† 2021

2021 is buried (for some time now). What remains has to be counted in the currency of memories, captured not only in images but by songs alike. Unlike the photograph which is always dead, songs can be replayed layering the past memories with new ones to be made. Not just by me. It’s for you, too.

Indeed I’ve been wordless the past few months making excuses not to write the texts for this sampler – the track list is fixed since December. New Year’s, Nowruz and Chunjie have passed and I hope to be done before the 1st of Muharram, which I wasn’t as you can see. Anyway, only by convention can there be starting points to circular movements, which I defy for this purpose.


– Little Simz

I cannot deliver on the »journey of what it takes to be a woman« that this anthem is promising. Still it is the starting song of the audio guide to my 2021.

»One day I’m wordless, next day I’m a wordsmith.«


– The Jezabels

Definetely, I’m a prisoner to this open cage of wide sounds and intriguing atmospheres I’m not equipped to describe properly but whose effects on me I cannot escape.

»But my name, well, it don’t belong to me.«

2nd Track:

Tesadüfen Hayatta
– Brek

There’s a strong link in any language you speak: between the sound of a word and its meaning that cannot be un-heard. And there’s a vast associative space that opens up just listening to some phonetic material whose meaning is hidden behind translation.

»Tesadüfen yaşiyar ve şimdilik hayatta.«

»Living by chance and alive for now.«

3rd Track:

– 宋冬野

It’s been a while I’ve listened to a fable in (pop) music, and one that stays completely within the realm of the poetic imagery it created. Less like a song and more like a poem.

»斑马斑马 你不要睡着啦«

»Zebra, Zebra. Don’t go to sleep.«

4th Track:

– belitzki.

Zum ersten Mal live in Darmstadt auf’m Konzert gehört. Welches Konzert? Welches Darmstadt? Gab es jemals ein Konzert in Darmstadt? Verschweigen uns die Bandchroniken hier irgendetwas?

»Du wirfst Steine aus dem Fenster, um einmal raus-zuschauen.«

5th Track:

Fast Car
– Tracy Chapman

Dreams and how they shatter. Trying so hard and still being caught up in ever repeating fates — one cannot escape no matter how fast the car.

»You gotta make a decision. Leave tonight or live and die this way.«

6th Track:

You Don’t Own Me
– Lesley Gore

I’ve always doubted that there’s such a thing like a »self« that just has to be left on its own to thrive. Rather, I guess, it’s only the entanglement with others that constitute the self as a meaningful part of something beyond itself. However, that’s not what this song is about.

»So just let me be myself. That’s all I ask of you.«

7th Track:

– Sophie Hunger

Having been at a concert of Grup Yorum in Athens this summer I have to correct Sophie Hunger insofar that there’s very much an active music scene in some of the Mediterranean countries which is rooted in traditional music while still being relatable even to the Left, if not especially.

»Bitte sing mir ein Volkslied. Auch wenn es das nicht mehr gibt.«

8th Track:

Baggage Man
– Sizarr

There seems to be no direct translation of Zweisamkeit that would represent the counting from Eins to Zwei. And I have to admit that while not lacking much in meaning, togetherness doesn’t resonate half as much with me personally.

»Oh zweisamkeit, how many more repeats until I know the differences between desire and need.«

9th Track:

Heavy Days
– Still Corners

My personal summer hit running every other hour at »athens voice, εκατόν δύο κόμμα πέντε« (»102.5«). Even if exploited maybe a little bit too much there I concur that the gaze comprises a whole realm of expression beyond the speakable.

»You got nothing to say but your eyes are telling me to stay.«

10th Track:

On A Roll
– Balthazar

Indeed the night might quite often turn out to make you feel alone. But the strive that this isn’t what the night is supposed to mean is what keeps it – and possibly you – going.

»Ah, but the night is not meant to make you feel alone.«

11th Track:

Love My Way
– The Psychedelic Furs

Oliver spontanously dancing with a stranger next to a car whose radio is playing this song. Meanwhile Elio having to puke from the unusual amounts of Italian wine they had had in Bergamo. Meanwhile the stranger tells Oliver how she had hitchhiked to London to see them play live. Such a genuine passion.
Just a scene from Call me by your name.

»In a room without a door a kiss is not enough.«

12th Track:

old man at the bar
– tinie creatures

Feeling older than I’ve once been is some sort of feeling old. I know this has to sound ridiculous to some. Still there’s something buried in every past moment that’s accessible in memories only.

»Looking for the weaknesses I could share.«

13th Track:

– The Halay Lamba

Things I learned this year: Distinguishing an oud from a lute. What I already knew: Today’s deadliest border, the Mediterranean Sea, has been the interconnecting hub of a cultural space that predates the division into Middle East, Europe and North Africa.

14th Track:

– Tristan Brusch

I understand just too well how the smell of spilled beer – possibly unpleasant to most – made it into this enumeration. There’s a hidden promise that the reversal of all values actually might start with the sense of smell.

»Es duftet nach Zuckerwatte, Rauch, verschüttetem Bier.«

15th Track:

Feel The Way I Do
– Jungle Giants

Regardless the philosophical problem of other minds, there are these rare moments when two persons‘ understandings align for a split second — and you know you’ve just been on the same page overcoming the estrangement that signifies individuality.

»Hope you feel the way I do, too.«

16th Track:

Kalbim Seni Arar
– Palmiyeler

»Gözlerim sesinle yaşarsa.«

»If my eyes live with your voice.«

The End:

I Know The End
– Phoebe Bridgers

You don’t choose your name and neither your origin. Both are given to you. What’s in your power, at least to a certain degree, is to not let them define you. While the departure is determined, the destination is up to you. Which brings us to the last stop – το τέρμα – of this sampler.

»I’ll find a new place to be from.«


Kaybolan Benim Genim
– Brek

Since there were two starting points, we finish, naturally, with two songs. Building bridges from The Jezabels »begin again« to Phoebe Bridgers‘ dystopian end time song and from Little Simz‘ »amalgamation of everything« to Brek’s six stripped down lines awaiting the looming morning. Which we, the survivors of 2021, are facing.

»Hayal olan senin yüzün, bir sabah gelecek hüzün.«

»Your face is a dream. Sadness will come in the morning.«