Essential albums from Chicago-based from singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Gia Margaret. “Instrumental music it can be kind of endless. Sometimes you wonder if what you made is music at […]
Now Sound: Ambient Cello, Balearic Guitar, Ragga Jungle and more recent favorites
Fresh sounds from Zurich, Brooklyn, Russia, and British Columbia selected by your your friends at In Sheep’s Clothing.
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.
Pablo Calor – Hora Azul
Hora Azul is the latest, and the third installment, in a series of mini-albums by Zurich-based guitarist Pablo Color. In collaboration with many ISC favorites, Color enlists ‘Obscure Sound’ guide Chee Shimizu, Miku-Mari, Lexx, Berlin Lama, and Spanish Ambient master Suso Saiz to further his exploration of ethereal balearic bossa and soulful ambient guitar. ‘Hora’ takes a more minimalist approach than his excellent and more percussion-based predecessor La Calle Roja, this time featuring a series of tranquil synthesizer swells, minimal drum sequences — or the complete absence of percussion — and dubwise effects to form an immersive haze over Pablo’s shimmering reverb and Echoplex-treated guitars. This beautiful stuff arrived just in time for autumnal home-listening. And though Hora Azul is one big highlight, really, his John Martyn “Small Hours” tribute, “Aire Nocturno’, is a real treat. Highly recommended. – DM
Bless the Mad – S.T.
Released in 2020 but just recently pressed to vinyl, Bless the Mad aka Ibrahem Hasan and Matthew Rivera’s self-titled debut is a tribute to Chicago and its rich musical and cultural history. Much like the album cover, Hasan and Rivera’s production takes a record diggers collage style approach, connecting the dots of Black music history from blues, jazz, gospel, soul, to R&B, funk, and hip-hop. References to Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra, Phil Cohran, DJ Premiere, J Dilla, and other greats appear across the album’s 14 tracks, but while this might seem like just another sample-heavy hip-hop album, trust that it’s not – the beats here are fresh and recorded almost entirely from scratch by a community of deeply talented musicians from Hasan’s current home, Brooklyn.
Sasha Vinogradova & Alina Anufrienko – Oko
A late-night/early-morning album of breathtaking depth and beauty, this dynamic ambient work by the collaborative team of Alina Anufrienko and Sasha Vinogradova seems to swirl with magnetic sound, mixing synthesizers, strings, voice, touches of percussion and crumbs of mysterious noise to create music that sounds written for a yet-to-be produced environmental film. The Russian pair reference avant-garde classical, minimalism and Eno-suggestive ambient ideas, but blend the inspirations until what remains is uniquely Oko-ian. – E. Little
Topdown Dialectic – Vol. 3
Emerging once again seemingly out of nowhere and in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fashion is the third volume in a series of albums from anonymous electronic music producer Topdown Dialectic. Released on eclectic Los Angeles label Peak Oil, the album, simply titled Vol. 3, picks up where the previous two releases left off: detailed, restrained, and dynamic electronica that transcends genre and is completely original. It’s hard to distinguish exactly how Topdown gets their trademark sound, but listening closely to the masterful synthesis at work in these eight five-minute workouts is at once thoroughly entertaining and meditative. – Jonny
Seekersinternational Presents Ragga Preservation Society – Worldwide Sound
The always-on-it “never miss” Filipino-Canadian crew Seekersinternational present the followup to 2016’s excellent Ragga Preservation Society. Sampling from Canada’s rich history of ex-pat Jamaican music, “SKRS” craft high bpm sonic experiments that pay tribute to traditional ragga jungle while also expanding the Ragga diaspora with what they describe as a “spirit of ghetto-futurism and back-a-yard innovation.” This time around, the group transmits a more “Worldwide Sound” with the help of British poet-musician Roger Robinson of King Midas Sound, Chicago-based Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv, wzrdyAV, and the late DJ Wundrkut. Don’t sleep! – Phil
Recent favorites from Chicago, Brooklyn, New Zealand, Basque, Amsterdam, Munich, Tokyo, and Sweden. Each week the global listening community gets bombarded with new releases, reissues and restocks. As […]
The LA-based ambient country-folk duo share recent favorites! Last month, the meditative Los Angeles instrumental outfit North Americans released Long Cool World, its fifth album overall and second […]
Outsider experimental electropop from Russia. One of our favorite recent discoveries… Virtually unknown outside of the motherland, Тальник (written as Talnik in English / translates to Willow) is […]
An essential album in any collection, ‘Erik Satie: Piano Music’ featured cover illustration by Pablo Picasso. One of the best additions to your record collection, and to your […]
Minimalist ambient guitar music inspired by John Martyn, Erik Satie, Alice Coltrane, and Terry Riley. Santa Cruz-based label Smiling C returns with another lost gem from the archives. […]