Operation Manatee Music Prize 2020: The Long List

2020, right?

There was one thing I was sure of when we all went home in March: the output music and other art was going to be nuts! This year did not disappoint, in that respect. I have never listened to as much new music in a year as this one (and I make an annual best album list)!

Seriously, the amount of excellent new music released in this shit storm of a year has been staggering. When contemplating how best to start this list, I finally just admitted that I could not possibly cover every great, or even just really good, release from 2020. So I decided to cap it at 50. Cutting albums from this long list was torturous, but I didn’t want to be working on this list into next year. I’m willing to bet I’ll still be discovering great albums from this year in 2030. Damn!

Alright, so for the long list, I’m giving it to you straight, with no commentary. Just some notes about origin and release date.

Some rules to make it to this list:

  • Must be good music
  • No singles except full album-length/concept tracks; can be EPs
  • No compilations
  • Reissues considered only if more significant now

As always, the Top 5 Albums of the year are yet to come.

And so, I present to you, the best albums of 2020, so say I:

Artist Album Release Date Origin
Maât Solar Mantra 1/1/20 France
Andy Shauf The Neon Skyline 1/24/20 Canada
Afrikan Sciences Journey Into Mr Re 2/2/20 USA
Kassa Overal I THINK I’M GOOD 2/28/20 USA
Alabaster dePlume To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1 2/28/20 UK
Caribou Suddenly 2/28/20 Canada
Sen Morimoto B​-​Sides & Rarities 3/20/20 USA
ONIPA We No Be Machine 3/20/20 UK
Andrew Judah Impossible Staircase 4/20/20 Canada
Sharada Shashidhar Rahu 5/14/20 USA
EL-P Fantastic Damage 5/14/20 USA
Damu the Fudgemunk, Archie Shepp & Raw Poetic Ocean Bridges 5/22/20 USA
Jordan Klassen Tell Me What To Do 5/22/20 Canada
79rs Gang Expect The Unexpected 5/29/20 USA
Etienne de la Sayette KOBUGI 6/1/20 France
Run The Jewels RTJ4 6/3/20 USA
Photay Waking Hours 6/12/20 USA
Nihiloxica Kaloli 6/12/20 Uganda
SAULT UNTITLED (Black Is) 6/19/20 USA
Soft Focus Flowers 6/26/20 Belgium
Keleketla! Keleketla! 7/3/20 UK
Duval Timothy Help 8/7/20 UK
Son Lux Tomorrows I 8/14/20 USA
Nubya Garcia SOURCE 8/21/20 UK
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah Axiom 8/28/20 USA
Joshua Van Tassel Dance Music volume II: More Songs for Slow Motion 9/11/20 Canada
Slauson Malone Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak) 9/16/20 USA
Lex Amor Government Tropicana 9/18/20 UK
Takuya Kuroda Fly Moon Die Soon 9/18/20 USA
SAULT UNTITLED (Rise) 9/18/20 USA
Supergombo Sigi Tolo 9/25/20 France
IDLES Ultra Mono 9/25/20 UK
Bless The Mad Bless The Mad 9/25/20 USA
Christopher Port Ritual Music (EP | 2020) 10/9/20 Australia
The Quiet Ones The Quiet Ones 10/9/20 UK
Souleance Les Mouches 10/9/20 France
Raúl Monsalve y los Forajidos Bichos 10/16/20 UK
Napoleon Da Legend Dragon Ball G 10/16/20 USA
beabadoobee Fake It Flowers 10/16/20 UK
clipping. Visions of Bodies Being Burned 10/23/20 USA
Planet Battagon Trans-Neptunia 10/23/20 UK
PUP This Place Sucks Ass 10/23/20 Canada
EABS Discipline of Sun Ra 10/30/20 Poland
Mr. Bungle The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo 10/30/20 USA
Sauce and Dogs Sauce and Dogs 11/1/20 UK
Krust The Edge Of Everything 11/6/20 UK
ThE DiAboLIcaL LibERTieS High Protection & The Sportswear Mystics 11/13/20 UK
Ghost Funk Orchestra An Ode To Escapism 11/13/20 USA
Quakers II – The Next Wave 11/13/20 UK
Lyckle de Jong bij Annie op bezoek 12/7/20 Netherlands

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