Now Sound: EOY More Favorites from 2022

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More music is always better… So here are more favorites from 2022.

Where are we now? 2022 was another big year of change for us at In Sheep’s Clothing. As we continued to make moves towards opening the next listening bar – it’s coming, we promise – spaces to meet and gather in-person with our extended music community became a big focus for us. In Sheep’s Clothing Records on Fairfax and ISC HQ in West Hollywood became a pop-up home base for labels, artists, organizations, and all varieties of music lovers who trekked to our listening events and joined our expanding community. A big thanks to all who joined us this year!

In keeping with our belief in the spirit of discovery, new music has flowed all year long through the record shop, headquarters, and online hub. Our ongoing Now Sound series featured favorites from around the world, ranging in style from psychedelic electronics and chillout downtempo to outsider folk, indie R&B, and beyond. We’ll be posting a full retrospective of all the albums we’ve featured already this year, and feel free to revisit the Now Sound articles by clicking here.

More music is always better, right? So to kick off the big end-of-the-year features, all of us at In Sheep’s Clothing have selected a few “More Favorites from 2022” that either came out towards the end of the year or were somehow missed in the Now Sound features. We’ll be following this up with an Archival & Reissues selection coming soon!

As usual, consider this more of a “when in doubt, listen to this” collection than a “best of” list…

  • ARTIST: Patricia Wolf
  • TITLE: See-Through
  • LABEL: Balmat
  • STYLE: Ambient, Field Recording

The sophomore release for Portland-based artist Patricia Wolf, See-Through weaves together a balmy sonic chamber that’s womblike. The release is transportive, and each track acts as a separate negotiation guiding listeners into personal reassessments of hope and a search for contentedness. “A Conversation with My Innocence” encapsulates this masterful foray into sonic philosophy, creating a particularly curious allure that’s both comforting and powerful. – Tana




  • ARTIST: Aylu
  • TITLE: Profunda Rosa
  • LABEL: Mana Records
  • STYLE: Electronic, Latin, Juke

Emerging from the Argentinian experimental scene, composer Ailin Grad, a.k.a. Aylu, debuts on the always quality Mana imprint with Profondo Rosa, a gorgeous collection of free form electronic compositions drawing from minimalism, electroacoustic, latin music, and footwork. Grad’s sonic palette is an absolute delight; she paints with a wide range of sounds and colors including saxophone, viola, electronic percussion, digital synthesizers, and all manners of found sounds including birds chirping, finger clicks, fizzy drinks, and heavy breathing. Stylistically, the tracks range from delicate percussive workouts to beatless, minimal compositions, to full-on 140+ bpm experimental latin juke. It’s a ride of a listen, for sure, but a total pleasure for the sonically curious. To dive deeper into this world, be sure to also check out Grad’s label Abyss, “a digital label connecting LATIN JUKE with the world.” – Phil




  • ARTIST: Various Artists
  • TITLE: Thorn Valley
  • LABEL: World of Echo
  • STYLE: Folk, Indie, Electronic

What better way to celebrate World of Echo’s fourth anniversary than to gift us all this vital compilation surveying the UK contemporary DIY underground? Tara Clerkin Trio’s In Spring was an easy favorite last year, and they’ve returned to our year-end list once again with another don’t-miss in Thorn Valley. A comp of 20 various transmissions of exclusivities by their very talented network of musical friends, the collection features new work by Tara Clerkin Trio, TRjj, Pat Benjamin, Valentina Magaletti, and many more. The result is a borderless collection of shrewdly sequenced experimental chamber music, avant-pop, indie jaunts, and tenderhearted lo-fi piano pieces. A top recommend for all and those especially inspired by their beloved namesake artist. – Dane




  • ARTIST: Pole
  • TITLE: Tepus
  • LABEL: Mute
  • STYLE: Electronic, Dub

German based artist Stefan Betke (Pole) released Tempus in November and it’s been a part of the rotation ever since: Electronica, minimalist dub, and synth-based experimental tracks that include a playful energy alongside their complex, sometimes dark tones. Tempus, in fact, has prompted me to do a deep dive into Pole’s earlier albums, which date back more than 20 years. The new record isn’t one-directional; Betke maintains a thread that suggests he felt truly free to explore this creative sonic pathway. – Bryan




  • ARTIST: DJ Python
  • TITLE: Club Sentimientos Vol 2
  • LABEL: Incienso
  • STYLE: Electronic, Downtempo

In this sublime three-track release, DJ Python continues to explore the fusion of melodic dance music and reggaetón, his signature sound that remains transcendent. On “Angel,” the atmospheric centerpiece of the release, he produces a breezy, dubby rhythm that layers and crescendos in and out like ocean waves. This hypontizing track moves into the bassy, upbeat dembow-woven “TMMD (IMMMD)” and then circles back into the relaxed, textured dreamy title track that nods to an early ’90s ambient-IDM sound. This trio perfectly encapsulates the kaleidoscopic approaches Python continues to deploy and discover. Gorgeous all around! – Radha




Dds049 distribution update
  • ARTIST: Born Under A Rhyming Planet
  • TITLE: Diagonals
  • LABEL: DDS
  • STYLE: Electronic, Techno

Lancastrian techno heroes Demdike Stare compiled this long-lost album of previously unreleased material from Chicago techno obscurant Jamie Hodge. Hodge had only released a few 12-inches under the Born Under A Rhyming Planet alias but continued to play live and record music throughout the late 90s and early 00s. After revisiting project files that span as far back to his high school days, Hodge worked together with Demdike to create what Hodge calls this “love letter to electronic music and the friends that surrounded it.” Fourteen compositions somewhere between ambient, techno and jazz are tied together with interludes just as engrossing as the longer works. – Jonny




  • ARTIST: Nancy Monir
  • TITLE: Nozhet El Nofous
  • LABEL: Simsara Records
  • STYLE: Arabic, Experimental

This debut album from Egyptian composer Nancy Mounir is as haunting as it is stunning. The emotional landscapes Mounir creates with her arrangments enrobe archival recordings with a discernible respect to these ghostly links to past. The title of the record itself translates to “Promenade of the Souls” in Arabic. What the listener is left with is a passionate meditation on ancestral memories and the ways in which the living carry ancient traditions into the fore. – Tana




  • ARTIST: Bitchin’ Bajas
  • TITLE: Bajascillators
  • LABEL: Drag City
  • STYLE: Experimental, Ambient

Zone-out music of the highest order, the four 10-minute pieces on the Chicago instrumental team Bitchin’ Bajas Bajascillators move through labyrinthine patterns woven with first-generation electronic machines, processed woodwinds, and what the Bajas’ Cooper Crain described in a recent Aquarium Drunkard interview as “a large surplus of synthesizers and sound devices.” The result is a quartet of mesmerizing pieces that mix acoustic and electronic tones, polyrhythms, synthetic quarter- and eighth-note patterns that feature as many layers of sound as there are rings on a sequoia. Fans of Cluster, Manuel Göttsching, Harmonia and the entire Berlin School will in Bajascillators discover a new favorite hi-fi immersion. – Randall




  • ARTIST: Mister Water Wet
  • TITLE: Top Natural Drum
  • LABEL: Soda Gong
  • STYLE: Experimental

This year Iggy Romeu released two Mister Water Wet records, both of which have been on heavy rotation here at ISC. On Top Natural Drum, Romeu’s uncanny production style slinks and sways through the use of breakbeats, jazzy motifs, and sc-fi-esque sound sources, creating an environment that feels mysterious and pleasantly unsettled. At times reminiscent of the dusty edges of leftfield downtempo, the music quickly leans in unexpected direction through the use of cleverly placed repurposed sounds. Though closely affiliated with a lot of the characters in the burgeoning American electronic scene, Iggy’s music seems to orbit its own sun. – John




  • ARTIST: Gi Gi
  • TITLE: Lamella Pressed
  • LABEL: Index:Records
  • STYLE: Downtempo

In certain electronic music circles, 2022 felt like the year of downtempo and trip-hop. The slow, chilled-out breaks and ambient textures seemed to perfectly capture that post-pandemic mood easing us gracefully out of solitary home listening and back to the dancefloor. Artists like Chicago’s Purelink and Tornado Wallace’s new a.s.o. project made waves with their updated takes on the once taboo late ‘90s sample-heavy sounds. New artists exploring the slower beats continue to emerge, including Texan producer Gi Gi, who released two incredible albums this year on Good Morning Tapes and Berlin/Glasgow based label Index:Records. It’s hard to pick a favorite out of the two, both deep & dubby with just the right amount of jazz, and atmospheric as all hell. “Sinews” featuring Auckland-based duo Hysterical Love Project is a track we’ll surely be playing back well into 2023 and injects a bit of that 4AD dream pop vibe into Gi Gi’s blissfully introspective sound world. – Phil




  • ARTIST: Devon Rexi
  • TITLE: Tambale
  • LABEL: South of North
  • STYLE: Leftfield

Tambal EP is a four track headspin from Dutch-based duo Devon Rexi, filled with heavy bass and drum grooves accented by dubby reverb splashes and freaked delays. The vocals “Sung in the language of the in-between-worlds” playfully dance on top of the tracks often accompanied by a harmonizer effect. The first track on the B-side, “Human Snax,” is a sure fire way to get people wiggling, easily my most consumed tune of the year. If ESG and the Slits joined forces and were promptly abducted by aliens, they may have returned home sounding like this band. – John




  • ARTIST: Mount Maxwell
  • TITLE: Only Children
  • LABEL: Hotham Sound
  • STYLE: Chill-out

Jamie Tolagson, a.k.a. Mount Maxwell, is an artist and experimental electronic label owner based in the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver, BC). I stumbled upon one of his records, The People’s Forest, on one of my late night Bandcamp strolls. Really into his ability to blend synth and acoustic instruments in a way that keeps focus by not carrying on too long in one zone. Only Children peppers in voice recordings throughout the album, which deepen the tonal nature of the songs. – Bryan




  • ARTIST: Makaya McCraven
  • TITLE: In These Times
  • LABEL: XL Recordings
  • STYLE: Jazz

Committing to and supporting the music of Makaya McCraven while he’s still in his thirties feels like both a no-brainer – nobody’s currently making better jazz records – and an investment in the brilliant drummer-composer’s future. In These Times was composed across seven years, during which time McCraven issued a string of profound percussion-led records for International Anthem. Built on what the obi strip describes as “polytemporal compositions collapsing past, present & future,” In These Times features contributions from artists including guitarist Jeff Parker, cellist Marta Sofia Honer, and saxophonists Greg Ward and Irvin Pierce. McCraven leads the dozen-plus players while himself working through his own instrumental cornucopia: Drums, sampler, percussion, tambourine, synth, kalimba, handclaps, vibraphone, sitar, keyboards, and organ. – Randall




  • ARTIST: Weyes Blood
  • TITLE: And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow
  • LABEL: Sub Pop
  • STYLE: Rock, Pop

And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow is a vast and vivid journey through heavenly haunting hymns, ’70’s-inspired dusky vocals, and stunning orchestral arrangements. A lush collection of ballads that tackle modern existential angst, shared sorrow, and universal connectivity, the album’s enchanting opening track “It’s Not Me, It’s Everybody” is a tasteful homage to re-emerging in the world after a period of introspective isolation. She sings “Mercy is the only cure for being so lonely”.. a tender and heartfelt ode to personal anxieties and collective malaise. This timeless record overflows with tender harmonies and honest realizations, ultimately glimmering with hope. – Radha




  • ARTIST: Dry Cleaning
  • TITLE: Stumpwork
  • LABEL: 4AD
  • STYLE: Post-Punk, Rock

Everyone’s favorite South London disrupters returned after just one short year with their sophomore full length and second for 4AD. Stumpwork is Dry Cleaning’s grower album but well worth the return on investment of repeated listens. Wailing guitar riffs drenched in reverb, brief but catchy hum alongs, and delays for days with an underbelly of explorative percussion styles. – Jonny




  • ARTIST: JJ+JS
  • TITLE: Peeled
  • LABEL: Daisart
  • STYLE: Ambient

Ok, truly being unbiased here! The most immersive listen of the year for me was this recent incredible release cooked up by none other than our very own John Jones (AV Moves, Geo Rip) and local favorite Jesse Sappell (Motion Ward label head). With this second collaborative flex and the first outing on Daisart, Peeled finds the pair, once again, creating a beautiful world of vaporous sound and color. An eight track collection of hazy ambient tide, it feels elemental and alive, ebbing and flowing through serene minimalist nuance. A textural, subtle rhythmic stew of lush ethereal guitar figures and warm soft-focus electronics, this record that couldn’t be more ideally suited to comfort us through these grey skies and colder months. (You can also count on us repeatedly playing it well into the new year.) – Dane


  • ARTIST: Ramzi
  • TITLE: Hyphea
  • LABEL: Music from Memory
  • STYLE: Electronic

One of the last albums to drop this year… Music from Memory has shifted gears slightly in recent times focusing as much on new music as they are on archival reissue and compilation projects. Montreal-based electronic artist Ramzi is an obvious fit on the label and presents some of her best work yet on Hyphea. From the artist: “The music remains as a doorway to that world. It has never been about me, I always see that entity bigger than myself. The process of writing ‘hyphea’ was rather intuitive. I don’t think about styles of music before producing tracks. Those are more like an adventure in itself, each one set in a different ecosystem.”



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