Listening cafes have been popular in Japan for a long time. One of the most-cited examples is Meikyoku Cafe Lion in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward, which has been serving coffee and playing obscure classical music on its one-of-a-kind custom sound system for the past 90 years. Now, listening bars are starting to creep out into the wider world. Case in point: In Sheep’s Clothing, a Los Angeles cafe and bar that has attempted to bring the full Japanese listening bar experience to California.
Can’t make it to LA? No worries, you can still hear what they’re spinning thanks to their excellently curated Spotify playlists, which also work incredibly well as soundtracks for menial office labor. The sounds on offer dive deep into the archives with a mixture of jazz, AOR, ambient, post-rock, Krautrock and other sounds you’d expect to hear on an incredible sound system in a wood-paneled cafe. Give September’s playlist a spin, and then explore their Spotify account for other editions.