MAGIC MIX

Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat

WEEK STARTING 26 Jan

Genre pick of the week Cover of Singularity / Ergosphere by Bonnie & Klein.

Bonnie & Klein

Singularity / Ergosphere

After impressing with a string of sought after releases on Music For Dreams, Timewarp and Uber, rising stars Bonnie & Klein, aka George & Thanasis, make their debut on Leng with this solid two tracker. Taking a slight detour from their usual horizontal sounds, the Greek duo open the EP with the low BPM house bump of "Singularity". Weaving the tribal rattle of African percussion around chunky beats, B&K let this one build and build until the flute comes in at the drop building it up to a slamming finale. It's exactly the kind of Balearic house bomb they'd have gone nuts for at Shoom, and probabaly are right now at A Love From Outer Space. On the flip we turn on, tune in and drop out to the mellow sounds of "Ergosphere". Taking the circularities of minimalism as a template, the duo layer exotic tuned percussion and dreamy pads over a steady backbeat and vaguely lysergic bassline, before paying homage to the cinematic kosmische of Tangerine Dream with a heart wrenching synthline at the midpoint.


Laurel Aitken

Sexy Boogie / Hoochie Coochie Man - Inc. Soft Rocks Re-Edit

Emotional Rescue starts a series of reissues from the Carribean that will move minds and feet in equal measure. First up is the mento / ska star Laurel Aitken, here turning out 2 killer disco reggae jams with the crazily sought-after 'Sexy Boogie' and a re-edit of 'Hoochie Coochie Man'. Born in Cuba in 1927, growing up in Jamaica before moving to London in 1960, Laurel Aitken is rightly remembered for the breadth of his musical styles and career, from stand out calypso and mento to killer ska releases for the likes of Blue Beat and on to all forms of reggae. Tucked away in a cannon of literally hundreds of Aitken's recordings is this one off release, the 1978 disco inflicted 'Hoochie Choochie Man' 12", with the killer 'Sexy Boogie' on the flip. Long a word of mouth for both reggae and the more leftfield disco diggers, prices have seen recent copies go for well over 3 figure sums. All fully licensed and remastered for reissue, here 'Sexy Boogie' is moved to be the rightful main cut. Some 7 minutes of rolling, twisted disco reggae, with chop guitar, stabbed piano, an essential and relentless (wonky) groove, plus Laurel's trademark silk tones, here used as a mantra for the dancefloor. Now moved to the B-side, 'Hoochie Choochie Man' is handed over to Soft Rocks mainman Piers Harrison for his editing expertise. Scapel in hand, the intrusive (and oft annoying) vocals are cut to allow the flanged guitar, hammond keys and drum and bass rhythm to just swing and ride to distraction.

Aphex Twin

Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments Pt 2 EP

After bursting back onto the scene last year with the suitably brilliant "Syro", Cornwall's favourite son is back with his second release in as many years, upping his release schedule by about 9000%. "Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments Pt 2 EP" situates RDJ right at the centre of the mad scientist's lab, cooking up a baker's dozen of rhythmic breaks out of tuned percussion, detuned piano and unhinged doors. Situated somewhere between the faux hip hop of "I Care Because You Do", the disorienting moments of "Drukqs" and Pierre Schaeffer's "Musique concrète" this latest Aphex release matches the cryptic and accessible perfectly.


First in a series of vinyl samplers of forthcoming album "Follow The Beat" from Copenhagen’s renowned music maestro Kenneth Bager. Released on his own Music For Dreams label, these samplers will feature original tracks from the LP alongside specially commissioned remixes and exclusive versions. On this first 12”, we have a flawless remix of ‘Amazing’ from Mancunian cassette pervert Ruf Dug. Well-known for his excellent original productions, remixes and edits, this mix is no exception - lush keys, warm bassline, and the unmistakeable vocals of Storm Queen’s Damon C. Scott all underpinned with the drum programming we have come to love from Ruffy. The Beat Mix of "Premiere Classe" is an instrumental disco floor-filler with Nile-Rogers inspired guitars, dreamy marimbas, edited clarinets and a keyboard hook to die for - a modern and twisted tale of a Balearic soundscape evoking memories of Larry Levan’s remix of Central Line. Opening side B, "Biological Bread" again features the voice of Damon C. Scott here showing his African roots over Fela Kuti style guitars, funky marimbas and a dubbed out horn section in a trancey afro space track that works a treat on any openminded dance floor. Finally "Premiere Classe" Ambient does what is says on the tin... a beatless mix of the track. Top quality all the way.

Mark Barrott

Sketches From An Island (Winter)

The many monikered head of International Feel is back under his own name after a well earned Christmas break with the continuation of his "Sketches From An Island Series". The first two 12"s and subsequent LP have fast become Balearic essentials, and this limited edition white vinyl 7" will surely go the same way. Conceived as a 'Winter Edition', the ambient mood of this release sees Barrott's compositional skill pushed right to the fore as he perfectly balances melody and counterpoint. A-side cut "Kitasaku" sees the producer exploring Japanese tonality over glacial sequences and subtle electronic percussion while over on the flipside "Departures" is a deeply meditative piano piece with hints of Michael Nyman and Keith Jarrett as his most horizontal. Is it me or are Barrott's sketches getting better every time?


Staying on the Mediterranean coast for their third release, Music From Memory this time shift their attention to the work of Mallorcan musician Joan Bibiloni.

Primarily a guitarist, Bibiloni was creating music at an early age, releasing his first single at the tender age of 15. In his twenties he formed Spanish prog-rock outfits Zebra and Euterpe where he would meet Pepe Milan, the two of them becoming the bluesy folk duo 'Milan & Bibiloni'. Bibiloni himself would later go on to play with a number of luminary musicians such as Larry Coryell, Daevid Allen and John Cage to name but a few.

In 1982 Bibiloni set up his own label Blau in order to highlight the much overlooked work of musicians not only on his home island of Mallorca but across the Balearic Islands. In doing so he created a platform not only for local talent but also for his own music to breathe a new life, much influenced by the landscape and life that surrounds the islands.

Whilst Bibiloni's first solo releases on his Blau imprint have stronger echoes of contemporary Jazz fusion of the time, it is on the album known as 'Una Vida Llarga I Tranquila' where Bibiloni really began to experiment with new sounds and technologies; fusing tape loops, drum computers and synthesizers.

Taking these more electronic infused works as a departure point for the compilation and drawing on material from across his following five albums, ‘El Sur’ sets out to highlight Joan Bibiloni’s unique ambient fusion and sun-drenched Mediterranean beach boogie.

The KM Editions series, admirably helmed by the mysterious Keyboard Masher, has always been one of the more interesting re-edit / rework labels on the scene. Past installments have touched on krautrock, disco, Balearica, funk, Italo and what can only be described as "electronic oddities". This sixth volume offers up three more impressively remixed, overdubbed and re-edited gems. There's naturally much to admire, not least the OMD style woozy synth-pop of "Stolen Shapes (Stealing Rework)", which should tickle the fancy of anyone of a Balearic disposition. The same can be said about the immersive, sun-kissed, echo-drenched piano chords and chugging grooves of "Astral Playground". Lastly we get a delightful French pop-reggae number in the shape of "Le Cod" which features a sweet female vocal and cute rapping.

After a couple of mostly electronic compositions on Cornwall's cosmic leading Forgotten Corner imprint, Nick Mackrory launches his new offshoot Colona with the organic sounds of this debut EP. Turning back the clock about a dozen millenia, Mackrory turns his gaze from one peninsula to another on "Elle Dit" paying homage to the dreamy chansons of Brittany and beyond. The breezy little number sees Harry Collier's gorgeous French vocals perfectly placed atop the relaxed strum of the accoustic guitar, dreamy synth washes and the gentle percussion of tambourine, bongos and shakers which mimic the sea perfectly. For the flipside we swap the sea breeze of the French riviera for the spiritual sounds of the Mother Continent. "Zulu" sees Mackrory combining the astral tones of a cosmic sequence with tribal percussion and those exotic melodies perfected by Javier Bergia and Finis Africae. Last but not least, "Prime Meridian" delivers a hit of that authentic White Isle insanity thanks to a lilting rhythm, a wonky fairlight brass melody, body moving bass and twinkling keys. Instantly bringing that Ku promotional video from '85 to my mind, this one's magically got my hair in a dodgy ponytail.


As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2014 Top 20 Reissues / Collections, this comes with a free End Of Year CD sampler. Click HERE for more info.

The Italian’s ambient and minimal electronic compositions are the subject of forthcoming retrospective from the Amsterdam label.

The Music From Memory label was launched by Redlight Records founders Tako Reyenga, Abel Nagenast and Jamie Tiller earlier this year, sporting a proud mantra of “giving overlooked and unreleased music that we love a second chance”. Music From Memory’s debut release 'Liquid Diamonds' collated material from the 1980s private press output of Rhode Island resident Leon Lowman who had a penchant for detailing his romantic exploits over a backdrop of languid synth funk.

The focus of attention for Music Of Memory’s next release falls on the works of celebrated ambient composer Gigi Masin. Born in Venice, Masin’s work has been sampled by the likes of Bjork and To Rococco Rot and his albums attract feverish acclaim, with Wind, Masin’s privately pressed debut LP a desired rarity for the only the most well-heeled of second hand collectors. It’s from this album and a selection of Masin’s other released works that Music From Memory draw from for the forthcoming double LP retrospective 'Talk To The Sea', which also includes a healthy amount of unreleased material.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLP Info: Includes a free EOY 2014 CD sampler.

2xCD Info: Includes a free EOY 2014 CD sampler.

Following his 'Yawn Zen' long player for Stones Throw, Ringgo Anchetta, aka Mndsgn is back with an album of outtakes, B-sides, and unreleased ideas. Previously a digital / cassette only offering the set now sees the light of day on vinyl. In keeping with other releases on Matthewdavid and Jesselissa Moretti's Leaving imprint, the cuts take ideas of hip hop and beats further into leftfield. 'Surface Outtakes' opens with a handful of downbeat, almost ambient tracks before firing up those wonkoid slip-sloppin' hip hop beats and spiritual jazz squiggles. Sleeve design by Jesselisa Morretti.

Transatlantyk departs for the second time and her port of call is any open-minded dancefloor around the world. As with the first journey, the well acclaimed debut 12" by Naphta, it's all about original material, this time covering a wide array of sultry ambience, orchestral lushness and raw, track-style grittiness. In charge of this second voyage is The Phantom, one of the hardest working Polish producers well known for blending different genres with an ease. Aside from his solo career, he is also one half of a successful duo Ptaki. Fresh after releasing his debut album this spring, The Phantom comes to Transatlantyk with a three tracker filled with pulsating dance floor grooves and spacial cinematic ambience. 'Punkt' is the choice track here, combining piano house vibes with gritty housey patchworks. Expertly crafted rhythms make way for subtle pads along with a rolling piano and bass combo, satisfying all the dancers and trainspotters at the same time. Meanwhile 'Sopot' is a totally effortless and genuine jewel of balearic house music.  Just wait for those strings and vocals, the epitome of feel-good vibes mixed with just a right portion of melancholy in the form of bass and electric piano chords. On the flipside The Phantom takes us into a deep underwater trip. Accurately titled 'Ocean' & consisting of 12 minutes of cinematic pads, pianos and marimbas which could be a perfect soundtrack for one of Jean Jacques Costeau's adventures, or maybe just for your relaxed Sunday at the beach.

Join us in our journey. 


After delighting the bearded masses with a fully licensed and remastered reissue of Tony Esposito's "Je Na'" for their first release, Archeo Recordings continue their mission to thrust the old, lost obscure and forgotten Italian gems back into the spotlight once more. Their second release sees the label dive into the sleazy, slightly cheesy and utterly brilliant world of the Radio Band; a loose collective of radio DJs from Florence's Radio Fantasy, who came together with producer Danilo Ciarchi in '84 to create their only recording. "Radio Rap" sees the group turn out a loose and limber euro funk groove, complete with rubbery bassline, spritely keytar, clattering conga and dreamy pads, which they top with some Ray-Band sporting Italian language rapping about their day job. Excitable female backing vocals provide a nice contrast to the testosterone fuelled verses and put this in the same category of Italo brilliance as Gaz Nevada's "I.C. Love Affair". On its release it made a round the world tour of the underground, even making Ron Hardy's Music Box playlist, before falling into complete obscurity.

"This is an absolute gem... as rare as rocking horse shit!" (Balearic Mike).

FORMAT INFORMATION

12" Info: Limited hand-numbered pressing.

Bjorn Torske

Trobel - Smalltown Supersound Edition

Smalltown Supersound is proud to announce that it is re-issuing the Holy Grail of Norwegian dance music, the first two albums by reclusive cult innovator from beyond the Arctic Circle Bjørn Torske.

With the Norwegian disco movement having given birth to many international dance stars, now is a perfect time to go back and re-evaluate these brilliant records, that provided the inspiration for a wave of producers in their wake. With all of Torske's album discography now with their natural home Smalltown Supersound, the label can finally feel complete.

Debut album “Nedi Myra” was first released on UK label Ferox and his second album “Trøbbel” originally came out on Telle Records. They have been out print for many years and have not been distributed on any digital streaming sites. Now lovingly re-mastered by Helmut Erler at Dubplates & Mastering, for the first time Bjørn feels that they sound as he intended them to sound.

Together with the late Tore “Erot” Kroknes, Bjørn laid the foundation for the disco scene in Norway that gave birth to Prins Thomas, Lindstrom, Andre Bratten and Todd Terje. Inspired by DJ Harvey, Ron Hardy and Idjut Boys, Bjorn Torske and Erot brought underground disco and house/techno (Chicago/Detroit style) to the country, developing their very own style of tripped out dubby disco with their characteristic weird, humorous and psychedelic twists along the way. With Torske as with many auteurs, he hasn’t always got the attention and credit he deserved. He is known for being reclusive, and an outsider, making music on his own terms and not playing by the rules of the record business. All of which has made him the musician’s musician.

Torske’s debut album under his own name was “Nedi Myra” in 1998 on UK label Ferox. After that he released a string of singles with Svek label, among them the seminal “Jeg vil være søppelmann”. That translates to “I Want To Be A Binman” in English, which shows who set the tone for Norwegian disco’s particular sense of humour. Also on Svek was the single “Sexy Disco”; cited by Todd Terje as “the first time I listened to disco in a non-ironic way”. "Trøbbel" was released in 2001 and in 2005 he signed to Smalltown Supersound and released the two 12” singles “Kokt Kveite” and “Ny lugg/Kort bak lang på siden” and the albums “Feil Knapp” (2007) and “Kokning” (2009). In 2010 he released “Oppkok” 12” which was remixed by DJ Harvey and Todd Terje, and last year the “Kok” EP with additional material from the “Kokning” album sessions.

Get to know the production genius of Norwegian disco’s original Wilderness man.


Ooof. This one's been at the very front of my record box ever since the charming, affable and slightly saucy Kenneth Bager strolled into the shop and dropped us a couple of promos. Once again his oft-horizontal Music For Dreams imprint takes a hit of the albos and powers up into full on Coma Club mode. We dive straight into the sweat and sleaze of the Balearic dancefloor on the A-side with the horn heavy stomp of Mads Dalholt & Zimino's rework of Jawala's arabesque "Go East". The Danish duo augment a bit of tough drum programming with the organic ripple of world percussion, before unleashing the Yello-esque horn riffs to the delight of the crowd. No foolin', this is the kind of mindboggling dancefloor weaponry we're used to Moon dropping for the Nado heads. Landers & Dalholt go for gold on the flip with the sunkissed sway of "Zengo", a proper terrace anthem which combines highlife guitar, sweet brass and a body shaking bassline into one euphoric dancefloor explosion of shapes and colours. "Aelba" sees the duo follow the same template, with afrobeat guitars and organic percussion prominent, although this time the bassline is subby enough to make a warehouse wobble, while the marimba melody adds a heap of spice to the mix. Once you're locked into the exotic groove, Landers & Dalholt flip into overdrive with a simply massive piano led breakdown that'll have the crowd in a frenzy. Superb!


Superb new EP from Copenhagen’s acclaimed Music For Dreams imprint with the usually chilled Balearic label heading again into housier territory. First up is a hot collaboration from Ibiza’s legendary DJ Pippi and label head Kenneth Bager. Fully road tested in the clubs of the White Isle this summer, "La Serenata" is a surefire party starter with a hypnotic synthline, melodic bass and live accordion melding in an irresistible house groove. Next is HubbabubbaKlubb’s Olefunken with his house remix of "Stuck In A Lie", a track taken from Bager’s forthcoming LP "Follow The Beat". This deep soulful rework is layered with lush rhythms and beautiful keys topped with the unmistakable vocals of Storm Queen’s Damon C. Scott. Flip over for "Factor 30" from Bjarno, a low slung groover which clearly demonstrates his trademark warm organic deep techy sound - slow-burning bass-heavy house that builds and builds on an infectious flamenco guitar riff with just enough variations to keep you locked in, a great example of “Slouse”, the slow house sound being championed by the likes of Rainer Truby and Acid Pauli. Last but not least is Danish composer Troels Hammer with "Cold Hawaii", a gorgeous lo-fi track with smooth keys and an achingly heartfelt mouth organ - perfect sunset material.



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