In Sheep’s Clothing: Our Favorite Reissues & Compilations of 2023

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Our favorite archival releases from Peruvian disco to Indian Musique Concrète to Chicago deep house.

Our 2023 end of year roundup continued… Reissues, compilations, and archival projects continue to be a big part of what we’ve been listening to here at In Sheep’s Clothing. Luckily, the well seems to never run dry. A friend once related it to trying to catch a bit of dripping water in the palm of your hand while something like a waterfall is pouring down onto it. We’re absolutely here for it… This year, there seemed to be more CD-era, first-time-on-vinyl type releases that have been uncovered in Japan especially and around the world. New faces and rising selectors continue to re-contextualize sounds for new audiences in the form of concept-driven compilations. Once again, old is new… Below, are some of our favorites of the year.

Check out our favorite Now Sound releases of 2023: https://insheepsclothinghifi.com/2023-favorite-albums-1/


  • ARTIST: Horacio “Chivo” Borrado
  • TITLE: Blues Para Un Cosmonauta
  • LABEL: Altercat
  • STYLE: Cosmic Jazz

When jazz jumped the borders of the United States in the 1920’s, it left global thirst for the genre as it evolved and branched out and into itself. It enraptured listeners but it challenged and seduced musicians all over the world to experiment with the genre. It was no different with spiritual jazz, and sax player and composer Chivo is the undisputed father for how the genre was explored in Argentina. From the opening track, “Lineas Torcidas,” the meandering chorus of instrumentation leads whoever is in ear shot though an exhilarating journey. This record is both profound and powerful. — Tana




  • ARTIST: WaNoWa
  • TITLE: WaNoWa
  • LABEL: Crosspoint / 17853 Records
  • STYLE: Ambient, Avant-Garde

Transformative deep listening from percussionist Yohei Yamaura composed in memory of those who lost their lives in the East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. WaNoWa was previously a cult work in Japan but is now officially available for the first time via Chee Shimizu’s own 17853 Records. “This is a performance of the single-note percussion instrument ‘Choir Chime’ by 12 users of Yamato Kogen Taiyo no Ie, a support facility for people with disabilities in Yamazoe-mura, Nara Prefecture. The fresh and transparent tones, played one by one and at random, eventually transformed into beautiful music. Has there ever been such pure and innocent music? This music is the ultimate improvised ambient that penetrates deep into your subconscious.” — Phil




  • ARTIST: Dorothy Carter
  • TITLE: Waillee Waillee
  • LABEL: Palto Flats
  • STYLE: Psychedelic Folk

A loving resurrection from a globetrotting troubadour who earned her keep performing on hammered dulcimer, Dorothy Carter’s Waillee Waillie captures a master musician in her prime. It was recorded in Cambridge, Mass. in 1978, and features Carter singing, tapping and strumming through magnetic dulcimer runs. She’s accompanied on instruments including steel cello, log drum, piano and a fretboard-less box zither called the psaltry. A combination of borderless folk, archaic melodies, beguiling vocals and a singular vision, Waillee Waillee does everything a great reissue should do: reveal a hidden, nearly lost portal, and guide new visitors into the sublime. — Randall




  • ARTIST: Hydroplane
  • TITLE: Selected Songs 1997-2003
  • LABEL: World of Echo
  • STYLE: Indie Rock

Been loving this compilation of Hydroplane’s recordings – loopy, drony, emotional synth tracks that capture one of my favorite genres/eras of late 1990s indie. Evokes nostalgia, love, heartbreak … childhood … reflective album for long walks during dusk. — Radha




  • ARTIST: Skyrager
  • TITLE: Traces of Illusion
  • LABEL: Spacetalk Records
  • STYLE: Balearic

When a compilation starts to feel like a cinematic journey, you know you’ve embarked on something special, each song laying the next brick on the road. Danny McLewin is a king of slept-on gems. Obscurities are the landscape to his digging style. These selections are universally tactile, sun-baked and effortlessly evoking images of nights spent camped out in the Californian desert or beneath the vibrant canopy of an English forest at dusk. A jam for every listener. — Max




  • ARTIST: Time is Away
  • TITLE: Searchlight Moonbeam
  • LABEL: Efficient Space
  • STYLE: Folk, Indie, Experimental

Searchlight Moonbeam follows Efficient Space’s seminal Sky Girl compilation and is unsurprisingly another bar-raiser and future classic. The “autumnal dreamscape” bridges 90 years of music presenting “an imagined community” with timeless sounds from contemporary artists alongside obscure lost projects that clearly deserve more attention. Bo Harwood & John Cassavetes’ fragile and slightly broken “No One Around To Hear It” opens the compilation, followed by Chen Ming-chang’s atmospheric spoken word x field recording “Rainwater.” Scala’s “Fuser” is another favorite, featuring processed drum machine and an earworm synthesizer melody. — Phil




rei harakami feat Ikuko Harada / Color of the Dark 12" Clear Vinyl Record  2017 | eBay
  • ARTIST: Rei Harakami Feat. Ikuko Harada
  • TITLE: Colors Of The Dark
  • LABEL: Rings
  • STYLE: Ambient

I’ve been revisiting the work of Rei Harakami throughout 2023 and it’s great to see some of his CD-era works released on vinyl. Apparently, he made all of his music using a Roland Sound Canvas GM/GS modules and a Roland multi-track recorder. That’s amazing to me considering how complex and sonically expansive his compositions sound. I think I first heard “Sequence 02” from this collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Ikuko Harada on Jack Rollo’s morning show a few months back and it’s been in rotation at home ever since. — Phil




Ninth Elegy (LP)/TSUKI NO WA/日本の越境的音楽集団 Tsuki No Wa  が2000年にリリースした、知る人ぞ知る傑作。まるでビル・エヴァンスが演奏する"アシッドポップス"。待ちに待った人、これから初めましての人、全てに送ります。|LATIN  / BRAZIL|ディスクユニオン ...
  • ARTIST: Tsuki No Wa
  • TITLE: Ninth Elegy
  • LABEL: First on Vinyl
  • STYLE: Jazz, Folk

Found this one on All Night Flight Records, who have been a constant source of inspiration for us here at In Sheep’s Clothing: “The labyrinth of Japanese independent music keeps twisting and turning. Every time you think you are getting near to the centre you find yourself turned around again, totally lost. Tsuki no Wa’s Ninth Elegy is a case in point. It’s one of those releases that seems to up-end every thing you thought you knew, hiding in plain sight, out-of-time and floating free of taste and influence.”




  • ARTIST: Hiroyuki Onogawa
  • TITLE: August in the Water: Music for Film 1995-2005
  • LABEL: Mana Records
  • STYLE: Ambient, Soundtrack

Sublime, ethereal minimalism: the first gathering of Hiroyuki Onogawa’s soundtrack compositions plot a decade of music for films by cult filmmaker Gakuryū Ishii. Sequenced into an album by Onogawa himself, this retrospective spans a fertile period of collaboration with Ishii, through soundtracks for three remarkable films — August in the Water (1995), Labyrinth of Dreams (1997), and Mirrored Mind (2005) — where the cinema is texturally and sensually imbued with the spiritual, ambient, dreamlike quality of Onogawa’s music. Highly recommended for fans of Hiroshi Yoshimura, Music Interior, Yoshio Ojima, Kankyō Ongaku, etc. Watch Ishii’s cult classic, August in the Water, “a curious mix of Japanese animism, New Age spirituality, and science fiction,” at archive.org.




  • ARTIST: Dream Dolphin
  • TITLE: Gaia: Selected Ambient & Downtempo Works (1996-2003)
  • LABEL: Music from Memory
  • STYLE: Ambient, Downtempo

We first heard Noriko’s music a few years ago on Music from Memory’s brilliant Heisei No Oto: Japanese Left​-​field Pop From The CD Age, 1989​-​1996, which was co-compiled by record shop Rare Groove’s Norio Sato and Revelation Time’s Eiji Taniguchi. The oddly therapeutic, ambient four-to-the-floor “Take No Michi” was immediately one of our favorites from the compilation. Something of a musical prodigy and genius type character, Noriko released twenty albums in just eight years starting at age sixteen! She studied classic Italian songs as a child and was later inspired by electronic artists including Yellow Magic Orchestra, The KLF, and PIL, along with Japan’s Kankyō Ongaku environmental music. She also believed that in her past life she was a dolphin (hence the name)… — Phil




  • ARTIST: Emahoy Tsege-Mariam Gebru
  • TITLE: Jerusalem
  • LABEL: Mississippi Records
  • STYLE: Ethiopian Jazz

This record is one of our shop’s top sellers, and there’s no question to why. Ethiopian born Tsege-Mariam Gebru’s compositions perfectly capture a dazzling array of striking emotional environments that are somehow relatable universally. Vulnerable, honest, delicate, and dynamic are a few descriptors that reflect the record, but a couple of my favorite titles on this record are “Jerusalem” and “Quand Le Mer Furieuse” that feature Tsege-Mariam Gebru’s vocals. Her voice is so warm and present; it feels like a loved one is singing for you. — Tana




  • ARTIST: Kevin McCormick
  • TITLE: Sticklebacks
  • LABEL: Smiling C
  • STYLE: Ambient, Rock

Following the release of Light Patterns in 1982, Kevin McCormick recorded a series of songs onto tape that explored the sonic possibilities of a solitary guitarist. Shedding the acoustic sound of his previous effort, he adopted a swelling electric palette to apply his moods to. These recordings are a shift in direction to a sparse and ambient style, and their hazy, repetitive movements create room for evocative melodies. Kevin fills a deficiency of guitar-forward music with his minimalistic approach that is somewhere in the space between ambient, rock, jazz, and avant-garde. On Sticklebacks, he casts away the morning elegance of Light Patterns and leans further into the introverted feelings of the small hours. It is a nascent springtime journey that shows just what Kevin is capable of with six strings.




  • ARTIST: Woo
  • TITLE: Into the Heart of Love
  • LABEL: Palto Flats
  • STYLE: Ambient, New Age

Once you get lost in Woo, it’s not only hard to untangle yourself, it’s hard to convince yourself that being entangled is a problem. Mixing folk, dub, easy listening, film scores, precisely rendered acoustic guitar runs with a lovingly lackadaisical performance style — brothers Clive and Mark Ives sound like they’re doing this stuff in their sleep — Woo’s epic 1990 album Into the Heart of Love, originally released only on cassette, is an essential addition to any collection and will soon be scoring your mornings, whether coming down at 4 a.m. or getting up at 6 a.m. — Randall




  • ARTIST: Various Artists
  • TITLE: The NID Tapes: Electronic Music From India 1969-1972
  • LABEL: The State51 Conspiracy
  • STYLE: Musique Concrète

In 1969, the New York composer and performer David Tudor, best known for premiering John Cage’s composition “4:33,” delivered and set up a Moog modular system and tape machine at India’s National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. After a tutorial, they got to work, resulting in 27 reels of recently discovered electronic compositions by previously unknown Indian composers Gita Sarabhai, I.S. Mathur, Atul Desai, S.C. Sharma, and Jinraj Joshipura. Documenting a kind of Big Bang in Indian future-music, The NID Tapes: Electronic Music From India 1969-1972 is both essential and hypnotic. — Randall




  • ARTIST: Emeralds
  • TITLE: Does It Look Like I’m Here?
  • LABEL: Ghostly International
  • STYLE: Ambient

Starting in the late ’00s, the trio of John Elliott, Steve Hauschildt, and Mark McGuire created meditative instrumental music located in the Venn diagram convergence of ambient, minimalism and German kosmische. McGuire’s a dynamic guitarist — his solo stuff is killer — and for Does It Look Like I’m Here? he and his bandmates weave scratchy electronic tones and washes with looping modular synth runs. Inspiring stuff, lovingly remastered by Heba Kadry (genius engineer James Plotkin originally mastered it), Ghostly International’s new reissue includes seven bonus tracks. — Randall




  • ARTIST: Abdul Wadud
  • TITLE: By Myself
  • LABEL: Gotta Groove Records
  • STYLE: Jazz, Free Improvisation

Few are the players who could pull off a solo cello album, and fewer still are those who can so dazzle, groove and improvise as jazz player Adbul Wadud does on By Myself. Best known for his free jazz work with Julius Hemphill, Wadud recorded the record in 1977 at Blank Tapes in New York. Bowing, plucking, strumming and banging his cello, Wadud carries the session with revelatory dexterity. — Randall




Larry Heard – Love's Arrival (Vinyl) – The Mixtape Club
  • ARTIST: Larry Heard
  • TITLE: Love’s Arrival
  • LABEL: Alleviated Records
  • STYLE: Deep House



By 2001, the great Chicago house producer and DJ Larry Heard had been helping define the music for more than fifteen years. A legend as Mr. Fingers, Heard had evolved as a producer, moving toward tones that were smoother, more aerodynamic, and romantic. Heard’s new reissue of Love’s Arrival has been remastered and pressed onto triple-LP, resulting in luxurious, velveteen sound. One of the most sensual house records of the era, it’s somehow both pillowy and hot to the touch. — Randall

  • ARTIST: Coco Maria
  • TITLE: Club Coco: ¡AHORA! The Latin Sound Of Now
  • LABEL: Les Disques Bongo Joe
  • STYLE: Latin, Cumbia

One of the world’s most celebrated selectors and vinyl collectors, Coco Maria, is back with a second edition of Club Coco: ¡Ahora! If you don’t speak Spanish, “ahora” translates to “now” in English, and this release is a brilliant compilation of contemporary artists that pull from ancient Latin musical roots to produce a new generation of mesmerizing sounds. — Tana




  • ARTIST: Various Artists
  • TITLE: Ariwa Sounds: The Early Sessions
  • LABEL: Ariwa
  • STYLE: Lovers Rock, Reggae

Some of the best Mad Professor productions all in one places… Yes, please! These are the early sessions before Mad Professor’s iconic digi-lovers style production, but the sense of melody and singular dubbing is all here with more live and raw instrumentation. So many essentials in here! Deborah Glasgow’s “My Thing” and Ranking Ann’s spooky “Moonlight Lover” are particular highlights. — Phil




  • ARTIST: Orpheu the Wizard
  • TITLE: The Sound Of Love International #005
  • LABEL: Ariwa
  • STYLE: Electronic, Downtempo, House, Dub

Love International is a festival in Tisno, Croatia connected to the community around Test Pressing. Their accompanying compilation selector series is always quality and has featured the likes of Beautiful Swimmers, Shanti Celeste, Budino, Gatto Fritto, and others. The latest comes from Red Light Radio legend Orpheu the Wizard and really captures that eclectic, genre-crossing vibe that the festival has become known for with ambient, dub, post-punk, and balearic dance tracks. — Phil




  • ARTIST: Giuliano Sorgini
  • TITLE: Scappo Per Cantare
  • LABEL: Four Flies Records
  • STYLE: Library Music

This much coveted Italian library music classic by Giuliano Sorgini had a limited release in 1971, and thanks to one of my favorite labels, Four Flys, we have a chance to bring this beautiful record home. The Rome-based label focuses on archival releases pressed from master tapes and contemporary sounds out of Italy. This release is dreamy, jazzy, and even spooky at times, and a perfect play for long winter nights. — Tana




  • ARTIST: Various Artists
  • TITLE: Viva el s​á​bado: Hits de disco pop peruano (1978​-​1989)
  • LABEL: Buh Records
  • STYLE: Peruvian Disco

This revelatory collection of Peruvian disco classic has funky nostalgia written all over it. A blend of disco beats from the global north and the mesmerizing rhythms Latin-Afro traditions, the tracks here still feel as relevant today as they did when they were first released. If you love a synthy arpeggio, this one is for you. — Tana




  • ARTIST: Hiroshi Yoshimura
  • TITLE: Surround
  • LABEL: Temporal Drift
  • STYLE: Ambient

Most famous for his record Green, this long awaited release of Yoshimura’s Surround is a cavernous cocoon of echoing ripples and warm aural waves. While it’s perhaps more meditative than Green, Surround lives in the same realm. Where Green reflects the hidden world of plants, though, this record evokes a perfect orb of dew dazzling in the morning light. — Tana




Nagat - Eyoun El Alb - Deluxe LP Edition (Black Vinyl) | WEWANTSOUNDS
  • ARTIST: Nagat
  • TITLE: Eyoun El Alb
  • LABEL: We Want Sounds
  • STYLE: Ambient

The Wewantsounds team aligned with Disco Arabesquo to re-release this dreamy classic, previously available only on cassette. The late Nagat El Sagheera was a famous actress and singer from a prominent Cairo family known for their work in the arts, and Nagat herself was particularly known for the strong feminist undertones of her work. She found fame during Egypt’s “golden age” of film and music in the ’40s and ’50s, and that theatre is most definitely reflected in this album. My favorite tracks, “Bahlam Meaak” and “Ana-Bashaa El-Bah,” both live on the b-side, and showcase what makes Nagat so special. — Tana




  • ARTIST: Piero Piccioni
  • TITLE: Colpo Rovente
  • LABEL: Blind Faith Records
  • STYLE: Soundtrack

An impossibly rare score from the prolific Italian film composer Piero Piccioni resurfaced this year in limited edition, and it vibes like it was built for Madlib-style sampling and enhancing. Featuring crack Roman session players who swing as hard as any David Axelrod-led ensemble, this newly remastered score for an obscure (apparently not very good) Italian film will likely be impossibly rare again soon; the vinyl edition is limited to 500 copies. Grab it while you can (although it’ll run you about $60 after postage from Italy). — Tana




  • ARTIST: Joel Andrews
  • TITLE: Paradise Bird
  • LABEL: Yoga Records
  • STYLE: New Age

Recorded “in the middle of a vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains,” Paradise bird is a contemplative instrumental record whose seeds were planted in hot springs at the Eselan Institute in Big Sur. While enjoying the springs, Joel and Serafina Andrews heard Pete Velasquez playing a kalimba. Velasquez had been working with Santana, and in the spirit of creation the three took their chance encounter to a studio in said vineyard and starting playing. In addition to a (broken) kalimba, Paradise bird features harp, castanets, and finger cymbals. It’s a mesmerizing listen. — Randall




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