Best of 2020

New World Records and Sound American congratulate the composers & artists featured on critics' "Best of 2020" lists


sarah hennies: spectral malsconcities

"Notable Performances and Recordings of 2020" - Alex Ross, The New Yorker

"[T]he two commissions on Spectral Malconicities are some of my favorite music all year. The title piece was written for the elastic New York trio Bearthoven—pianist Karl Larson, bassist Pat Swoboda, and percussionist Matt Evans—who nail six frictive, deliberately difficult sections in which the musicians are all decidedly out-of-sync, creating hypnotic wobbliness. Unsettle, a piece she wrote for Bent Duo—pianist David Friend and percussionist Bill Solomon—builds from the most minimal of gestures into peripatetic agitation awash in overtones." - Peter Margasak, Bandcamp
"The Best Contemporary Classical Albums of 2020"

More / Listen

Jordan Dykstra: The Arrow of Time

"Most of the works in this fantastic, perception-altering record explore specific harmonic intervals in great detail, producing sumptuous overtones that come to life when activated; Dykstra embraces a flexibility in his writing so that each musician and ensemble can create dynamic new iterations. Inquiry is a key practice for him, but not at the expense of creating something exquisite and compelling." - Peter Margasak, Bandcamp, "The Best Contemporary Classical Albums of 2020"

More / Listen

Ash Fure: Something To Hunt

"I try not to be fussy with audio quality. But if anything calls for an exception, it’s this long-awaited collection of music by Ash Fure — works that experiment with how sounds are made and felt. So before hitting play, gather your focus, along with your best headphones or speakers, for an intensely visceral listening experience. - Joshua Barone, The New York Times, "The 25 Best Classical Music Tracks of 2020"

"Something to Hunt is the long overdue first full album of music composed by Ash Fure, a situation that’s partly explained by the fact that much of her work is immersive—she’s an installation artist as much as a composer. But Fure has succeeded magnificently here, with no visual cues required.... it’s hard to know whether the listener should be petrified or electrified." - Peter Margasak, Bandcamp, "The Best Contemporary Classical Albums of 2020"