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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.
Kraig Kilby – Satori
The first release on Just Us, a shop and label from Detroit’s Bill Spencer and San Francisco’s Izaak Schlossman (Loveshadow), is an absolute belter of a psych-jazz album, if you can call it that. Trombonist Kraig Kilby joins forces with Mike Clark and Paul Jackson (Headhunters) to produce eight tracks of wildly adventurous jazz that variously sounds chaotic, often cosmic, and always texturally beautiful. There’s lots of echo and meticulous studio wizardry going on here, but that stands to reason. Kilby worked on the album for decades after the original studio session in 1977. (We’ll be dropping this one in the ISC Shop very soon so stay tuned. Not to be missed!) – Pheel
Loveshadow – S.T.
Amsterdam’s Music From Memory continues their streak of breaking exciting new artists with this debut LP by Bay Area-based duo Loveshadow. With Anya Prisk on vocals and songwriting duty and Izaak Schlossman on synth, bass, and percussion, the pair offers a striking blend of 80’s-informed new wave. Across eight tracks they explore sultry euphoric pop with sprinkles of DIY synth-funk and ambient downtempo, often recalling greats like Kate Bush, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Elizabeth Fraser, yet simultaneously sounding uniquely their own. Dreamy, lush, pop perfection that is highly, highly recommended. – DM
Various Artists – Groove Of ESSR: Funk, Disco, Jazz From Soviet Estonia
The recent funk resurgence has sent crate diggers on the hunt to unearth 1970s and ‘80s unsung global classics. Funk Embassy Records, based in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, worked with compilers Henrik Ehte and Ingvar Kassuk to release ESSR: Funk, Disco, Jazz from Soviet Estonia. This absolute gem of a compilation spotlights the prolific funk scene in the region, and the palatable extravagance of each track is as romantic as it mischievous. The state-owned Soviet label Мелодия had a monopoly on the recording industry at the time, but pirate radio and records from the Wes made its way through the Iron Curtain and into the ears of young people. Influences such as Isaac Hayes’ blues-funk stylings can be heard all over the seductive baselines and dramatic breaks in each track. This well rounded compilation deserves a spot on the record shelf of any lover of global funk. – Tana
Awkward Corners – S.T.
The deepest foundations of the breathtaking new album from musician, DJ, and writer Chris Menist were laid in Islamabad, Pakistan seven years ago. Then living there, Menist absorbed the sounds of the region through collaborations with local musicians, the result of which was a 2014 Finders Keepers split LP with Polish composer Andrzej Korzyński. A music obsessive who wrote the liner notes to the Soul Jazz Records collection “The World of Arthur Russell,” Menist’s mostly instrumental records as Awkward Corners draw on Roland 808 rhythms, piano, tenor sax, synthesizers, shakers, saxophone, contrabass, lovely bell-like tones and a lot of space between the measures. Amateur Dramatics is the British producer’s second album in two years, and is propelled by glistening, freshly shined tones that are luxuriously smooth without being the least bit cheesy. – EL
Kevin McCormick and David Horridge – Light Patterns
Guitarists Kevin McCormick and David Horridge collaborated on this wordless, dream-like album back in 1982, using only guitars and the occasional fretless bass to express themselves. The obvious comparisons to Woo and Durutti Column, two minimalist UK guitar groups of the same era, are evident, but the beauty and originality Horridge and McCormick crafted puts Light Patterns into a category of its own. Rather than being another long lost 80’s private press record to have “that one song” among an album of fillers, Light Patterns is a stunning listen from start to finish. – Jonny