Six essential new releases to get you through the week.
Each week the global listening community gets bombarded with new releases, reissues and restocks. As music freaks who read these missives and are attuned to the bounty regularly arriving, we love sharing great sounds. Below are some particularly crucial new arrivals, a number of which will soon be available in the In Sheep’s Clothing shop.
Huerco S – Plonk
The long awaited follow-up to 2016’s For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) is a roving, future-leaning record that sidesteps presumptions. Rhythmically rich with subtle traces of trap and footwork, the album teeter-totters from one onomatopoeia-titled track to the next, each further defining the sonic world that Brian Leed’s work lives in. As with his previous albums, the music is tinted with a stoic melancholy that seems to reflect the times, making Leeds’ work righteously relevant. – John
Various Artists – Sky Dust Drifter
The Forager Records crew first teased this collection at an in-store event earlier this year and we’ve been hooked on it ever since. Gathered from private-press LP’s and secret-cut 45’s in the sun-soaked AOR, psychedelic folk, and soft rock zones, Sky Dust Drifter is the essential follow-up and companion to Forager’s immediately engrossing debut compilation Belong to the Wind. This time, though, the grooves are heavier and more upbeat, fitting for a sleazy dive, drop-top car ride, or lonesome trip through the desert with a cosmic companion, as depicted on the incredible album artwork by Arina Kokoreva. It feels like another classic from Forager, who have quickly cemented themselves in that rare echelon of buy-on-sight record labels. – Phil
Alex Ho – Move Through It
“The late-afternoon light of Los Angeles – golden pink off the bay through the smog and onto the palm fronds,” writes essayist Lawrence Weschler, a quote often used to describe those mysterious hazy Los Angeles sunsets we all witness daily. It’s a description that can equally describe this picturesque jacket and the cloudy cinematic music embedded within. Our friend Alex Ho has long been a fixture in the LA music scene, whether behind the decks, playing host for one of the city’s best warehouse party offerings, or playing music on his beloved Moony Habits NTS show. It’s only now that we finally hear his studio work, a starry eight-track full-length put out by Amsterdam’s Music From Memory.
Like Weschler’s description, Ho’s Move Through It similarly illustrates that LA glow, serving up a slew of elusive atmospheric downtempo and vibey left-field grooves that capture a specific Los Angeles musical nostalgia. A melt-on-the-mind treat that’s full of pillowy Juno pads, hazy sax, and melodic keys, they combine to support Alex’s satin-cut falsetto. The LP features many friends from the LA music community, including Baba Stiltz, Damon Palermo, and In Sheep’s Clothing’s Phil Cho and John Jones. Our good friend DJ Kaleb Marshall shot the idyllically iconic cover. As definitive as an LA record gets, it’s soused in sultry sounds that elicit a kind of cinematic euphoria that makes you feel the stardust. Don’t miss out on this beauty. – DM
Jack J – Opening The Door
Vancouver multi-instrumentalist, DJ, and producer Jack Jutson hasn’t released music in seven years – but it was worth the wait. Jack J’s first fully-realized full-length, Opening The Door (issued by his own Mood Hut label) is a personal journey expressed through his now signature hazy ambient jazz sound, soft-rock-infused boogie-pop and experiments in dub stylings. There are the obvious comparisons to genre-defying pop obscurants of the past, but Jack’s ability to reference and create originality from inspiration makes Opening the Door special. – Jonny
Jeremiah Chiu, Marta Sofia Honer – Recordings From The Åland Islands
Some morning as you’re waking for the day, do so while listening to Recordings From The Åland Islands, the new collaboration between L.A.-based musicians Jeremiah Chiu and Marta Sofia Honer. A shimmering dose of hope during hard times, it opens with field recordings of birdsongs captured, like much of the album, three years ago during an extended trip to an archipelago composed of 6,500 islands in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland.
There, inside the Kumlinge Kyrka, a 14th century medieval church, the artists recorded a performance that became the source material for Recordings From The Åland Islands. Featuring composed pieces and improvisations on what liner notes list as “viola and electronics, pipe organ, pump organ, piano, synthesizers, field recordings and voice memos,” the pair returned to the States to produce this truly memorable new album. Among the instrumentation: viola, piano, organs, modular synthesizer, Crumar Performer, Juno-60, CS01, OP-1, bass guitar, hand chimes, and field recordings. – E. Little
Various Artists – Viento Sur
Viento Sur is a sublime compilation of breezy classics from the southern shores of South America compiled by Argentine DJs and collectors Bárbara Salazar and Alejandro Cohen (dublab). A lot of Argentine music, like that of its neighbor Uruguay, has somehow evaded the ears of the global north. Though the capital of Buenos Aires is home to a thriving music industry and scores of notable musical movements, this record pulls specifically from the more experimental side of label Melopea Discos’ historic catalog. For many of the tracks, this is the first reissue.
The record opens with the ethereal track “Mandala Fiel” by Guillermo Cazenave, who founded Astral Music, the first Spanish new age music record label. The melodic synth that welcomes listeners into the song is inescapably entrancing, and recalls sounds from Angelo Badalamenti’s score for Twin Peaks.
“Sombras De Ecuador,” by Los Músicos Del Centro, is dance-floor ready, with a lush tropical flavor that several tracks on this record share. Another of those songs is “Pequeño Y Primitivo” by Alfombra Mágica which has a mellower mood that lends itself to home listening. All in all, this record is impossible not to love. – Tana
Remembering an iconic ’90s track that bridged Northwest indie-pop and sample-based electronic music. In mid-1990s America, the independent underground music world was frustratingly balkanized. Detroit was producing sturdy […]