Recent favorites from Italy, Brazil, Leipzig, Memphis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.
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.
Smoke Point – Smoke Point
Back in the day many raves were dotted with clumps of ecstasy-fueled souls chilling in seated clusters called ‘cuddle puddles’ – making out, massaging, gently blowing aromatic menthol “Seabreezes” into each others’ faces and doing what you did when the MDMA was still relatively pure and had fully kicked in. Smoke Point is L.A.-based artist-musicians Brian Foote (Peak Oil, Leech, Kranky) and Sage Caswell (Spring Theory), and their eponymous first album vibes like the soundtrack to such sensual spaces: exquisite ambient electronic tracks that mix dynamic, measured synth-tone washes with pillowy rhythms, vocal dots, 808 tom-toms and the occasional heavy, heavy bass-kick. Music for heavy-petting and serious kissing – or sitting alone in the corner lost in all the pretty lights – release notes accurately describe Smoke Point’s mesmerizing approach as “a captivating cruise through heady ambient drifts and ruthlessly rhythmic loop dreams.”
The team’s first collaborative live project was what they call “a series of improvisational atmospherics throughout a multi-room art gallery … The pair conceived of a sprawling, dynamic experience with tones, rhythms, and textures that varied from room to room, yet were inextricably tuned and melded together.” The same could be said for this killer record. Recalling kindred atmospheric-ists such as Biosphere, Jan Jelinek, Jeff Mills and the Orb, Smoke Point’s aptly-described “extended, cruise-controlled exercises” travel through its rhythmic bars with the steadiness of open-road highway dividing lines. The release concludes with what Smoke Point calls “an actual DJ tool onto itself … a bounty of loops in the form of endless locked grooves on the vinyl edition and brief but equally utilitarian snippets on the digital edition of the LP.” – E. Little
Various Artists – Brazil Novo
This thoughtful and well-rounded compilation of contemporary Brazilian music by DJs Tahira from Sao Paulo and Tim Garcia from London bursts with sunshine. Conveying a lighthearted mood throughout its eight tracks, most are delicately produced modern interpretations of samba, candomble, bossa nova and beautiful compositions using indiginous flutes. “Dona Celia Coquista” by O Bar, for example, is stripped down candomblé, but the groovy polyrhythms give it a substantial, entrancing weight. If organic grooves are something you’re after this summer, this new release is for you. – Tana
Just in time for summer, we have a beautiful new full-length from the holy father of deep house via his own Alleviated imprint after a four-year hiatus. Larry Heard’s fifth release under his most notable Mr. Fingers moniker (the first since 1989), the producer returns as sharp as ever with ten pearlescent examples of his iconic, warm, and atmospheric take on the Chicago-bred style of dance music. Endlessly tweaking the genre he helped create, Heard encompasses all his jazz-taught and soul-infused depth here to concoct another sun-kissed LP of effortlessly dreamy house grooves. All in all, another masterwork from the no-intro-needed music legend – ‘22 summer soundtrack secured. – DM
Munich’s great label Squama Recordings releases music with an overall aesthetic that combines electronics and jazz in ways that document the music’s contemporary state of fluidity. Italian producer Damian Dalla Torre creates tracks that seem to converge in the liminal space between acoustic and electronic music – what release notes call a “rich collage of field recordings, brass instruments, synth-strings and delicate sampling technique.” Created, writes Squama, “during 2020’s moment of collective reflection,” Torre’s debut record offers sublimely meditative texture-music: ambient at its core but with a finely measured approach that indeed drives you into a state of Happy Floating. Torre himself describes the work as “ambivalent–you are melancholic, but at the same time blatantly hopeful.”
Le Petit (Donato Dozzy & Stefano Ghittoni) – Le Petit
Hypnotic techno master Donato Dozzy drops another monster collaboration following 2020’s Il Quadro di Troisi with Eva Geist and 2021’s Buchla & Marimba with Daniele di Gregorio. On Le Petit, Dozzy is joined by veteran producer Stefano Ghittoni (Dining Rooms, Double Beat and countless other projects). Psychedelic, percussive, and filled with dub hues, the six tracks all have that looping, hypnotic aesthetic for which Dozzy has become known, and with Ghittoni’s involvement, the musical lineage to his sound becomes crystal clear. Much like a wormhole connecting disparate points in spacetime, the music here pulls listeners into crucial points of Italy’s psychedelic past, including the cosmic disco of Daniele Baldelli in the ‘70s and the “slow motion,” ethno dark wave of Marco Dionigi in the ‘90s. – Phil
After releasing a string of excellent singles via Bandcamp, Baltimore’s Nourished by Time’s first physical release continues to define Marcus Brown’s unique ability to bend both melody and genre into distinctive songs. The two-track 7-inch starts off with Give it Away, a soulful celestial tune anchored by its floaty chord progression and painterly vocal strokes that soar in and out of an infectious chorus. As the song progresses, angsty guitar lines and airy synth pads gently pull you across the finish line. The B-side, Staring Into The Fireplace, draws from differing corners of the musical universe. A cool, dissonant yet ethereal track with a heyday rap and punk spirit, some moments feel reminiscent of Cocteau Twins, others feel like they could easily find a home in a DJ Screw mixtape. Playfully DIY yet complex and vulnerable, Erotic Probiotic unlocks a door to new terrain. – John
Pontiac Streator – Sone Glo
We’ve been patiently waiting for this one to drop since last year’s summer listening session with Motion Ward. Pontiac Streator returns to Huerco S’ West Mineral imprint with another stunner that once again shows why the Philadelphia-based artist is one of the most exciting producers around. Glitchy, subaquatic, micro beats meet morphing ambient textures and wispy spoken word for a wonderfully therapeutic listen that we highly recommend experiencing with your eyes closed. The album comes with a single line of text “I FEEL TRASHED.” Well, if you’re feeling similarly, put this album on, it might just be the cure.
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