BBE Music takes a look back at what’s been a strange and turbulent twelve months in all our lives, offering up its Staff Selections for 2020, as chosen by the label team themselves.
It’s been a year many of us would rather forget, and when COVID lockdowns were announced in the spring, none of us knew what would happen, either to us or to the label. We immediately ceased producing vinyl and CDs and scaled back our operation, yet somehow we’ve reached the year’s end with another incredible bounty of diverse and beautiful releases to look back on.
As hard times always do, lockdowns sparked creativity, and the music flowed forth like water. Exciting original cuts from Luis Radio, OVEOUS, The Fantastics!, Sons Of The Sun and Sumsuch kept our spirits high as weeks of COVID turned to months. Compilations and reissues from Sidiku Buari, Ihsan Al-Munzer, Hideto Sasaki & Toshiyuki Sekine Quartet +1, Tabansi Studio Band, Ronnie Herel, Larry Rose Band, Ambiance, and Victor Chukwu kept us busy and beguiled. The discovery of a previously unreleased Roy Ayers gem caused major excitement in our Zoom meetings.
The loss of artist, friend and brother, TY, was hard to bear; releasing Durrty Goodz’ touching tribute song ‘The Real Ones‘ helped us all focus our grief as he gave voice to our emotions. Commissioning Moodymann and Kenny Dope to rework the SunPalace classic ‘Rude Movements’ felt bittersweet, as Mike Collins isn’t with us to hear the results from the two artists he himself requested to remix his masterpiece before his passing in 2018.
But alongside all the ups and downs this year, our listeners’ continued support and encouragement has been a constant blessing. We all thank you for staying with us and for lending us your precious time and attention over the last twelve months. BBE turns 25 in 2021, and we plan to mark the occasion with a raft of incredible releases, but until next year, please take extra-special care of yourselves.
Release Date: December 11, 2020