The album I listened to most this year was:
kindness - sleep well (2019-2022) (self-released) 

Ranks up there with any of the great triptychs of all time while speaking to this very present incline towards jangly romantic guitars of olde. kindness isn't trying to ride that or any wave, though. sleep well is a fossil all its own, one I want to place inside my glass-fronted cabinet of most-precious things. I listened to this in the summer on the subway in New York while visiting, disoriented and recurring. I listened in the winter in Kraków, gulping and thinking. A little ache forms in chest as song and strum mesh in that special way that music from friends is able to say: I'll miss you.

Other guideposts, yardsticks:
CHOI TAEHYUN - Microscript (Helicopter Records)
Sometimes I like to write in a hand that's even unreadable to me - flourishes in the little curve of a 'g' or hook of 'b' that distort reading/meaning. I think that's what's drawing me here. Perhaps it's the album art but there's this feeling of hand-written notes scanned and blurred, full of minor distortion. Grey textures. "Helicopter" the inner workings of that shade.

Cucina Povera & Ben Vince - There I See Everything (ECSTATIC)
Kind of a sister album to Languoria (below). And it's beautiful. I remember hearing "Pikku Muurahaiskeko" in a mix maybe and did the click back incessantly thing to hear Povera's opening and opening. Putting this on it's hard to move on, filling all hours with stone.

Kevin Drumm - 120121 (VAAGNER)
Do I have the patience to confront myself in real time? This album helped...a predictably glum then fractal moment under heavy clouds. But it fit, & spoke to how wide ice spreads thru me into stillness. Imagining how all of this will turn out then taking a few steps back into forever. A beam of light breaks through the trees splintered by fog, revealing.

Loraine James - Building Something Beautiful For Me (Phantom Limb)
Have loved Loraine James since first heard and will keep listening, knowing that it's never going to be more of the same - rigorous change. I said it last year re: Reflection and I'll say it again: every new project feels like the best ever.

Moin - Paste (AD 93)
Just so weird.

Noah - Noire (FLAU)
I don't work in cafes anymore but when I did I often used to be in charge of the iPod and I still have a fondness for coffee shop music. A lot of the time something will come on and I'll instinctively think about the hour it would be most suited for work. Noire is like 7am on a snowy Sunday morning, underslept, the hum before the rush. Heading back into the world, bleary eyed and aching, the past 8 hours all but forgotten.

Organ Tapes - 唱着那无人问津的歌谣(Chang Zhe Na Wu Ren Wen Jin De Ge Yao) (Worldwide Unlimited)
When someone you thought you'd never hear from again suddenly, and welcomingly, comes back into your life. Glorious.

Oleksander Demianenko - In Memory Of... (Psychic Liberation)
Nominating "Segment 2" as one of the best tracks of the year. I can't unhear the voices. "Segment 4"...Always with all loved.

Roman Bromboszcz - ut musica poesis (Antenna non grata)
I came for Miron and stayed for the pull of something vaguely ancient. There was a period this year where I would play Hungarian and Czech films in the background instead of music. Same kind of bent. What's at the borders of understanding (for that truly is where I at the moment live)? What's the comfort of hearing voices you can't understand when all day alone, inside and out?

Silvia Tarozzi & Deborah Walker - Canti di guerra, di lavoro e d‘amore (Unseen Worlds)
I watched Bitter Rice for the first time this year (in March) and spent hours afterwards trying to find recordings of the folk songs in the fields. Then (in June) this album is released. Imagine my bliss when a few minutes in it erupts in such chorus. As I wrote on Letterboxd: "Everyone that has eaten rice should watch this movie." Afterwards, consider Canti di guerra, di lavoro e d‘amore.

Sofie Birch & Antonina Nowacka - Languoria (Mondoj)
Probably takes the #2 spot for 2022 albums that hit me like an arrow in the throat, carrying honey from forest fairies i tak dalej. In a glade, trees and twigs and leaves electric, and Nowacka warbles like a bird. Have I heard anything as anthropomorphic as "Morning Room 1"? Embodied by the dawn chorus.

the fertile crescent - strategy of two heavens (xquisite releases)
Certain xquisite releases have a way of satisfying my deep desire for RPG-style narrative fantasy even though I've never played one. Names like loose pages fallen from a leather-bound tome. Gold leaves fantastic royalty. And in the heavy smoke of legend I descend out of fear. 'godlessness' one of my most-played tracks of the year.

ulla - foam (3XL)
An expression of moments and textures, like picking up an instrument you don't know how to play and seeing where that goes. Getting obsessed with Marithé + Francois Girbaud even though I don't particularly like their clothes. Because it's the whole expression, not exactly the products that contain it. Software is the new stone wash. At this age of ulla, the fibres are cut in such a way that all other looks become "instantly unfashionable".

6122y - diary#01 (50.938361, 6.959974)
a community of feelings - reading things out loud in sz's room (for matt)
Annika Zee - Be Like That
baby bloom - sugar ball
Bookworms - In a basement (self-released)
Bug Bus Piano - Song #1 Recorded To Tape By Quay, All Others By Bug Bus Piano
Gi Gi - Sinews (feat. Hysterical Love Project) (+ all from HLP)
Gilgul - Behind
IW W/Noi & bela mix for Threads Radio
James Marrs - s/t (Laura Lies In)
Klein - black star
meetka - music for snow
Roméo Poirier - Living Room (Faitiche)
Stylish and Easy Radio w/ Ms.Manga - for nice people and nice people only
Tara Clerkin Trio mixes on NTS
Teresa Winter mixes on NARR
Terry Jennings - Piece for Cello and Saxophone (Saltern)
Theodore Cale Schafer - Fingerspit
Tirzah - Highgrade (Domino)
Yu Murakami - The Struggle Before Dawn (Abyss CDR)
Zuzanna Bartoszek - *

*Addendum: Zuzanna Bartoszek - Tancerka, Great Area - "Shipping", Dida - "Biebs", VOICE ACTOR - Sent from My Telephone, XS217FDNSBA0192 - "UTD2 (VIP) (VIP) (VIP) F"