Earthen Sea is the project of New York-via-San Francisco artist and producer Jacob Long. Three years after Grass and Trees, he has announced the release of a new album called Ghost Poems which will be out on April 15th via Kranky Records. According to the press release, it further refines his fragile, fractured palette into fluttering arrhythmias of dust, percussion, and yearning.

Listen below and check this awesome list with 10 artists and tracks which have inspired his music.

J Dilla – Colors Of You. Found this one very recently.  As someone who in some ways works with “beats” of any sort you kind of have to in some way deal with Dilla’s legacy.  His influence on the music world at large directly and indirectly is just massive.  This beat is also just gorgeous.  Lovely chords…deep pocket and bouncing bass…don’t need much else.

Mal Waldron – Three Gymnopedies, No. 1. This was a recent find…unfortunately not a very widely available record (only one or two tracks on youtube even) but such beautiful playing.  Satie’s piece is lovely already but the playing and interpretation of it just takes it somewhere else.  Reggie Workman’s bass playing just takes it over the top…absolute beauty…

Harold Budd/Laraaji. Harold Budd is a longtime fave….just love his piano playing…Laraaji is great too and this live document from performing in a cave is quite something.  Just imagining seeing this performance in that environment….must have been an incredible time.  Just wish there was more of Harold’s performance here but what is here is pretty great…

Jon Hassell – Last Night The Moon Came. Really could have picked most anything from his catalog…so much of it has been hugely important to me but this track just captures such a lovely vibe I had to include it.  Even in sounding not too out there, just below the surface there is always something adding tension…pulling the music in multiple directions.  A true master musician….RIP

Jan Garbarek Quartet. The past couple years I’ve both made a deep dive into the ECM catalog and been pretty seriously teaching myself to play drums.  There are a few drummers who then of course I have been listening to fairly intently during that time and one of my faves is Jon Christensen.  His playing here is outstanding…but this whole quartet is pretty killer here. A lot of the time I can’t stand Jan Garabek’s playing but here it works well and is quite lovely and exploratory…They don’t play it here but this group’s version of Don Cherry’s composition ‘Desireless’ is one of my favorite songs I’ve heard in a while…

Pharaoh Sanders – Kazuko. Pharaoh Sanders is of course incredible.  This video was made in one of the Battery tunnels in the Marin Headlands…when I lived in SF I would ride my bike out that way sometimes and always thought the reverb/resonance in these tunnels was amazing so it was pretty incredible to stumble across this performance a number of years back. Anyway cosmic sax and harmonium….pretty great…

 

Directions – Echoes. This one has been in pretty constant rotation for a while (and thankfully was reissued last year with lots of extras)…Bundy K Brown after leaving Tortoise making some cosmic jazz beats on an mpc…(the main samples for this I believe are the Johnny Dyani song Grandmother’s Teaching…which is also incredible)…Anyway Bundy gave us this ep and maybe my favorite “post rock” LP (directions in music) before disappearing from the scene…

 

Sixtoo. Love his instrumental productions…walks the line between straight forward boom bap style beats with some further out influences to keep things interesting but always focused on being functional beats.  This video/project is great too…graffiti and beats…enough said…

 

Sandy Bull. This video is an amazing document of some later playing by Sandy Bull accompanied on various percussions by Aiyb Dieng.  Not very prolific/documented after the 60s for various reasons but this shows maybe he should/could have been…either way 2 great jams on 2 different (non-guitar) string instruments.

 

ZM Dagar. This wasn’t exactly my introduction to Indian Classical music but it was the recording/performance that hooked me.  Just intensely deep, meditative music.  Incredibly simple and endlessly complex…but more than anything the audio equivalent of a warm blanket covering you…