Now Sound: Haunted Folk, Kosmische Dub, Chamber Jazz, Dancehall, and more recent favorites

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Recent ISC favorites from Malmö, Kingston, Newcastle, London, and Los Angeles.

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.

Jon Iverson meets Prins Emanuel, Golden Ivy & Inre Kretsen Grupp

Cosmic Americana, minimalism, dub, left field beats, and European kosmische? Say no more! Seance Centre’s latest is a project “recorded across decades and continents” with Malmö-based musicians Emanuel Sundin (Prins Emanuel), Ivar Lantz (Golden Ivy), and Martin Blomberg (Inre Kretsen Grupp) crafting new compositions using unreleased material from Jon Iverson’s reel-to-reel archive. Guitar, Balinese jaw harp, violin, lap steel, trumpet, pump organ, and various percussion instruments come together for “wide-open 21st Century group-think cosmic music” with heavy grooves that would surely work on the right dance floor. “Kaen” is a big standout and isn’t something you’d expect from this sort of “Many Worlds Interpretation” music. With a heavy, dub groove and production approach, it works surprisingly well with the minimal, avant-garde piano motif.

Available now: https://insheepsclothinghifi.com/product/jon-iverson-meets-prins-emanuel-golden-ivy-inre-kretsen-grupp-s-t-lp-2/




Gavsborg – One Hour Service + Did not make this for Jah_9 feat. Shanique Marie

Gavsborg is back! The Equiknoxx visionary kicked off 2023 with a split 7-inch with Cloud Management on Phuong-dan’s dispari imprint. He followed it with his debut album, 1 Hour Service, on Cassette Blair, a new tape label from the man himself. “Did not make this for Jah_9” feat. Shanique Marie is one of the most innovative dancehall tracks I’ve heard in ages, with an impressively danceable odd time signature, spooky synths, and spoken counting sequence. The album expands on Gavsborg’s go-to sonic palette with more live instruments, including saxophone, guitar, and percussion. “Artificial Love feat. The Shiny People” continues the syllable rhythm concept and “A Dancing Crustacean At The Bus Station feat. Tóke” delivers dubby futuristic cumbia behind an infectious spoken vocal groove. If you’re into this, we also highly recommend checking out Gavsborg’s recent mixtape for Mixtape Club. – Phil






Jonnine – Maritz

HTRK’s Jonnine Standish meets Laurent Richard aka DJ Sundae’s Idle Press imprint for a match made somewhere between hell and heaven. Maritz, named after Standish’s mother, is a collection of haunted folk songs and spectral incantations crafted with scavenged instruments such as a homemade glockenspiel found at “an abandoned high school in the hills.” As usual, bass guitar, dub echo, and half-spoken vocals make the core here, with the baroque instruments adding to Jonnine’s spellbindingly eerie sound. “Tea for Two (Boo)” has an almost Scott Walker vibe to it, with its cryptic storytelling and off-kilter bounce. But Standish’s playful delivery makes the ghostly scene cute and light-hearted. The much too short “I Put A Little Thing in Your Pocket,” featuring husband Conrad (CS+Kreme) on acoustic guitar, is also great… – Phil




Jon Hassell – Further Fictions

Head music of the highest order, the late, great Hassell’s Further Fictions is an unsung masterpiece and required listening for anyone into Brian Eno’s and Hassell’s enduring “Fourth World” concept. This two-CD set is a revelation. The first disc, called “The Living City,” features a perfectly recorded performance by Hassell and Eno at the Winter Garden in New York City in the fall of 1989 – which Eno mixed live. For the second disc, “Psychogeography,” Hassell tapped the original session tapes of his album City: Works of Fiction and took a razor and editing tape to it to create what liner notes call “a situationist inspired alternate version of the City album.” Fans of Eno and David Byrne’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and Hassell’s innovative work starting in the 1970s will be gobsmacked by Further Fictions. Also available through Bandcamp is Atmospherics, a book of Hassell’s essays on music. – Randall 

Available now: https://insheepsclothinghifi.com/product/jon-hassell-psychogeography-2lp/




Phew – Our Likeness

The Japanese artist Phew has been influencing the experimental music community for more than 40 years with her output, first with the post-punk band Aunt Sally, followed by collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Holger Czukay, Jaki Liebezeit, and Conny Plank. In many ways, Phew’s third album, 1992’s Our Likeness, can be considered the collision point of her early recordings and what she’s been doing since. Recorded at Conny Plank’s studio with Liebezeit on drums, and additional assistance from Liaisons Dangereuses’ Christopher Haas. The production is clean and detailed, with a room reverb sound that creates opportunities for moments of heavy contrast. Tracks like “The Smell” play into a micro/macro feel with its musique concrete inspired design paired with metal-esque guitar and drum hits. The album ebbs and flows between pleasantly deep grooves and somewhat dissonant alien terrain. Our Likeness is an album of masterfully stylized extremes – think of an unruly No Wave band being captured by the breezy and refined production styles found on an ECM record. Variance is key for innovation, and this album is a prime example. – John




Troth – Forget the Curse

Ambient experimental synth-pop duo Troth (Amelia Besseny and Altered States’ Cooper Bowman) continue their streak of foggy excellence with Forget the Curse on Gothenburg-based label Mammas Mysteriska Jukebox. Like their previous album, Oak Corridor, Besseny’s Kate Bush-esque soprano soars above the mist-soaked, sample-heavy production, but this time, Bowman shares vocal duties, presenting a stark contrast to Besseny’s classically trained chops with a woozy, melancholic style that adds an exciting new dimension to the duo’s sound. “Nettles Silver Lining” and title track “Forget the Curse” are especially great with the latter featuring layered, reverberated saxophone from Anna Langdon.




Khotin – Release Spirit

We’ve been big fans of Canadian electronic artist Dylan Khotin-Foote since his debut album, Hello World, landed on 1080p in 2014. His lush, self-released 2018 album Beautiful You was a big daytime favorite at the listening bar, and continues to get steady play at home. Release Spirit, the Edmonton-based artist’s latest on Ghostly International, expands on Khotin’s signature palette of hazy vintage synthesizers, found sounds, mellow electronic percussion, and cassette samples with a more focused approach to mixing and sound. The project’s first-ever vocal track,“Fountain, Growth,” is a collaboration with Montreal’s Tess Roby (Dawn to Dawn). Khotin’s melodies and keen sense of atmosphere continue to do the thing for us… Just check closing track, “Sound Gathering Trip,” which swirls around a melancholic piano motif with bell tones, field recordings, and sampler magic setting the perfect scene.




Brendan Eder Ensemble – Therapy

For his third studio album, Los Angeles composer Brendan Eder rented a cavernous church sanctuary in Arcadia, gathered a dozen-odd musicians, many of them woodwind players, and offered answers to the question he’d posed: “What kind of ambient record would Richard D. James, a.k.a. Aphex Twin, create with a chamber ensemble and a church organ?” Given those parameters, Therapy‘s ten pieces capture the mood and spaciousness of Selected Ambient Works II, with gentle, cascading melodies that seem to drift through the speakers. Therapy features two Aphex Twin covers: “3 (Rhubarb)” and “#17,” but each of the 10 pieces is its own reward. Crucially, Eden travels much deeper – play “137 Riddle” at full volume for proof – when exploring what could be a pretty basic conceit. Release notes describe its creation as occurring “during a period of deep spiritual curiosity. Eder was avidly watching testimonies of near death experience survivors (NDEs), pouring over books of Theosophical artwork and philosophy, and processing experiences of grief, uncertainty and spirituality. He wanted to explore the threshold between the spiritual and physical dimensions, and create music that could evoke its shape and texture.” That depth of thought and intention permeates Therapy. – Randall




Duval Timothy – Meeting With A Judas Tree

This one is from 2022, but we somehow missed covering it last year… Inspired partially by Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied Von Der Erde (The Song of the Earth) — a vast song cycle engaging with nature, forgiveness, friendship, and mortality themes — Duval Timothy’s latest album, Meeting With A Judas Tree, feels like a personal invitation into the multi-disciplinary artist’s world. The album’s six tracks are filled with guest appearances from friends (Yu Su, Kiran Kai, Vegyn, Fauzia), field recordings captured on everyday strolls, trips into nature, walks with mum, and other personal voice recordings. Timothy’s playing is, of course, gorgeous as usual, but the magic here happens in the way his piano blends so beautifully with the sounds captured from nature – various birds, insects, monkeys, bats, plants, trees, stones – as if they were all one instrument.




Liv.e – Girl in the Half Pearl

The Dallas-raised, LA-based artist Hailee Olivia Williams performs as Liv.e, and her sophomore album Girl In The Half Pearl is a 17-track record filled with neo-soul, electronic, pop, psychedelic magic and diary-like, vulnerable lyrics. One of the most striking tracks, “Wild Animals,” was co-written and produced alongside John Carroll Kirby and Jared Solomon, and flawlessly presents music that’s both fresh and nostalgic and possesses a uniquely expressive way of mixing sound and genre. On “Find Out,” Williams references a Paul Simon song when she sings “Cryin’, spillin’ tears into the late night / There’s more than fifty ways to leave your lover.” – Ally




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