Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat


Genre pick of the week Cover of Island Time - Another Beach / Tornado Wallace Remixes by Pharaohs.


Island Time - Another Beach / Tornado Wallace Remixes

Early in 2013, LA's Pharaohs dropped their ESP debut "Island Time" at exactly the same time that Tornado Wallace opened his ESP account with "Thinking Allowed". The result was a Freaky Friday styled exchange, with both acts remixing each other over the following months. Finally the process comes full circle, as Tornado Wallace drops a killer rework of "If It Ever Feels Right". The Australian producer gets into the groove straight away, opting for a hypnotic bounce, which pulls you into its sprawling synthetic world before blasting you to the next level with a fireworks display of hazy pads and laser light. On the flip, Pharaohs perform the always tricky task of remixing themselves, with excellent results. The "Another Beach" version of "Ahumbo" is a churning psychedelic brew of African chant, organic instrumentation and spiralling synths, warmed in the summer sun and served up with a can of Panache as a Balearic chaser. This is my under the radar Balearic dancefloor record of the week tip, so take note. 

Sound Signature continues its unrelenting grasp on the world with this new angel pursued by Andrew Ashong. Taking cues from Cody Chestnutt - a laid back, feel-good vocal delivery with a totally organic sound bed - live Rhodes, jangly drums and a breathy, low-end bass organ; the track is one of those timeless, captivating, understated tracks that could soundtrack anything from your daytime BBQ session, to one of the last tracks of the night in a sexy, sweaty nightclub to beginning your day dancing in the bathroom with the sun beaming through the windows. Its beautiful. Simple. Next track "Take It Slow" is also heavily influenced by Nu-soul / RnB - Andrew's delicate vocals serenading us against a syncopated synth bass / MPC groove and sharp guitar licks. Finally, "The Way She Moves" is the most subdued and sensual offering here. Totally acoustic, with a simple kick - snare pattern; gentle, strumming guitar chords and very subtle bass. It's a summery ballad with a totally slack, lazy vibe, perfect for lighting up post-BBQ, jussst as the sun's going down, the sky's all red and your sat all full and cosy on your camping chair taking in the world....Excellent release, Theo knows how to keep us his toes dunt he?! After the mind-bender that was "Any Other Styles" he roots us back down into soulful bliss. Grand.


Matt says: Theo Parrish brings a Cody Chestnut type vibe into his hallowed Sound Signature halls.

Brand new (circa 2012) Sound Signature from Craig Huckaby featuring production from Theo Parrish and Pirahnahead. This is a HOT HOT HOT twelve! "Black Music" is liquid bliss Detroit house. A totally infectious hook repeating over and over while a deep spoken word talks about black music, John Coltrain and Sun Ra in a righteous and invigorating manner. Deliciously long, this is one of the tastiest hooks to come out of Detroit for ages - the searing strings, live bass and soulful backing vocals just sitting perfectly on our ears. On the flip we get "Child Of The Sun" which features another spoken word, this time about a man / boy named Peanut who everyone called Squirrel. Or is it the other way roung? Anyway, the groove this time is more leftfield and quirky, but still with enough of that Detroit funk to keep everyone’s hips wiggling in the dance. It’s also got one of those nagging thin guitar lines that Theo likes so much to extended and tweak in the mix (remember that super extended James Brown guitar lick edit he used to always play?). Anyway, after a long introduction the track drops into an amazing live jam with this catchy-as-hell bassline and live Rhodes. Jaw-dropping, the hottest Sound Signature release for a good while. Finally we get the poem acapela, tagged onto the end of the record for creative mixing and sample use. Move fast on this one... like Mummy's hot cakes they won't be around for long.

The Osmonds

I, I, I / You're Mine

Premium quality vinyl reissue of the highly collectible promo-only 12” “I, I, I” by unlikely Balearic heroes The Osmonds. First released in 1979, this fruitful collaboration between the proto-boyband and legendary pop-disco producer Maurice Gibb is a wonderful slab of chugging syncopated cosmic disco rock topped off with lush string arrangements which despite being criminally overlooked at the time of its original release, has recently garnered much favour with Balearic aficionados. Also surprisingly good is the flipside’s 'You're Mine', a more 'live' sounding affair, coming across like Steely Dan met Chicago at Studio 54 and hit the studio on the way home. Don’t miss!


Matt says: You'll remember this off the iconic 'Down To The Sea And Back' compilation and Kelvin and Danny's cheeky edit they did for 'Osmondosis' on the 12" sampler that accompanied the comp.

Released on their own label ESL Music, "Saudade" borrows its title from a Portuguese word meaning “a longing for something or someone that is lost, a contented melancholy, or, simply, the presence of absence.” “Saudade is the essence or feeling of true bossa nova,” explains TC man Eric Hilton, who names “those warm, soulful, melancholic vocals” as one of the elements of bossa nova that’s most alluring to him. Drawing influence from classic Brazilian performers like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gal Costa, and Luis Bonfá - along with Serge Gainsbourg, Ennio Morricone, and more modern artists like electro-samba pioneer Isabelle Antena - 'Saudade' achieves its delicate yet deeply sensuous sound with the help of more than a dozen guest musicians. With each track sung by one of five female vocalists (including longtime Thievery cohort LouLou Ghelichkhani, newcomer Elin Melgarejo, Nouvelle Vague singer Karina Zeviani, Argentine chanteuse Natalia Clavier, and former Bitter:Sweet singer/songwriter Shana Halligan), the endlessly mesmerizing album also features such guests as UNKLE drummer Michael Lowery, Argentine singer / songwriter Federico Aubele, and master Brazilian percussionist Roberto Santos.

Although Thievery Corporation stay true to traditional bossa nova’s elegant fusion of samba and jazz all throughout Saudade, the album is rich with strange and wonderful flourishes that revel in the duo’s hyper-inventive tendencies. Opening with the dusky “Décollage,” Saudade glides from the smoldering and string-drenched “Quem Me Leva” to the hushed and mysterious “Sola In Citta” (an Italian-sung nod to the legendary soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, featuring Wurlitzer electric piano by Enea Diotaiuti) to the sweetly ethereal “No More Disguise” (a dreamlike piece laced with orchestral strings and bolero rhythms). With the instrumental title track serving as its gently stunning centerpiece, "Saudade" also offers the sultry and spacey “Claridad” (a swaying Latin number propelled by analog organ beats) and the French lullaby of “Le Coeur” (featuring the sublime saxophone work of Frank Mitchell, Jr.). And on the final track “Depth of My Soul,” Halligan delivers a haunting vocal performance that merges with the song’s swirling symphonic soundscape to hypnotic effect.


LP Info: Deluxe vinyl edition in hard paste-on board sleeve.

Tuk Tuk

Chambray Record Shopper Tote

    Lovely new chambray (that's denim to you and me) tote bag from the good folk at TukTuk.

    The main compartment is big enought to carry your 12" vinyl purchases, and there's also a 7" pocket on the front for those few cheeky sevens you've picked up too.

    The main compartment has a magnetic stud fastening, and there is a phone pocket and zip pocket for all your other bit's and pieces, both in lovely check fabric (like the linings in their leather record boxes).

    It has nice long handles, big enough to sling it over your shoulder, but not so long that you can't carry it in your hand.


    U-Ka is a disco outfit from Bremen, Germany featuring Alexander Mueller (keyboards) and Oleg Kozlov (guitars) as core members. The other studio players include Ric Fierabarcci (bass player for the likes of Chick Corea and Billy Cobham), Joey Heredia (drums) (Steve Wonder, Tania Maria) and Jerry Watts (bass).

    Both Mueller and Kozlov have wide ranging musical tastes which take in everything from modern Russian classical music to 70s UK prog / pop-rock scene (Yes, ELO etc) or  Frank Zappa, early German electronic and psychedelic krautrock etc. The goal with 'Supernova' was to look back to the disco era but create something synth-heavy with an altogether more cosmic twist. The result is a live sounding disco jam with gurgling analogue synth lines and Rodgersesque guitar funkiness one minute, languid psychedelic guitar licks and primitive drum machine rhythm tracks the next. The album was mixed and mastered to 1/4" tape using only analogue equipment for that authentic retro touch..

    Groovitron waste no time and hit us with the first remix EP pulled from U-Ka's "Supernova" LP, scouring the globe for hot remix talent. On the A-side Ray Mang (Mangled / DFA) takes on the title track and delivers a fantastic body-poppin' electro jam which is completed with some classic 80's synth stabs - 'get yer lino out'. Next up, Japan's 9DW reworks 'Per Aspera Ad Astra', setting a nu-disco / Italo course towards a neighbouring galaxy while us passengers marvel at soaring synths and a dreamy piano.
    On the flip, Lusty Zanzibar take on 'Chilling In The Spaceship On The Outskirts Of The Universe', steering away from the cosmic disco and taking us on a smooth slo-mo journey across space and time, before dropping us safely on the beach. The final mix comes from Gonno who leads conjures a hypnotic techno vision complete with all his wonderful trademark production qualities. This won't be around long, so don't sleep on it.


    Never Thought / Love Is Stronger - Vin Sol & Matrixxman Edits

    Vin Sol & Matrixxman return with another couple of belting reworks of the jazzy pipes of Clackton's finest (Sade). The US duo revisit two of the hallowed songstress' classics from the 80s and give them a right royal going over for modern club use. First up is the beautiful 'Never Thought' which is no stranger to a remix or two due to the accapella being on the original 12". Here VS & M add early 90s house flourishes - warm pads, deep chords and the original vocal seeping in and out of the mix, whilst elements slowly start to build up for what is a fully tops off house rework of a classic. Warm, rushy and packing a little punch in the bottom end this one comes on smooth like your first dab of MD. Simple and effective. Fans of Innervisions won't be disappointed! On the flip, 'Love is Stronger' is a mellower take on one of her signature hits. Sticking to a cool 110 bpm tempo, it's got a bubbly, woozy late Sunday afternoon vibe emanating from the first four bars. Another solid rework from the Vin Sol & Matrixxman camp! 

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