Recent favorites from the Bay Area, Indonesia, London via Shanghai, Berlin, and Hungary.
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.
Space Ghost featuring Teddy Bryant – Heaven
The insanely prolific and ever versatile Bay Area producer Space Ghost returns with a truly heaven-sent 12-inch of modern interpretations of UK Street Soul, nu jack swing and downtempo R&B. A collaboration with North Carolina-based soul singer Teddy Bryant, the uncanny pairing couldn’t have been better imagined, as evidenced by this blissful, catchy, and incredibly soulful three-track release. Tunes directly from – and aimed straight at – the heart, it’s been on repeat at the ISC shop since it came in. Don’t miss out on this beauty. – DM
Delly Rollies & Friends 82 / Dea Barandana – Licik
Recently heard Licik (Tribute) at the top of John Gomez’s recent NTS show and was deeply entranced by this smooth, soul-soothing rendition of the Indonesian vocoder masterpiece. The original recording is a 10-minute dreamy funk groove recorded in 1981 by Friends 82 – consisting of Delly Rollies, Norman Rachman, and Vocoder wizard Harry Sabar. Licik was initially released on the highly collectible record Jadi Juga, and is by some accounts the first known Indonesian track to use a Vocoder. Uniquely lush and hauntingly beautiful, the rich melody and steady rhythm will transport you. The recently released B-side off Jiwa Jiwa is available to listen to and buy now; you can pre-order the album before its July release. – Radha
Saâda Bonaire – 1992
Sounding almost too good to be true, a new compilation of previously unreleased music from the elusive German pop duo Saâda Bonaire has been discovered by Captured Tracks. Claiming to have been “recently recovered from a cellar in East Berlin,” 1992 gathers the cult studio project’s long-lost early ‘90s material – but this time with a new producer at the controls in renowned house DJ Matthias Heillbronn. Recorded in New York at François Kevorkian’s Axis Studio, across 12 tracks the duo explore styles reminiscent of U.K. street soul, trip-hop, house, and downtempo led by new vocalist Andrea Ebert after the departure of former member Claudia Hossfeld. The smash 2013 debut compilation of 1980s works produced by dub legend Dennis Bovell was itself a landmark reissue as far as incredible discoveries go. This continuation of Saada Bonaire’s story is a surprise second chapter. – Jonny
This much anticipated followup record to Anadol’s release Uzun Havalar is equally melodic, and as seductive as it is eerie. Originally from Turkey and now based in Berlin, Anadol fuses lush psych rock atmospherics with jazz and Turkish folk influences. Each song creates cavernous expanses, and songs like “İstasyon Plajında Bir Tren Battı” (which translates to “A Train Sank at Station Beach”) contain beautiful experiments in sound creation, with a aural design that is as lovely as it is curious. “Felicita Lale” is a sweet ending to the record, one that strays from the contemplative mood of the rest of the record. – Tana
Tibor Szemző – SNAP #2
The Hungarian artist and musician Tibor Szemző has been creating sound and visual work since the early 1970s, first as a member of Szemző Quartet then as cofounder of the minimalist collective Group 180. Along the way, he and 180 worked with kindred minimalist composers including Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Phill Niblock and Arnold Dreyblatt. In the late ‘80s after striking out on his own, Szemző released Snapshot from the Island, a solo album that over the decades he’s continually tapped for inspiration. Szemző, in fact, calls his new SNAP #2 “a sequel to” Snapshot: release notes explain that “[i]n that first album the island was a metaphor for isolation and now SNAP #2 offers Szemző’s reflections of his visits to real islands, Cuba in 1988-1990 and Japan in 1992-1994.” The two side-long works tap earlier work by Szemző and his project the Gordian Knot. For “The Other Shore,” Szemző harnesses the original recording from 1997, but has “recomposed, remixed and remastered” it, along the way augmenting it with added tracks. The result is a kind of rhythmic collage, driven by a meandering beat, found sound and field recordings. It’s also a ready-made wormhole: How much, after all, do you know about Hungarian experimental music? “The Other Shore” and “CUBA” offer a grand, mesmerizing entryway. – E. Little
Organ Tapes – 唱着那无人问津的歌谣
The latest release on DJ Python’s Worldwide Unlimited imprint expands on the label’s next-level aesthetic with a hyperjump out of the club and into the heart. Named after a well-known lyric from a mainstream pop song by Chinese singer Wang Feng, 唱着那无人问津的歌谣 (Sing the Song That No One Cares About) is an emotional set of alt-country, acoustic folk, and experimental pop that draws from Organ Tapes’ experience as a British-Chinese artist spending life between Shanghai and London. The lyrics, though often ambiguous and obscured by autotune, hit hard in that ray-of-light-shining-through-clouds kind of way. Incredibly addictive, you’ll find yourself humming along to “heaven can wait” after just a few listens. – Phil
Deep Heavy Fear – Dark Days
Though brief, this two-track release has a cold-wave-meets-Phantom-Band spirit that firmly separates Berlin-based Deep Heavy Fear from more rule-abiding synth-pop units. The first side opens with a melancholic vocal that quickly decays into a firm downtempo groove led by a punchy melodic bass line. The rhythm changes once the verse drops in and the bass line hits the ground, leaving room for a stream of vocal lines. With a somber, bittersweet chorus driven by melancholy vocals, the result is a properly angsty synth-pop tune. The second track feels somewhat indebted to Dominik Von Sengers’ late kraut experiments, with its off-kilter melodic guitar lines and dubby, delayed bass. – John
This is a film about listening. Documentary filmmaker Sam Green invites us into experimental composer Annea Lockwood’s world of listening. Highly recommended for anyone interested in “deep listening” […]