Nearing the holidays with more great new music from the UK, France, Switzerland, and Bay Area.
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.
Tirzah – Colourgrade
Written and recorded after the birth of her first child but before the arrival of her second, Tirzah’s Colourgrade is a follow-up to her 2018 debut, Devotion. Produced in conjunction with the great collaborative team CURL (Mica Levi, Coby Sey, and Kwes), the defiantly minimalist experimental R&B record’s ten songs are supported by deceptively basic beats that tap and thrum like leaky faucets. Tirzah and her team weave wobbly synth-lines and sibilant hisses through the midrange, seismically threatening the rhythmic pillars.
Ever patient, Tirzah’s voice usually doesn’t enter the equation until 32 bars in, and with each grand arrival she sings of the swirl of revelations that come with motherhood. As described in the release notes, Colourgrade “explores recovery, gratitude and new beginnings, presenting a singer having discovered the type of love that is shared between a mother and a child for the first time, whilst simultaneously working as an artist.” – E. Little
Various Artists – Le Grand Sud-Est – 1979-1986
This first release of Paris-based label Les Editions Vermillon perfectly channels the seductive ease of ‘80s life on the French Riviera. The label describes itself as a collective of “lost melody seekers,” and this impressive compilation of nearly forgotten sun-bleached classics is easy to love.
Boogie-loving Francophiles who’ve had classics like Maya’s “Agua de Coco” on constant rotation will find tunes on this record like “Tropique of Cancer” by Yvon Mora, a new favorite. Fans of yacht rock will love tracks including “L’anthropofemme – Chanson” by Syntaxes, with its funky bass-line and an appropriately dramatic vocal delivery by Paul Belvis. Paired with headphones and a piña colada, this whole album feels like a week-long vacation. – Tana
Froid Dub – Dubs & Beats from an Iceberg Crusing the Jamaican Coastline
French duo Froid Dub follow up their blink-and-you-missed-it debut An Iceberg Crusing The Jamaican Coastline inna classic dub style with a full LP of twisted, “hot as ice” versions and bonus beats. Hard-hitting Roland drum machine rhythms, analog synthesizers, and sinister mutant voices all come dipped in tape echo and spring reverb; each dub & beat version offers something new to the original takes. Our friends at Séance Centre may have put it best: “This is the contemporary version of Ruts DC meets Mad Professor, or an iced-out Massive Attack stripped back and deranged.” Don’t miss! – Pheel
Fuga Ronto – Greatest Treasure
Zurich’s balearic purveyors Fuga Ronto return with their second release on Phantom Island records with Greatest Treasure. Composed of duo Tobi Schweizer and Ron Shiller, Fuga Ronto explores a wild variety of styles and flavors, often blending synth-funk, ambient, dub, fusion, and new wave to form their own modernized brand of worldbeat.
Their choice production and ear for perfect melodies seem to effortlessly create lush yacht grooves and jazz-laced dance instrumentals with the playfulness of two kids in a studio — even employing tongue-in-cheek samples that range from household noises, movies, and quotes from adventure games. Like a lost 80’s balearic gem, Greatest Treasure can quickly freshen up a dancefloor — or you can throw it on to relax on one of these last sunny days before winter takes over. No recommended tracks here; the record’s a certified future classic. – DM
Motoko & Myers – Colocate
“Organic electronic music” might sound like an oxymoron, but Bay Area duo Motoko & Myers produce just that on their sophomore album Colocate, released on Cincinnati-based label Soda Gong. The duo employ what they call “4-handed” collaborative keyboard playing on the album’s nine improvised and odd grooves. Each sounds experimental and otherworldly, yet strangely warm and inviting. We can imagine these tracks sounding perfect in the post-morning hours of some lush forest rave with cicadas buzzing and the psychedelics waning… Recommended for fans of minimal synth, environmental music, Tropical Drums Of Deutschland, Yu Su, Second Circle, etc.