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BBE Staff Selections 2020


Artist: Various Artists
Label: BBE Music
Release Date: 11 December 2020

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 would rather forget, and when COVID lockdowns were announced in the spring, no one at BBE knew what would happen, either to them or to the label. They immediately ceased producing vinyl and CDs and scaled back their operation, yet still, they managed to reach the year’s end with another incredible bounty of diverse releases to look back on...

BBE's Staff Selection releases are always a joy to listen to. Playing this album brings back memories of when we reviewed some of their output throughout the year. And, for other tracks it's a reminder that we didn't get to hear everything the label released over the last 12 months.

As usual there's a real diverse mix of style from jazz to soul to disco to world music. In fact, the album's opener, Eze-nri Royal Drummers' 'Eze Na Aga' offers you the chance to hear a rediscovered, remastered and reissued live recording of the investiture ceremony of a West African Eze-Nri king. It contains musical elements which have essentially been unchanged for more than a thousand years.

There's a good mix of live and studio recordings and the track order has carefully been chosen to ensure that from one song to the next the diversity is the first thing you notice (although in all fairness as all tracks are so wildly different there's not a lot they could have done wrong) but it's interesting to see that modern and retro songs are always paired together to ensure you never get comfortable with what you're listening to.

A wonderful taster of what the label has to offer. This acts as the perfect compilation album. You're bound to be drawn into picking up at least a handful of the full albums after listening to this.

Track listing:

01. Eze Na Aga - Eze-nri Royal Drummers
02. Don't Go - sumsuch
03. This is Music - Sidiku Buari
04. Jamileh - Ihsan Al-Munzer
05. I Am Your Mind - Roy Ayers
06. Heaven - Luis Radio & Souldynamic & Margaret Grace
07. Inspiration - Quart
08. Wakar Alhazai - Tabansi Studio Band
09. Xe Mana Bella - Boddhi Satva & DJ Satelite
10. Little B's Poem - Hideto Sasaki & Toshiyuki Sekine Quartet +1
11. Unfrozen - OVEOUS
12. Tillie's Dream - The Self Help Group
13. The Sand - Larry Rose Band
14. Ozobia Special - Nkem Njoku & Ozzobia Brothers
15. The Pink Suitcase - Luis Radio
16. Reaching The Highest Pleasure - Roy Ayers
17. The Real Ones - TY & Durrty Goodz
18. 3 Seasons - OVEOUS
19. All the Way Far Away - Lady Alma & David Marston & Rob Paine
20. Take a Shot - The Fantastics!
21. The Black Narcissus - Ambiance
22. Underwater Dreaming - Sons of the Sun
23. Happy Song - MF Robots
24. For da Love of da Game - DJ Jazzy Jeff
25. Rude Movements - SunPalace
26. Onwu Uwa - Uncle Victor Chuks & The Black Irokos
27. Get at Me - OVEOUS
28. Pyramid - The Fantastics!
29. Mother Funkin' Robots - MF Robots


Nick Smithson

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