJ’s who will be excited to unleash this on raves in the hopefully near future.
Clap! Clap! – Southern Dub ft. Domenico Candellori
Italian former jazz musician Clap! Clap! comes through with another bass heavy African-inspired banger. The Bassweight on this is outrageous as are the intricate rhythms and dreamlike vocals. It could be on a 2008 dark dubstep mixtape yet still it is so very 2020 in its imaginativeness.
You can listen to the full playlist on Spotify here.
Joshua Mooney is a Birmingham-born, London-based DJ who hosts regular shows on Netil Radio. He loves creating disco tracks and has DJ’d at a range of venues across Europe. His side hustles are modelling and voice overs to name a few.
Edited by Stephanie Kleanthous