Recent favorites from Brazil, Japan, Toronto, Australia, London, and more.
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.
Bruno Berle – No Reino Dos Afetos
Sounding both strikingly contemporary and steeped in the sound of the Brazilian tropicalia movement, Bruno Berle came up in Maceió, the capital of the Brazilian state of Alagoas. Though lesser known than its southern neighbors Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, its beaches and coastal glow runs on similar frequencies. Berle’s No Reino Dos Afetos (In the Realm of Affections) draws on a now-classic sound forged by countrymen Tom Ze, Jorge Ben, Caetano Veloso and Gal Costa: luxurious vocals, quietly strummed and plucked guitars, light percussion and a certain lustiness of spirit. In release notes, Berle calls it “an album that was built from my desire to find beauty,” and after a few deep listens it’s quite obvious that he’s on the right track. — Randall
Mister Water Wet – Significant Soil
Mister Water Wet’s second release “Significant Soil” is a surreal soundscape of glittery ambient tones, fuzzy frequencies, twisted samples, and glitched-out loops. The two opening tracks are more gentle and organic, drawing listeners into a deep fragmented contemplation through a swirl of soft strings and classical orchestrals. The songs that follow take some darker twists and turns, using asymmetric hooks and disjointed percussion. Though challenging and heady at times, the atmosphere he creates is mysterious and expansive – great for those looking for something more off the beaten path. — Radha
The Cat’s Miaow – Songs ’94-’98
London-based record shop World of Echo extend their label arm into the past with a love letter to Australian indie pop darlings The Cat’s Miaow. ‘Songs 94-98’ compiles works originally released on 7-inches from the second half of the band’s decade-long run. The result is eighteen tracks of nostalgic and charming reverb-drenched pop songs from a tight group of friends who maintained an air of mystique by rarely playing live and letting their music speak for itself. — Jonny
Bruxula – Dark Farfisa
The latest from the Glasgow-based and always reliable 12th Isle label is this exciting debut of 90’s inspired ambient dance fusion. All six tracks that make up ‘Dark Farfisa’ run right up our collective doted alley of ‘dance-floor-meets-living-room’ splendor. Bruxula is comprised of Toronto’s Cosmic JD (who runs the Hypnotic Mindscapes parties and label) and multi-instrumentalist Jerusa Leao, whose musical repertoire is primarily based on exploring the traditional and fusion sounds of Brazil. The curious pairing results in a deep melange of left-field club and IDM production, wavy post-punk basslines, and lush ambient pop, all beautifully rooted in Jerusa’s vocals and Brazilian sonic inspirations. — Dane
Orlando FitzGerald – Slow Drift
Brooklyn-based Irish artist Orlando FitzGerald’s new album “Slow Drift” wafts and teeters from track to track, evoking those hard-to-define subterranean human emotions along the way. With no formal training, FitzGerald predominately uses the cello as the main source of expression — while wielding control over amplified harmonics and applied effects to carve out a defined voice from the instrument. Other artists, including vocal legend Anna Domino, contribute to the hushed maelstrom. Though at times turbulent, the music often lands in a place of warm melancholy or deep contemplation. — John
Minami Deutsch – Fortune Goodies
Incredible Japanese motorik krautrock from Minami Deutsch, a group formed by Kyotaro Miula and his crew of “self-professed ‘repetition freaks’ who heavily listen to minimal techno.” Of course, you can’t help but think of Can and legendary frontman Damo Suzuki when listening, but Minami Deutsch’s sound is totally fresh, with the influence of modern dance music clearly present throughout the album. Also, not a surprise that the group is now relocated to Berlin, probably digging as deeply into their techno and kraut influences as possible — the Japanese way. Released on Go & Tomo of Kikagaku Moyo’s excellent Guruguru Brain label. — Phil
Matthieu Beck – Here Alone
Invite the restful warmth of summer into autumn with this blissful debut by London-based French composer Matthieu Beck. Known for his sprawling record collection, Beck threads selections from it monthly for his radio series Love in the Afternoon. He describes it as soundtracks for the best afternoon naps, and songs on the record nestle comfortably into that canon. “Island” opens the record with the organic sounds of crickets and tropical tree frogs that evolves into fresh and tender jazz that’s as romantic as a full moon on a calm beach at night. Another favorite, “Dora”, features Beck playing the exalting, textured tones of Fender Rhodes in the intro. Saxophonist Nathan Pigott leads the track down an explorative path that’s perfect for curious listeners. — Tana