TOP CHOICES FOR 2021  According to Big Beautiful Noise/ Lee Henderson    

As the world continues to face restrictions and loss of freedom (not to limit those to financial gains, personal growth, or simple human decency), music kept being created and although the live scene was nearly destroyed (and in many cases it was), the personal insights and drive of artists around the globe managed to create some of their best works to date. It is with much pleasure Big Beautiful Noise presents what is felt to be the best (at least of what I heard - editors note) of those 2021 recordings.

This year, not only is the list still without assigned numbers, but also eliminated is the alphabetizing of artists. So the list is purely done as the flow came to mind from over the year 2021. I do want to mention that I have seen the biggest shift in sound and styles with many of the artists listed here, as I know of their history. I can assume the COVID assault, the prisoner imprint, and the overall effect this has had on people, was to transform such changes despite the hardships. In short, GREAT MUSIC KEEPS COMING! Thank you artists!!  


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BOX SETS


Mats/Morgan - 40TH ANNIVERSARY BOX SET [6CD]  (Morgan Records)


REISSUES (either on CD/LP)


KEITH TIPPETT & MATTHEW BOURNE - Aeolian (Discus Music)

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD ONLY (new category and even though I do not review these in BBN, unless the artist/label makes me a CDr of it and sends, or there is a promo only disc sent, I could not deny a couple of knockouts I hope will eventually come out on physical format]: *several more will be added as this section of releases (for the world) is so populated, but my physical formats still come first, no matter what.

PIERRE VERVLOESEM/ TEUN VERBRIGGEN - Young Talents (Off)
AMY DENIO - Pandemonium (Spoot Music)


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PHYSICAL FORMAT mixed LP/CD/EP [the way I love it and listen to music] -  (I am quite sure more entries will be added, as time simply ran out for the ability to list every possible thing that might be fantastic from 2021, but be sure if anything comes up, it will be noted in the near future.

BRUNO VANSINA [Urbaan Vonnis] - Presenting the Demons Of Shame [2] (Rat Records)


ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI - UR  (Cuneiform)

HARRIET RILEY & ALEX GARDEN - Sonder II (self release)


BIG HOGG - Pageant Of Beasts (Bad Elephant)

GRICE - One Thousand Birds Symphony (Hungersleep Records)

HOW FAR TO HITCHIN - Screams & Whispers (self release)

CARLA DIRATZ  & THE ARCHERS OF SORROW - The Scale (Discus Music)


SHAMBLEMATHS - 2 (Apollon)

OFFICER! - Paragraphs And Principles  (Klanggalerie)

ANDY PARTRIDGE - My Failed Songwriting Career: Volume 1 Ep (Ape House)

ISOLATED GATE - Hapax Legomenon (Darla) *digital download released 20021, 12 inch EP: ltd vinyl (black or natural) released Feb 2022

ROUGEGORGEROUGE - 4/Quatre (self released)

RENE LUSSIER, ÉRICK d'ORION, ROBBIE KUSTER and MARTIN TETREAULT - Printemps 2021 (Les Disques Victo)

STERBUS - Let Your Garden Sleep In (Zillion Watt Records)

NICK BATTERHAM - Love Birds (Cheersquad Records & Tapes)

THE HELICOPTER OF THE HOLY GHOST - Afters (Kscope) [and the ltd ed Ep The Helicopter Of The Holy Ghost With The Anchoress – 'A Little Longer' is also highly recommended]

BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD - For The First Time (Ninja Tune)

JIM GHEDI - In The Furrows of Common Place (Basin Rock)

JACK O' THE CLOCK - Leaving California (Cuneiform)

YANI MARTINELLI - Sweet Silence (self release)

SUPERSISTER - Live in Scheveningen 1972 (SOSS Music)

DAMON ALBARN ‎– The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows (Transgressive Records)

SIMON STEENSLAND - Let's Go To Hell (Transubstans)

GROUPER - Shade (Kranky)

OCTARINE SKY - Close To Nearby (Uberwald Records)

MERIDIAN BROTHERS/CONJUNTO MEDIA LUNA - Paz En La Tierra (Bongo Joe)...  ['Cumbia Siglo XXI' by only the Meridian Brothers was actually a 2020 copyright but did not hit accessible markets until 2021, so that is highly recommended as well, maybe more so]

KORGIS  -  Kartoon World [Deluxe Version] (Angel Air)

MANNA/MIRAGE - Man Out Of Time (New House Music)

REGAL WORM - The Hideous Goblink (Quatermass)

RITVA NERO - Immortal Tradition (Bafe's Factory)

THE LITTLE UNSAID - Lick The Future's Lips (Reveal Records)

FROSTLAKE - The Weight of Clouds (Discus Music)


ELIZABETH S. - Gather Love  (Klanggalerie) [* this was originally on the 2020 list as self release, however Elizabeth S got signed to the Klanggalerie label this year and a new cover and song order was created, so my review was updated for the 2021 official release)

ARCHER / KEEFFE / PYNE - Hi Res Heart  (Discus Music)

VENTIFACTS - Ventifacts (self release)

FLAT EARTH SOCIETY ORCHESTRA (FES) - Boggamasta III  (Igloo Records)

BERNARDO LANZETTI - Horizontal Rain  (SnV)

TOM NEWMAN - A Faerie Symphony II  (Tigermoth Records)

cHoclat FRoG  - Snapshot (self release)

BABAL - Spirit In A Meat Suit  (Melodic Revolution Records)

JOHN POPE QUINTET - Mixed With Glass (New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings)

SIMON McKECHNIE - Retro  (Bad Elephant Music)

PAROKSHA - Destinations Out!!!  (Andersonshelta)

UNSTOPPABLE SWEETIES SHOW - Analogy to An Allergy  (self release)

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