I managed to see three of the classic kosmische heroes (Hans-Joachim Roedelius of Cluster and Harmonia, Michael Rother of Neu! and Harmonia, and Tangerine Dream, albeit with none of the original members), in addition to plenty of my other longtime favorites (The Specials, Ian Fisher, ChameleonsVox, The Smashing Pumpkins, Andrew Bird, Neil Young, Boogarins, Tame Impala, Wilco, Fehlfarben, Stereolab, and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark).
I also got to see several strong newer German bands (Britta (new is relative), Barbara Morgenstern, Die Heiterkeit, Theodor Shitstorm, Laura Carbone, and Perilymph, among plenty others), and there were also plenty of pleasant surprises at festivals and in opening slots (Yeasayer (who just broke up), Michaela Meise, The Chap, Chris Imler, and Sunn Trio, to name a few).
There was also plenty of great music released in 2019. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:
- Andrew Bird - My Finest Work Yet
- Boogarins - Sombrou Dúvida
- Deerhunter - Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?
- Golden Dawn Arkestra - Darkness Falls on the Edge of Time
- Die Heiterkeit - Was passiert ist
- Ian Fisher - Cherry Garden
- David J - Missive to an Angel from the Halls of Infamy and Allure
- Joshua and the Ruins - The Dreaming Season
- Radiohead - MiniDiscs [Hacked] (yeah I went there)
- Ride - This Is Not a Safe Place
- Slowness - Berths
On the other hand, there were (as always) a few older records that I came across this year that particularly impressed me, including: Britta - Lichtjahre voraus (2003), The Boo Radleys - Everything’s Alright Forever (1992) and Giant Steps (1993), Michael Rother - Flammende Herzen (1976), Neonbabies - 1983 (1983), and Ideal - Bi Nuu (1982).
Lastly, there were also a number of great records from recent years that I missed at first but have now caught up with, such as: The Besnard Lakes - A Coliseum Complex Museum (2016), Theodor Shitstorm - Sie werden dich lieben (2018), and The Veldt’s pair of 2017 EPs, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation and Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose, although most of the latter appears to have been previously released as Apollo Heights on White Music for Black People (2007).
Like I said, it was a great year for me in terms of music! Here’s hoping that the fun continues in 2020.