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Behind the ISC Record Store

Written By: 
ISC Team
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The decision to sell records at In Sheep’s Clothing came naturally. Music discovery has always been central to In Sheep’s Clothing’s DNA. A year after we opened the listening bar in L.A.’s Arts District, we launched a monthly record fair and invited our favorite area record vendors and labels to share finds and sounds with the community. These fairs soon led to the launch, in Feb. 2020, of our own small shop within the listening space. By selling at the bar, we hoped to tether records to memory. This, to us, is one of the best arguments for collecting physical copies of recorded music.

The pandemic forced us to close our doors just a few weeks after the store launch. But we still felt it important to deliver the sounds of ISC into our community’s homes. Rather than rushing to develop our website to sell individual records, we came up with the idea for our first phase of the ISC Collection Packs: A pre-selected, hand-picked encapsulation of what could best be described as “The Sound of ISC”. Called “The Sheep’s Bundle,” it combined a mix of our store stock with records pulled directly from our in house collection. Our first sale occurred in April — and quickly sold out.

Today, The Sheep’s Bundle is available as the fully realized first edition of our ongoing ISC Collection Pack series. Our intention with this inaugural package is to expand on where we left off back in April: To represent the eclectic sounds we championed on a daily basis in our listening space. 

Our physical location was open from early morning to late evening, so we were lucky to be able to soundtrack the space with a variety of styles fitting to the atmosphere of the moment. 

An ISC Day 1 classic such as Yasuaki Shimizu’s electronic fusion oddity Kakashi was a staple in our morning/afternoon selections, so it was only fitting that we include copies of it in this inaugural package.

As our in-house collection was regularly being updated, we kept track of new releases  for regular play in our space. Released in April, Spiritual Jazz 11: SteepleChase by the great Jazzman label would have been an evening ISC classic, so we’re happy for it to represent the nighttime sounds we became known for. 

With the reintroduction of the Collection Packs, we planned to include a physical component as part of a collaborative series with artists. Los Angeles visual artist Henry Fey contributed a hand screen print for the first edition; he tapped this project as a segue connecting an existing series of in-progress works that explore a collage style of visual expression. 

Layering archival images from his late uncle’s photography archive with words of influence from today’s current social climate, Fey contributes a truly original and personal statement. The piece was made listening to a playlist of all the records featured in The Sheep’s Bundle, and heavily inspired by some of the more vibrant colored sleeves found in the selection. 

Look out for future Collection Packs, dropping fort-monthly and exploring a wide range of sonic inspirations and physical art mediums.

In addition to the Collection Packs, the ISC Record Store will be releasing a focused selection of individual records. Working closely with friends from around the world, we aim to bring, on a weekly basis, a unique and diverse spread of new titles both from the past and present. As our in-house collection expands, we will also be working to stock those titles that remain available. 

Listen to a mix featuring a selection of records available in the The Sheep’s Bundle:

Visit the store to shop the bundle and our featured selections:

https://insheepsclothinghifi.com/store/

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