Best of 2021

Although for many its been a desperately sad year, with hundreds of thousands impacted in various ways by COVID-19, Brexit and other local, personal, national and international events, it’s been an extraordinary year for musical releases.

I have chosen 13 recordings to suit the mood, in no particular order, for Squatney Council (UK):

Youmna Saba – Al-Sobh for the conference “Working Through Crisis: Innovations, Possibilities and Limitations of Research in a Volatile Lebanon”, organized by the RELIEF Center, in March 2021
Marsha Fisher – Cloquet Sketches (s/r)
Faith Coloccia & Philip Jeck – Stardust (Touch)
Manja Ristić – Kairos & The Dwellers (f-o-m)
Steve Roden – Stars of Ice (Room40)
Patrick Shiroishi – Hidemi (American Dreams)
Gabie Strong – Wilding Sun (Dragon’s Eye Recordings)
Lina Tullgren – Visiting (s/r)
Melissa Pons – Wolf Soundscapes (s/r)
Geneva Skeen – Double Bind (ROOM40)
CM von Hausswolff – The Wind In Kirtipur (Erototox Decodings)

And two items I found myself:

Little Man, Big Voice – a recording from the streets of Los Angeles
venoztks – Light Breaker (Vtks)

I couldn’t find room for excellent work from Olivia Block, Susje Ritsch, Strom | Morts, Ian Wellman, Yann Novak, Brook Hinton, Jeremy Young, Tony Elleh, Innode, Travelogue, Charlie Campagna, Jim Haynes, Yenting Hsu, Ian Hawgood, Mike Dobler and countless others suffering to various degrees.