The anti-summary of 2023

I’m starting to doubt that writing these summaries each year makes any sense. The constant communication of greedy corporations trying to sell us more and more products has taken over the charts and summaries. And they pretend to know us. Or at least their algorithms are trying to make us think they do. Sadly, there is no time to reminisce and reflect on it. Like Jay Bauman said: “Don’t ask questions, just consume product and then get excited for next products”. Fuck it. I cured my FOMO some time ago. And so much has happened in 2023. We moved two times over the year, but I hope we finally settled down where we will devote ourselves entirely (or almost entirely) to art, Diana and I. Because of that, and everything that comes with it, I missed much of the musical premieres. So, I will write mainly about stuff I enjoyed listening to in 2023.

But before we start up the engines, I just wanted to share that despite the obstacles and daunting tasks life put ahead of me in 2023, I prevailed and even managed to release the long-awaited Zorormr‘s record “The Monolith”. Almost seven years in the making. Also, I played a few gigs with Doctor Visor and released the EP “Watch the Skies!” on cassette tape. I also got my first award for being the “Personality of the Year 2022 in Opole” (Art Category). I’m still waiting for that Grammy nomination, though…

So, what made my anti-summary list for 2023? Here are some of the tracks (and records) I enjoyed listening to last year.

William Malcolm (Nightrun87) wrote one of the most compelling music pieces I heard last year. I played the track “Last Sunshine” on repeat in the first half of 2023.

I’ve never doubted the Metal God. But Judas Priest‘s last efforts didn’t grab my attention like the old stuff I heard the first time in my youth. Well, after I heard “Panic Attack”, I was simply blown away. Can’t wait for the full album in 2024, because Rob Halford (72) is again at his peak. Purely amazing.

How have I overlooked The Black Angels? I don’t know. But their excellent (and very old) track “Bad Vibrations” infected my mind, and there’s been no day without it ever since.

One could argue that Obituary records the same album over and over again. But that’s not me. I’ve been in love with them since I was 15 years old. Their latest opus, “Dying of Everything” delivers exactly what it promises. An album worthy to have in your death metal collection/

Víkingur Ólafsson is hailed by many for his Bach interpretations. If you haven’t heard “Goldberg Variations” in any form before, you should definitely check out the Ólafsson version. Back of naysayers. This album will go down in history.

Though released back in April of 2022, Alunah‘s “Strange Machine” has been a constant part of my everyday life. An excellent album from one of the most underrated British bands out there.

I like my black metal simple, raw, evil, and Norwegian. Tsjuder knows how to cook a great stew and their latest album, “Helvegr” proves that. Almost 30 years on the stage. And they still got it.

Vermilia is a one-woman black metal band from Finland. Her second album “Ruska” combines what’s best in Finnish folk and raw black metal. Hard not to find obvious comparisons in her music, but I think she walks her own path.

And now it’s time for a discovery that felt like a revelation. When I heard them for the first time I became instantly infatuated. King Shabaka‘s psychedelic saxophone really began to be my everyday fix. The Comet is Coming hasn’t released a new album in 2023 (the last being 2022 Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam) but in a way they wrote half of my life’s soundtrack in 2023.

Have you ever felt like you’re inside of a Hopper painting? Well, I have. And I even found myself a perfect playlist! With Charlie Spivak, Coleman Hawkins, or Artie Shaw you just can’t go wrong. And Wisdomphile seems to know that as well. He compiled a playlist that was my ultimate escape music in 2023.

What will make the list in 2024? If I ever get to write it I think I’ll put the new Lucifer album there (since I’m listening to a lot of the singles from “V” already published). But frankly, only time will tell. And only if I’ll endure. I’m changing the first digit from 3 to 4 soon so it’s not going to be any easier (laugh)

Fabian Filiks
The Old Manor, 8th January 2023.

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