Uniform members discuss their favorite albums of 2020
NYC industrial/noise/hardcore trio Uniform returned this year with their new Sacred Bones-released album Shame (home of the song "This Won't End Well," which cracked year-end lists by Strike Anywhere and No Joy), and now that the year is coming to a close, we asked the three members of Uniform what music from 2020 they loved most. Vocalist Michael Berdan, guitarist Ben Greenberg, and drummer Mike Sharp each made us their own top 10 with commentary on each pick, and you can read on for what they had to say...
1. Boris - No
After multiple decades of constant musical growth and genre subversion, where can a band like Boris possibly go? In this case, they went and made an uncompromising hardcore record. It’s near perfect.
2. Ireen Amnes - In The Land Of Silence
A haunting meditation on loss with moments of beauty reminiscent of Vangelis and Tangerine Dream. This album has been a necessary oasis for me this year.
3. Teste - Graphic Depictions
This is one truly freaked out and terrifying techno record. The sound of unmitigated fear. Music to do drugs by yourself to.
4. Himukalt - Sex Worker II
With this second part of her Sex Worker series, Esther Kärkkäinen has completed a harrowingly intimate portrait of her life experience. It’s a tremendous work of limitless depth, beauty, and agony.
5. Kevin Richard Martin - Frequencies For Leaving Earth Vol. 1
The man most commonly known as The Bug has produced a tremendous amount of ambient work under his real name this year. To me, the first installment of his Frequencies For Leaving Earth series could very well be the heaviest thing he’s ever done. A simple melody becomes evolves into an all consuming, suffocating force.
6. Thomas Köner - Motus
Pure sub bass worship. Almost indescribably thick yet dissonant techno that stands in defiance of categorization. Has to be experienced to be believed.
7. Haus Arafna - Asche
This is their best album in years. Minimal as ever, these songs alternate between desperate industrial and contemplative pop. This is Haus Arafna at their clamorous, melodic best.
8. Beau Wanzer - Busted & Bamboozled
Blown out and oppressive industrial techno from a modern master. As cynical and sardonic as dance music gets.
9. God Is War - Plucking The Sun Out Of The Sky
There have been a grip of God Is War releases this year, but this one stands out. Truly miserable, mournful dubstep that is more likely to bring you to tears than make you nod your head.
10. Hive Mind - Elysian Alarms
Classic industrial music with an unparalleled attention to detail and emotional weight. Anxiety and sorrow reign over all. Greh really outdid himself with this one.
1. Dreamcrusher - Another Country
A monumental work from an inspiring artist, feels like they've been working towards this one for years.
2. Shackleton & Waclaw Zimpel - Primal Forms
Sounds like lots of things I like.
3. Miasmatic Necrosis - Apex Profane
Sharp showed me this, completely insane.
4. Duma - Duma
Caleb showed me this band, sounds like nothing I've ever heard before.
5. Big Sean - Detroit 2
Best kick drum of 2020 show Hitboy some respect.
6. Flowdan & Abstrakt Sonance - No Celebrations
I listen to everything The Bug posts on Instagram.
7. Miss Eaves - How It Is
I heard "3 Jobs" on WFMU and I don't think I've ever felt so seen.
8. Too Free - Love In High Demand
Bangers for lovers, top of the game.
9. Kaleidoscope - Decolonization
Easily the most interesting punk-adjacent band in NYC right now.
10. Deradoorian - Find The Sun
Angel outdid herself this time, the songwriting is beautiful and she sounds completely amazing.
1. My toddler started walking and he likes dogs. He also tries to headbang to Totalitar when I put it on at snack time. That's better than music.
2. Pellegrino & Zodyaco - Morphe
This album is like really fresh cosmic disco but with an 80's sheen. Probably my most listened to record this year.
3. Eddie Chacon - Pleasure, Joy and Happiness
Second chance Soul with a New Age vibe behind it. Really great, produced John Carroll Kirby too.
4. Pia Fraus - Empty Parks
Why am I just hearing this band now? Shoegaze masterclass.
5. Plant Lab - S/T
This came out of nowhere, sounds like Broadcast and Amorphous Androgynous in a bathtub together.
6. Irreal - EP
I listened to this EP a lot. Wish I could've seen 'em touring on it.
7. Visceral Mass - EP
Also listened to this a bunch. Had to include some punk and metal.
8. Cantoma - Into Daylight
Had a big escapist island vibe this year, this record was one of the most played in that vein. Great features on this one.
9. Subdued - Over the Hills and Far Away
Record rips. "Death or Lies" is the track.
10. Hear & Now - Alba Sol
Another funky groover. Claremont 56 has such a great roster.
Browse our Best of 2020 tag for more year-end lists.