Reissues & Compilations: More Favorites from 2021

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ISC Team
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You love reissues. We love reissues. Here are some more favorites from 2021.

From rare midwestern soul, cosmic jazz, Angolan funk and Swiss library music to Armenian disco, ’90s dancehall, American psych-folk, breezy Brazilian folk and beyond, below are some of In Sheep’s Clothing’s favorite reissues and compilations of 2021. 

Once again, please consider this list more of a “when in doubt, listen to this” collection than a “best of” list…

Further Reading: EOY Now Sound https://insheepsclothinghifi.com/eoy-now-sound-2021/




Various Artists – Heisei No Oto

Tako and Jamie Tiller’s powerhouse label Music From Memory had a strong year, with what seemed to be a shift of focus to unearthing new music from up and coming producers and musicians. To kick off 2021’s first quarter however, the team did what we’ve grown to know them best for: release timeless collections of music with a focus on a specific theme. Here, they enlisted the help of renowned Japanese diggers and record store owners Norio Sato (Rare Groove) and Eiji Taniguchi (Revelation Time) to compile “Heisei No Oto”, a compilation of 16 deep cuts previously only available on CD from the heyday of electronic infused J-pop. The track selection from the two influential tastemakers range so much further than ambient music, with evocations in Japanese traditionalism, downtempo, jazz, synth-pop and house with a keen attention to track sequencing. Moods progress naturally, from floating to pensive to whimsical and back down to blissed-out. An ageless, perfectly charted journey from a bygone era, Norio & Eiji have uncovered a world of bold experimentation in Japanese pop music that has us waiting impatiently for a part 2. – Jonny




Kevin McCormick & David Horridge – Light Patterns

‘Light Patterns’ soundtracked late summer through fall for us. The delicate and meditative reissue from Smiling C is a timeless collection of eleven songs written by Kevin McCormick and David Horridge in the years leading up to 1981 in Manchester, UK and recorded on cassette decks in their home studio. Part of an emerging local music scene, the pair cultivated a unique and otherworldly sound that connected jazz, electronic, folk, and ambient music. A really beautiful and reflective record, you’d be wise to follow the instructions from the original press release: “Put the album on, lie back and enter the land of no floors.” – Radha




Various Artists – Swave Villi Us: Independent Soul 1971-1984

This massive release from Backatcha Records is a collection of coveted, rare soul compiled by Aidan Leacy and Rory McCartney. Spanning 13 years, it covers a vast spectrum of sound, from 70s psych-folk, groovy funk, and southern ballads to sweet midwestern soul. The result is a warm and blissful listen from start to finish. – Radha




Mario Rui Silva – Stories From Another Time 1982-1988

Time Capsule, the East London reissue-focused label by Sam Jacob and Kay Suzuki, return with this mesmerizing retrospective by Angolan guitarist and musicologist Mario Rui Silva. Stories From Another Time presents a singular voice in 1980s West African music. Steeped in a low-key beauty, the comp ranges from chuggy mid-tempo groovers, laidback jazz-funk, and late night guitar balladry to hypnotic poly-rhythm percussion tracks. Complex yet effortless, upon first listen this suggested some form of Samba-not-samba since the Brazilian intonations are clear. But Angola and Brazil shared Portuguese colonial rule for centuries and the various cultures commingled. Stories from Another Time’s curator Silva is simply asserting his Angolan pride. Though spawned from oppression, his selection of traditional Angolan music is anything but heavy or dark; instead, it’s sweet and sunny and filled with stunning vistas, from its bouncy,  hypnotic opener “Kazum-zum-zum” to the moving lullaby-esque final minutes, “Ngele-ngele-ngele.” – DM




Various Artists – Belong To The Wind

Our friends at Forager Records came out the gates with a clear winner with their debut release.  Lovingly curated, the comp gathers crooning 1970s psychedelic folk and soul tunes from seemingly lost American 45s. The ten artists here mourn lost love, loneliness and the desire to break free from the confines of their routine existence, and the result is a transportive and emotional listen. Forager’s suggestion? “Sit back and enjoy a soft trip through the hazy milieu of a loner’s mind.” The comp will likely revive your love for psychedelic folk and Americana, or connect with those who’ve never fallen for it. Advance tip: Keep an eye out for their soon-to-be-released follow up, Sky Dust Drifter, in the new year. – DM




Various Artists – Silk Road

The first moments of this sixth release by Miami-based Terrestrial Funk and compiled by Darone Sassounian is enough to excite the most jaded collector. Replete with wicked synths and sensual base lines, Silk Road explores more than a decade of Armenian disco, funk, and soul wrangled from the wild over three years by Sassounian. Released on the heels of the military incursions into Armenian territory by Turkish forces in 2020, Sassounian stressed that one aim of this release is to provide a platform to increase the visibility of the Armenian diaspora. – Tana




Canto Aberto – Évé

This breezy release of Brazilian singer-songwriter Canto Aberto was the artist’s first and only album. Remastered and repressed for the first time since it’s 1974 release, it captures Aberto while he was in exile from his native Brazil and in this new home playing in the bohemian corners of Paris. What makes his perspective so refreshing is its organic fusion and   juxtaposition of traditional Brazlilian instruments, and a musicality that more closely resembles folk sounds of the American west. The track “Aldeïa Do Livramento” exquisitely demonstrates the freshness of that sound. It’s an easy to love record, especially for fans of Aberto’s contemporaries Milton Nascimento and Edu Lobo. – Tana




Ambient Warrior – Dub Journey’s

“This is Ambient Warrior… coming to you from the heart.” Originally released in 1995 on Brixton-based label Lion Inc. and now (finally) reissued by Jura Soundsystem’s Isle of Jura imprint, Dub Journey’s is the lone album by Ambient Warrior, the studio project of Ronnie Lion and engineer/multi-instrumentalist Andreas Terrano. The 10 tracks here are all quality and, although there’s the usual echo and sub template, these downtempo, balearic dubs sound unlike any other you’ve heard before, and connect mixed influences from across the globe, including tango and bossa nova. There’s also cajun, eastern, and southern dub within, along with references to Russia, Italy, and even spaghetti westerns. A truly global dub affair… don’t miss it! – Phil




Various Artists – Now Thing 2

Dancehall, reggaeton, and dembow are currently having a bit of a moment with artists like Equiknoxx, DJ Python, Foreigner, Kelman Duran, Florentino, and Nick León all pushing the various strains of the modern sound system groove to worldwide audiences. London-based NTS resident Felix Hall has been a champion of the sound for years, and his new compilation Now Thing 2, produced in collaboration with Trilogy Tapes’ Lil Toby and producer Richard Browne, opens the doors to a specific 90’s/00’s dancehall sound rooted in hip-hop, R&B, and rave culture. Featuring 16 “killa riddims” collected from rare 45’s, the collection is essential for any dancehall lover, but also a great entryway into the “now sound” of the club. – Phil




Sun Ra – Lanquidity (Definitive Version)

Considered one of his masterpieces, for his sublimely funky 1978 album Lanquidity Sun Ra is credited as playing a banquet’s worth of instruments: organ, synthesizer, piano, keyboards, Hammond organ, electric piano, vocals, bells, Arp, Fender Rhodes, orchestra bells, and Mini Moog. At peak moments it seems like he’s playing all of them at once. Combined with more than a dozen members of his Arkestra, the five expansive pieces on the original record, including essential Ra compositions “Where Pathways Meet” and “There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of),” are rhythmic journeys guided by expert explorers. Strut Records’ new Lanquidity (Definitive Version) contains a remastered version of the original Philly Jazz release, and then doubles it by including alternate takes of each track, in the same order. This is an essential addition to any collection. – E. Little




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.




Alice Coltrane – Kirtan: Turaya Sings 

This one will always hold fond memories for us from the dedicated listening event we held for this album at Neuehouse over the summer. We were fortunate to have Verve and Impulse! reach out to us about setting up a dedicated listening for this album as it was being reissued for the first time. The event was a big success, one of many that we had during our residency. – Bryan




Joel Vandroogenbroeck – Far View

Think twice before exploring this collection of Swiss library music from the 1980s, as you’ll likely fall deeply in love with it and feel it necessary to embark on an unquenchable search for Vandroogenbroeck’s work. The Belgian musician, who died in 2019, earned early attention in the 1970s with the lesser known Swiss-based krautrock band Brainticket. In the 1980s, Vandroogenbroeck aligned with the German label Coloursound to create a series of fascinating, immediately engaging instrumental albums that mixed acoustic and synthetic elements. Released by Drag City, Far View compiles some of his best Coloursound work. – E. Little




Hailu Mergia – The Walias Band Tezeta

This album immediately transports me to the hotel in Ethiopia where this was recorded back in 1975. I didn’t know anything about this album when I came across it at the brand new Amoeba in Hollywood. I copped on the strength of the record cover alone. It’s since been a go to for me when I’m trying to catch that busy, Ethiopia bar vibe. – Bryan




Various Artists – Perfect Motion

Releasing right as this crazy year ends on December 31, Perfect Motion features “left field and fun” private press pop music collected from cassettes, singles, and “locality-based collections of up-and-coming bands or one-off projects.” You might be familiar with some of these tracks if you’ve been following Flo Dill’s NTS Radio show or Bruno’s wonderfully outsider online shop perfectliv.es. Their collaborative efforts have revived lost tracks from the early 1980s, a period in which many artists forged their own path, skipping the typical major label route, and creating one-of-a-kind works of art that carry with them a distinctly free and independent feeling “that should encourage great enjoyment, further research and onwards discovery.” Great work, buds! – Phil

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