End of year lists 2020

To wrap up the year, some lists on the things I did and enjoyed this year.

Plenty of excellent music was released, and I also discovered plenty of amazing music from years prior. I keep track of all the stuff I discover during the year and don’t at all distinguish whether or not it was released in that year as it is absolutely irrelevant, imo. At the risk of forgetting a slew of amazing things (there were so many), here’s 15 songs I first heard this year and blew me away, and that you should totally check out (and, of course, that already leaves out so many… Mariposa, Gameboy, Riot…).

Like every year, I also kept track of everything I read and attempt to average out to a book a week (I managed in 2019, but fell slightly short in the years prior). This year I read 55 in total – a diverse bunch, ranging from contemporary children’s literature and travel journals through classic Japanese literature to various works about gender and feminism and a French journalist’s detailed analysis of the political and social contexts of the conflicts in the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi in the 1990s. Not everything was brilliant, needless to say – though I don’t force myself to finish for the sake of finishing, and there wasn’t anything I couldn’t finish – but there were some absolute gems in here that stood out head and shoulders. These were Helen Winternitz’ East Along The Equator, Ryszarr Kapuściński’s Another Day Of Life, Caroline Criado Perez’ Invisible Women, Susan Schaller’s A Man Without Words, Lieve Joris’ Dans Van De Luipaard and Junichiro Tanizaki’s Stille Sneeuwval (translated into English as The Makioka Sisters).

  1. Lieve Joris – Mali Blues
  2. Susan Schaller – A Man Without Words
  3. Tom Nancollas – Seashaken Houses
  4. Paul Auster – Oracle Night
  5. Kōji Suzuki – Spiraal
  6. Lucy Crehan – Cleverlands
  7. Lieve Joris – Dans Van De Luipaard
  8. Phil Harwood – Canoeing The Congo
  9. Helen Winternitz – East Along The Equator
  10. Adam Weymouth – Kings Of The Yukon
  11. Jennifer Bakody – Radio Okapi Kindu
  12. Chuck Palahniuk – Choke
  13. Adam Mars-Jones – Monopolies Of Loss
  14. Hideo Yokoyama – Six Four
  15. Kathy Acker – Blood And Guts In High School
  16. Mark Fillet – Zaïre
  17. Ryu Murakami – Audition
  18. Thomas Pynchon – Inherent Vice
  19. Ryu Murakami – Piercing
  20. Barbara Greene – Too Late To Turn Back
  21. Ryu Murakami – In the Miso Soup
  1. Hideo Furakawa – Horses, Horses, In The End The Light Remains Pure
  2. Ross Welford – The Dog Who Saved The World
  3. David Kerekes & David Slater – Killing For Culture
  4. Ross Welford – The Kid Who Came From Space
  5. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Tales Of Terror & Mystery
  6. Yoko Ogawa – The Memory Police
  7. Bill Bryson – The Body: A Guide For Occupants
  8. Robert Graysmith – Zodiac
  9. Leslie Jamison – The Empathy Exams
  10. Makoto Shinkai – Weathering With You
  11. Italo Calvino – If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller
  12. Michael Crichton – Sphere
  13. Safiya Umoja Noble – Algorithms Of Oppression
  14. Jaron Lanier – Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
  15. Daphna Joel & Luba Vikhanski – Gender Mosaic
  16. Ryszarr Kapuściński – Another Day Of Life
  17. Charlie English – The Book Smugglers Of Timbuktu
  1. Jaron Lanier – You Are Not A Gadget
  2. Kato David Hopkins – Rumors Of Noizu: Hijokaidan And The Road To 2nd Damascus
  3. Chuck Palahniuk – Pygmy
  4. Bill Bryson – Made In America
  5. Lieve Joris – Zangeres Op Zanzibar
  6. Kenzaburo Oë – Schreeuwen In De Nacht
  7. Paulo Freire – Pedagogy Of The Oppressed
  8. Caroline Criado Perez – Invisible Women
  9. Laura Bates – Everyday Sexism
  10. Kenzaburo Oë – De Knoppen Breken
  11. Audre Lorde – Sister Outsider
  12. Yukio Mishima – Het Gouden Paviljoen
  13. Yukio Mishima – Een Zeeman Door De Zee Verstoten
  14. Cordelia Fine – Testosterone Rex
  15. Yasunari Kawabata – De Schone Slaapsters
  16. Junichiro Tanizako – Stille Sneeuwval
  17. Colette Braeckman – De Wortels Van Het Geweld

I don’t keep particularly meticulous track of the movies I watch (and always chide myself for it in the end), so I have no complete record of my viewing this year. Nonetheless, I saw some excellent things. I attended the International Film Festival Rotterdam and saw three films: Takashi Miike’s new First Love, Ann Hui’s 1999 Ordinary Heroes and Kim Yong-hoon’s Beasts Clawing At Straws (this final film was introduced by its director). Due to Covid, of course, I wasn’t able to visit the cinema much for the rest of year, but just prior to our first lockdown I saw the B&W version of Bong Joon-ho’s brilliant Parasite, and for my one other visit to the cinema, when they were open, I saw Masayuki Suo’s (extremely mediocre) Katsuben! (known here as Talking The Pictures). The rest of my viewing was done exclusively on DVD. Since I don’t keep track of my viewing, there are some movies I am not 100% sure I watched at the beginning of this year or at the end of last year but that deserve mentioning nonetheless: Shinji Aoyama’s excellent Eureka (which I had owned on DVD for about 15 years and had never seen), Thierry Michel’s Katanga Business and Takashi Miike’s Gozu (easily his best for me). Outside of that I was utterly in love with two long-form works: Hu Bo’s An Elephant Sitting Still and Wang Bing’s Tie Xi Qu (how is it that so much of this man’s work is available on the French-language market and so little on the English-language one?). I also began to delve into Jia Zhang Ke’s oeuvre (Ash Is Purest White, Still Life, Mountains May Depart and A Touch Of Sin, the first two being my favourites), saw three of Diao Yinan’s films (toss-up between Black Coal, Thin Ice and The Wild Goose Lake, both excellent) and saw Tsai Ming-Liang’s Stray Dogs and Journey To The West, which fascinated me so much that I began tracking down a bunch more (which isn’t easy, but I have some on order now).

Below is an overview of the things I released this year. I will update this list with links where possible over the next few days.

  • A r g o n U l t r a A p h e l i o n – R a d i a n t Q u a d r a n t T e t r a l o g y (digital, Absent Erratum)
  • Arturo Ferreira Mendoza ‎– 외로운 여행자 ~ Traveling North Hwanghae And Pyongyan (video, Minute Walls)
  • Atlantis Princess – Live At Aquaria Towers (Wild Lights Volume 1) (digital, Absent Erratum)
  • Congo Upheaval ‎– The Congo Free State Was A Farce, A Brutal Regime Ruthlessly Exploited And Massacred Native Bantu Peoples (video, Minute Walls)
  • Death Press III ‎– Death Press III (re-issue, C60, Unbelievable Black Magic)
  • Death Press IV ‎– Death Press IV (re-issue, C60, Unbelievable Black Magic)
  • Eisheth Zenunim ‎– Angel Of Prostitution, Emissary Of The Hell King (video, Santuario De Sangre)
  • 𝙂𝙀𝙉𝙊𝘾𝙄𝘿𝙀 𝟮 – ━𝕴━𝕹━𝕱━𝕴━𝕹━𝕴━𝕿━𝖄━ (digital, Absent Erratum)
  • Little Fictions – Territory Of Light (C30, Small Worm)
  • 屋上のスキマ 白いソラ ‎– Theoretical Frameworks Of Microharmony And Inharmonicity: The Effect Of Counterstructural Stereo Distribution And Perceptual Dissonance In The Context Of A Static Timbre Paradigm Superset (video, Minute Walls)
  • 屋上のスキマ 白いソラ ‎– A Sonographic Model Of Coordinated (Non-)Harmonious (Non-)Harmonic Stasis: A Systemic Aural Inquiry Into Permutational Paradoxes (digital, self-released)
  • 屋上のスキマ 白いソラ- Indirect And Direct Auricular Effects Of Alternating Interval-Panned Sound Signals At Low Respontial Frequency Ratios (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Black Moncler Badyfur (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Delirium (Down Sluts Vol IV) (C30, Summer Interlude Records)
  • Opaque – Duvetica Diadema (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Duvetica Diadema (Colour Variation 1: ▢) (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Duvetica Diadema (Colour Variation 2: ▢) (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Duvetica Diadema (Colour Variation 3: ▢) (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Duvetica Diadema Princess (2xC30, self-released)
  • Opaque – Ienki Ienki Michlin Supreme Rose (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Moncler Hudson (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Moncler Parnaiba (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Moncler Worship Volumes 11-20 (compilation, C100, self-released)
  • Opaque – Moncler Worship Volume 20 (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Moncler Worship Volume 21 (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Moncler Worship Volume 22 (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Moncler Worship Volume 23 (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Moncler Worship Volume 24 (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Moncler Worship Volume 25 (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Moncler Worship Volume 26 (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Moncler Worship Volume 27 (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Moncler Worship Volume 28 (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Nickelson Carmo (digital, self-released)
  • Opaque – Total Alpin Worship III (video, Minute Walls)
  • P R E D A T O R 3 D – S U D D E N L I G H T S U D D E N D E A T H (digital, Absent Erratum)
  • Rites Of Death ‎– This Is The Last Time I Shall See Your Body (video, Minute Walls)
  • Sven Kay – Post-Perreo 2 (digital, self-released)
  • Sven Kay – Post-Perreo 3 (digital, self-released)
  • Sven Kay – Post-Perreo 4 (digital, self-released)
  • 死の商業化 ‎– デスファイル Black (re-issue, C60, Unbelievable Black Magic)
  • Xruelty And The Xeast – L E G I O N (digital, Absent Erratum)

All Koni Demiko releases – for which the Bandcamp was somehow deleted without notice – were also re-uploaded to its new Bandcamp page with all new artwork.

I also released the first issue of A Wall Of Text, a paper magazine dedicated entirely to HNW. I was very happy with how it came out and the reactions I received from others. I am currently (slowly) working on a second issue. I have a few copies left of the first issue (less than 10); get in touch if you’re interested.

Finally, a word of thanks to the people who have in some or other way helped me, inspired me, supported me in all my creative endeavours: among, certainly others, these include James, Paul, Damien, Byron, Julien, Thomas, Petar, everyone who collaborated with me, contributed to A Wall Of Text, to Absent Erratum or to Minute Walls, everyone who bought anything off me, be it a tape or a digital release – I deeply appreciate all of it. Thank you.

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