Rad Releases 20 – Gavin Brown
It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2020 rapidly approaches and we quickly want to move away from this year- we take a personal look back on familiar names, labels, promoters, and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. In what has been a challenging year for all, the one constant has been how artists and their labels have adapted and produced some of the best records of our time and it’s those releases that have the audience has depended on to get them through the year.
This year the Rad Releases special celebrates 10 years, to mark the decade-long feature we let our favorites take over the site to tell us the records that have kept them going throughout this trying year. Telling us how they’ve adapted, if they’ve returned to a loved record and what we can look forward to from them next year.
Our next takeover comes from a music journalist who is absolutely instrumental within Circuit Sweet. For years, Gavin Brown has shared his time dedicated to reviewing new music, festivals, gigs, and interviewing artists across the globe. We are in awe of Gavin, despite the heaviness that 2020 has bought us, Gavin still pursued releases and gave his time to interviewing artists in order to promote them and their releases further afield. Gavin’s music knowledge and ability to seek out talented artists is a true skill and we are so honored he shares his work with us. We speak to Gavin to find out more about the records he has loved this year….
Rad Releases 2020
I’ve narrowed it down to 6!
Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou – May Our Chambers Be Full
A mesmerising record that marries the heaviness of Thou with the beautiful voice of Emma Ruth Rundle with astounding results. This album will take your breath away.
Mammifer- The Brilliant Tabernacle
Another mesmerising record with Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner releasing a heartfelt collection of life-affirming songs that will stay with you for a long time.
Uniform – Shame
Uniform bring the heaviness with an immense and captivating album that saw the New York band descend into new levels of joyous bleakness.
The Bug & Dis Fig – In Blue
Kevin Martin aka The Bug hooked up with Dis Fig for the majestic In Blue album and what a treat it was. Epic soundscapes that take in heavy dub, distorted soul and beyond meeting luscious vocals is a match made in audio heaven.
Pharoah Overlord – 6
Cinematic style synth music meets growling vocals courtesy of guest Aaron Turner seems like an odd match on paper but it works so well and makes 6 an intriguing and bewitching album.
Jesu – Terminus
Justin Broadrick returns with the second Jesu release of 2020 but this album harks to his earliest days of the band and the hazy sonics on show demonstrate exactly why Jesu are the best at what they do.
The best show you have attended (if you had the opportunity at the start of the year)
Unfortunately , I didn’t attend any at the start of the year and anything I had planned from March onwards was obviously cancelled or postponed.
I took advantage of the plethora of live-streamed events though and the Supersonic Festival weekend was amazing! They really got the vibe of the festival right in a virtual capacity with so many great sets, interviews, DJ sets and even Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs hosting bingo! Everyone involved did a great job of bringing the festival to your home. Looking forward to getting back to it in 2021 though!
How have you adapted with all the changes this year especially with reviewing?
With live shows and touring not happening , there was an abundance of music being released and keeping up with it all was probably the hardest task! This was a positive point this year for sure.
Best discovery this year?
As this is our 10th year of Rad Releases, we want to look back on your 10 years- has there been on standout moment/standout record of the past 10 years for you?
Interviewing some amazing artists and bands has been incredible and having interviewed everyone from Emma Ruth Rundle to The Slackers to Uniform, it’s been a dream come true.
The standout record of the past 10 years for me has been The Bug and Dylan Carson’s Concrete Desert. An immense and immersive listen that hypnotises you the more you listen to it and a record that you keep on finding new things every time you play it.
Artist/Band to watch for 2021
Anna Von Hauswolff
Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou working together again
Plans for the New Year
A return to live gigs (any live gig!) would be amazing, it’s been far too long. The return of festivals (even if just in some capacity) too. A trip to Supersonic in Birmingham is always a must and festivals that I have never attended like Raw Power too. The discovery of new music, which has been another constant this year and continuing to do as a many reviews and interviews as I can manage!
Seriously, we can’t thank you enough!
For those who want to read more from Gavin click here.