Friends of Bido Lito! highlight the long players which have made their year.

This article is redacted, the full version appears in the Bido Lito! Journal 2021. To get your copy, sign up as a member or order from Bandcamp.

We asked a cohort of Bido Lito! writers, members, friends and artists to tell us the albums which stood out to them personally. The following selection represent some overlooked titles which you might want to delve into if they passed you by.

Baby Keem – Melodic Blue
Michael Aldag (Musician)
I started listening to the California native around March of this year after discovering his song No Sense by accident on a Spotify playlist (who said romantic new music discovery stories are dead?) and was immediately intrigued by his lyrics. They were braggadocios in part but also revealed a vulnerability and honesty that I wasn’t expecting. The album is filled with the production, lyrics and vocal inflections that hooked me primarily and also includes features from Keem’s cousin Kendrick Lamar. I absolutely love this album and would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone whether you class yourself as a fan of rap or not.

Isles – Bicep
Becky Rascal (Liverpool Audio Network)
Bicep embodies everything the electronic music scene is and should be – they started out sharing music to the wider community through their blog Feel My Bicep in the mid- 2000’s sharing Chicago and Detroit house music to their followers. Their production talents, DJ sets, mind-blowing live performances and general dedication to the scene is what we love at Liverpool Audio Network as they continually inspire us and our music community.

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Carnage – Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Jeff Young (Bido Lito! columnist)
The record is a deep immersion in grief’s darkness but also joy’s light, like gospel for the electronic age, fragile, human, yearning. And the book is the best thing I’ve read this year, the story of how a piece of chewing gum containing Nina Simone’s spit became a sacred relic, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Myrtle Soup – John Myrtle
Roy (Not a poet)
You know when your upstairs neighbour keeps dropping the remote onto the laminate flooring? This album sounds like the opposite of that. Soothing, warm and comforting.
I, and many others around these here parts, have enjoyed it as our album of 2021.

Paradigmes – La Femme
Tara Dalton (Bido Lito! writer)
Diverting from Nihilism to being cheated on with a DJ (or whatever), the album plays to the libertine inside you. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. The rough edges are what give it its immersive charm and are what etches it into every playlist I’ve created since.
Do I speak French? Not a chance mate but, in the words of Girls Aloud, I let the funky music do the talking.

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For Apartments: Songs & Loops – Bruno Bavota
Nathaniel Cramp (Bido Lito! Proof reader/Sonic Cathedral)
BRUNO BAVOTA, a young Italian composer and multi-instrumentalist, was caught up in the drama early on in 2020; isolated in his home city of Naples, he started making a series of pieces to pass the time and help him make sense of it all. This incredible album – released in August on Temporary Residence, the Brooklyn-based label that is home to William Basinski – compiles the two sides of this unintentional soundtrack. The 13 Apartment songs are short and spare piano instrumentals, becoming less wistful and more hopeful sounding as they progress. When they burst into life, they offer a real sense of re-birth and re-emergence – the ideal accompaniment to those baby steps back to life in 2021.

Coral Island – The Coral
Nick Taylor (Bido Lito! member)
I am writing this on my 58th birthday, having just been on the ferry and Merseyrail using an all zone Saveaway. This ticket has been my key to exploring Merseyside, over four decades – journeys to the city and the inevitable draw of travelling on to the sea – Southport, West Kirby, Hoylake, always calling – they still do.
When lockdown restrictions lifted you can guess my destination. What I needed in Spring was a soundtrack to blow away the isolated winter, and along came Coral Island.

Fake Fruit – Fake Fruit
Josh Miller (Eyesore & The Jinx)
For those who don’t know, FAKE FRUIT are a four-piece from Oakland, California who earlier this year released their excellent self-titled debut. A bit of googling tells me that frontperson Hannah D’Amato moved the band from New York to Vancouver before settling in California, which has translated into a record which covers a lot of territory, taking in the best of American college radio, noise rock and post-punk in a concise and frenetic half hour listen, that wears its influences on its sleeve – as all the best garage rock albums do.

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Good Woman – The Staves
Lily Blakeney-Edwards (Bido Lito! writer)
Good Woman takes THE STAVES years of experience and innate cohesion and pushes it to it’s very best. Centred around femininity and the intimate moment that comes with womanhood, the album doesn’t hold back in its emotional, or musical intent. Diving headfirst into musical experimentation and pockets of intimate storytelling, the album covers everything from the waning desire for motherhood to the bittersweet pain of losing youth.

Busy Guy – Stephen Fretwell
Andy Johnson (Bido Lito! member)
Recorded in just a day, Busy Guy is STEPHEN FRETWELL’s best album yet and I can’t believe I’m saying that bearing in mind how good Magpie is. Combined with Dan Carey’s production, his song writing reaches new levels on this one and makes this incredible work a 10/10 no questions asked.

Loving in Stereo – Jungle
Jade Burn (BBC Radio Merseyside)
An album with no limits, not exactly tied to one genre or constrained to type of sound. The duo combines funk, soul, pop, and RnB to come up with a 13-track album full of feel good dance tracks. [It’s] an effortlessly cool concoction of styles, influences and moods, that quite frankly shouldn’t work on paper, but this is quintessentially Jungle; a band that don’t seem to want to get into the charts or ever appear in the press, a band doing it for the right reasons; to make good music that makes you feel something.

Jorinde And Joringel – Loris And The Lion
Eve and Ella (Where Are The Girl Bands?)
This feels like being led down a dark and mossy road, bare feet in damp grass while you are surrounded by the sweetest sounds and a heavy dusk. You can imagine tumbling over the moors to the entwined melodies that grow and twist through each other, building and winding their way around you through each song on the record. Their music is filled with the most exquisite lyrics that are accompanied by fragile piano, swarming strings and gossamer melodies. Their storytelling is carried through every element of their music from melody to lyrics to the accompanying visuals, leaving you completely convinced by the web of some wondrous world that they spin around you.

Promises – Floating Points, Pharaoh Sanders & London Symphony Orchestra
Elliot Hutchinson (DJ / Dig Vinyl)
Floating Points and Sanders display that special lock of two artistic joints; an electronica giant welcomes home a spiritual jazz legend. But it’s difficult not to hear something extra in a piece of music not only produced, but released during a global pandemic.  The last element in the trio situates the album within a time and place in history, London Symphony Orchestra. Their strings were recorded during the Spring/Summer of 2020 and for me, there’s a glaring spotlight during Movement 6 that every note means something more, rather than serving the last layer on a previously finished work.
Promises as a whole tapped into everything I wanted or needed to immerse myself in – for somebody who previously shaved time between the busy mechanics of a record shop, the late nights of DJing and early mornings of parenthood it was a slice of much-needed armchair reflection.

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Honest Labour – Space Afrika
Nina Franklin (Melodic Distraction)
Formed of Manny-based duo Joshua Inyang and Joshua Reid, (though the latter now lives in Berlin) together as Space Afrika they trace the lines that connect drone, drill, hip hop, street soul, musique-concrete, dub-techno, spoken word and industrial-tinged dream-pop.
It’s all so precarious and delicate, held together with gossamer or perhaps sellotape. Ideas and motifs slip elusively in-and-out of view; string sections fizzle into field recordings, synths melt into vocals melt into drones. It’s an oblique listen, at once rueing urban existence and working class precarity, and at the same time it’s a sensitive love letter to the North West. There’s a number of cameos from some of the NW’s unsung heroes too – Bianca Scout and Blackhaine both make an appearance, as well as casting the net further to include Toronto’s LA Timpa.

Brighter Lighting – Elijah Wolf
Christopher Torpey (Future Yard / Bido Lito!)
In the constant churn of listening to new music I often get dragged into listening to things based on a barrage of recommendations. Or, I force myself to listen to records based on a set of highly valued credentials that make me feel that, as a ‘music fan’, I really ought to (‘Oh, that producer in that studio, wow!’).
ELIJAH WOLF’s second album landed in front of me when Future Yard’s visionary booker snared him for a set in Birkenhead as part of the guitarist-vocalist’s first UK tour. Brighter Lighting is a record that flows, that crackles, that glows, and was a total (and welcome) surprise to me on first hearing it. Its soft focus edges and melodies that feel like they’ve been teased out of tinkling rivers were instantly pulling on those strings of musical entanglement. It feels like one of those albums that has always been, and that discovering it is a satisfying clicking into place of something fundamental.

The Bido Lito! Journal 2021 compiles the stories which formed an extraordinary year in new music and creative culture. Order your copy from Bandcamp or sign up a Bido Lito! member to get the Journal, a Bido Lito! t-shirt and every copy of the magazine in the post when it is released.

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