We don’t really follow the Gregorian calendar or even believe in the concept of “time,” per se, but everyone seems to be signaling the end of the year with their top album lists, so we figured we’d follow suit. In lieu of attempting to squeeze any profound sentiments into an intro that you’re likely to skim over anyway, we’ll keep it short: we’re logging another thirteen lunar cycles and couldn’t have done it without you. If you’re reading this, it means you’re at least mildly aware of our existence and we appreciate you. Your reward is this delightful and convenient recap of what was good this year.

While the Schmutz narrative generally hints that our music taste is superior, it’s true that we occasionally listen to the opinions of others. Please savor this rare moment and consider the notable media from some of our favorite tastemakers in Berlin. These are the albums and events that made us move, think, or even do both simultaneously until we’d get confused and start lashing out.


Schmutz // Several Squirrels in a Human Suit

Albums

FKA twigs — Magdalene
Flavien Berger — Contre-Temps
Nivhek — After Its Own Death…
the body — Everything That Dies Someday Comes Back
Drudkh — A Few Lines in Archaic Ukrainian
Giant Swan — Giant Swan
Angel Olsen — All Mirrors
Sunn O))) — Life Metal
Holly Herndon — PROTO
Fange — Punir

Shows

JARS @ Cassiopeia
The Tandoori Knights @ Roadrunners Rock & Motor Club
Daughters @ Cassiopeia
Amyl & the Sniffers @ Zukunft am Ostkreuz
Godflesh / Bliss Signal / D?MU @ UT Connewitz (Leipzig)
Caterina Barbieri @ Funkhaus
Sunn O))) @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
Crack Cloud @ Intranut Exploder
Shortparis @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard @ Columbiahalle

Robert Stillman and Norman Dietze // Purveyors of Fine Schallplatten at Bis Aufs Messer

Albums (Robert)

Kali Malone — The Sacrificial Code DLP (ideal)
Felicia Atkinson — The Flower And The Vessel DLP (shelter)
Moon On The Water — Moon On The Water LP reissue (black sweat)
Cerebral Rot — Odious Descent Into Decay LP (20 buck spin)
The Shifters Parsnip — Hip Blister LP (future folklore)
CFM — Soundtrack To An Empty Room LP (in the red)
Teodross Avery — After The Rain: A Night For Coltrane LP (Tompkins square)
Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society — Mandatory Reality DLP (eremite)
Hash Redactor — Drecksound LP (goner)
Innumerable Forms — Punishment In Flesh LP (profound lore)

Shows (Norman)

Nate Young & John Olson @ Roter Salon
Lea Bertucci @ Roter Salon
Joshua Abrams And The Natural Information Society @ Arkaoda
Graf Orlock / Sport @ Zukunft
Mortiis @ Lindenpark (Potsdam)
Exek @ Internet Explorer
My Disco / Big Brave @ Urban Spree
Caspar Brötzmann Massaker @ An Der Autobahn
Jaimie Branch @ West Germany
Spectral Voice @ Urban Spree

Andreas Oberschelp – Founder of Puschen // Champion of the Underdog

Albums

Automatic -— Signal
Cate Le Bon — Reward
Chris Cohen — Chris Cohen
Purple Mountains — Purple Mountains
Weyes Blood — Titanic Rising 

Shows

The Specials @ Max-Schmeling-Halle
Georg Friedrich Haas: In Vain @ Radialsystem
Mitski @ Heimathafen
Deerhoof @ Kesselhaus
The Pastels @ Frannz Club
RVG @ Molotow (Hamburg)
Bill Callahan @ Admiralspalast
Julie Doiron @ Internet Explorer
Stereolab @ Kesselhaus
Surf Curse @ Urban Spree

Rob Zim // Head of HEADZ UP // Longhair

Shows

Suma @ Kantine am Berghain
Tool @ Mercedes-Benz Arena
Kanaan @ TIEF (HEADZ UP Summer Haze)
King Buffalo @ Badehaus
Uniform @ Kantine am Berghain
Yob @ Huxleys Neue Welt
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard @ Columbiahalle
Ecstatic Vision & Weeed @ Zukunft am Ostkreuz (HEADZ UP FEST)
Yautja @ Zukunft am Ostkreuz
Monolord & Giöbia @Bi Nuu (Heavy Psych Sounds Fest)

Vladislav Overchuk // Founder of Beyond Booking

Albums

Dottie Danger — O, Upyr’
Lingua Ignota — Caligula
Leonard Cohen — Thanks for the dance
JARS — PODLOG
Black Pumas — Black Pumas
Tot — Untergang EP
Swans — Leaving Meaning
big|brave — a gaze among them
Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation — Sacred Dreams
Nikto — Nikto

Shows

Dub Trio + V V R N G D N G @ Supamolly
Lingua Ignota + HIDE @ Urban Spree
Jars + RapeTape + Balg @ Cassiopeia
Weedeater @ Zukunft am Ostkreuz
The Mystery Lights @ Kantine Am Berghain
Neurosis + Yob @ Huxleys Neue Welt
Thor & Friends + Kulku @ arkaoda
Charlemagne Palestine @ Zwingli-Kirche
Anna Calvi (Pop-Kultur Festival) @ Kesselhaus
Pospish’ Potom @ Köpi

Robbie Moore & Sam Vine // Sound Alchemists at Impression Recordings

Albums

Small Mercies — Pixx
Ariel Pink — Odditties Sodomies Vol. 2
Steve Lacy — Apollo XXI
Billie Eilish— WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? 
Girl Band — The Talkies 
Swans — Leaving Meaning
Billy Woods and Kenny Segal — Hiding Places
Bobby Krlic— Midsommar
Weyes Blood — Titanic Rising
Little Simz — Grey Area

Shows

Kokoko! @ Berghain
Girl Band @ Bi Nuu
Stereolab (Synesthesie Festival)
Broncho @ Musik + Frieden
Buzz Kull @ Urban Spree
Jack Ladder @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
My Disco (Atonal Festival)
Khaled Kurbeh and Raman Khalaf Ensemble – X BeJazz
Frank Popp // Booker at Direct Concerts / 36 Concerts

Albums

Kelly Finnigan — The Tales People Tell
Viagra Boys — Street Worms
Andrew Bird — My Finest Work Yet
GOLD — Why Aren’t You Laughing?
Durand Jones and the Indications — American Love Call
CFM — Soundtrack Top An Empty Room
Mikal Cronin — Seeker
Uncle Acid — Wasteland
Drugdealer — Raw Honey
Brower — Buzzsaws

Shows

Lemonheads @ SO36
Teenage Fanclub @ LIDO
GOLD @ Kantine
Flipper @ Bi Nuu
Hammerhead @ Thommyhaus
Neurosis @ Huxleys
Gwar @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
Goldenen Zitronen @ Festsaal
Bob Mould @ C-Theater
Fleetwood Mac @ Waldbühne

Mark Byrne // Schmutz Contributor // Host of Pure Soil on NTS

Albums

Pissgrave — Posthumous Humiliation
Steve Lacey — Apollo XXI
Ossia — Devil’s Dance
Steeping Corporeal Mass — Fetid
Imminent Horror — Miscarriage
Human Effluence — Promo 2019
My Girlfriend — Apron EP
Blood Incantation — Hidden History of the Human Race

Kevin Chow // Advice Columnist // Not Very Dependable

Albums

100 Gecs — 1000 Gecs
Giant Swan — Giant Swan
Pelada — Movimiento Para Cambio
Clams Casino — Moon Trip Radio
Andy Stott — It Should Be Us
Telefon Tel Aviv — Dreams Are Not Enough
FKA Twigs — Magdalene
Sunn O))) — Life Metal
Jelani Aryeh — Helvetica
Mizmor — Cairn

Olamiju Fajemisin // Schmutz Contributor // Podcaster

Albums

Equal Amounts Afraid — LA Timpa
A World Without Snooze, Vol. 2 — Biig Piig
Lifetime — Klein
Ugh Those Feels Again — Snoh Aalegra
When I Get Home — Solange
African Giant — Burna Boy
Structuralism — Alfa Mist

Emily Gale // Schmutz Columnist // Feminist Pop Music Scholar

Albums

Snotty Nose Rez Kids — TRAPLINE
Yola — Walk Through Fire
Purple Mountains — Purple Mountains
New Pornographers — In the Morse Code of Brake Lights
Dry Cleaning — Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks EP
Fea — No Novelties
Gauche — A People’s History of Gauche
Kate Le Bon — Reward
Lizzo — Cuz I Love You
Decibelles — Rock Français

Shows

Time Time Time by Jennifer Walshe @ Haus der Berliner
The Coathangers @ Maze
Lucy Dacus @ Badehaus Berlin
Le Butcherettes w/ INVSN @ Bi Nuu
Tanya Tagaq @ Berghain
Bendik Giske @ Fuchsbau Festival
Yola @ Musik & Frieden
Alyona Alyona @ Gretchen
A Tribe Called Red @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
Rae Spoon @ Marie Antoinette

Tony // Just Tony

Albums

Papa Roach — Who Do You Trust?
100 Gecs — 1000 Gecs
Morrisey — California Son
Logic — Supermarket
311 — Voyager
Slipknot — We Are Not Your Kind
Korn — The Nothing
Puddle of Mudd — Welcome to Galvania
As I Lay Dying — Shaped by Fire
Coldplay — Everyday Life


Feature photo taken by Laurent Hoffman. All opinions were taken from sources while sleeping without consent.