Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat


Genre pick of the week Cover of Colours Of The Sun - Be With Records Vinyl Edition by Hatchback.
A perfect summer record, "Colors Of The Sun" was the CD-only debut album by Hatchback (Californian native Sam Grawe). A blissed-out 80-minute opus, its assured kaleidoscopic sound can only be described as 'Cosmic-Krautrock-Disco.' Just in time for deep summer, Be With Records present the first ever vinyl issue as a double gatefold package. Originally surfacing in 2008, it has aged remarkably well. Indeed, now the world has caught up with all things 'Balearic', this album should soundtrack balmy terrace gatherings, Adriatic boat parties and domestic BBQs this summer.

Stretching out fully across four sides, the listener is enveloped in horizontal disco, Can-esque freeway trips and synth-led downtempo dreaminess. Allow "Nesso", the quietly strident opener, to glide over you before becoming entranced by the insistent motorik rhythms of "Everything Is Neu". The Lindstrom-endorsed "White Diamond" still startles whilst the percolating Rhodes-workout of "The Lotus and The Robot" gently soothes. Meanwhile, funk head-nodder "Closer to Forever" could've emerged from the same studio sessions as Steely Dan's "Aja"; yes, it's that good. Throughout, Hatchback crafts a sound quite unlike any other, as slo-mo almost-hip-hop beats underscore otherwise ambient pieces.

A record truly deserving of the deluxe Be With treatment, the vinyl was specially cut at Abbey Road whilst the original artwork has been pleasingly expanded. Now, an eye-catching gold-foil layer is set against the original red tones, wrapped up in a sumptuous gatefold sleeve. Limited to a run of just 500 copies for the world, this release will surely be one to treasure.

Originally released in 1986, Brother Resistance's "Rapso Takeover" blends calypso, reggae, disco, funk and poetry to create the signature Rapso sound. A progressive form of poetry from Trinidad and Tobago, Rapso emerged as a means by which to articulate the daily suffering symptomatic of the social unrest afflicting the nation throughout the 1970s and 80s. Brother Resistance played a significant role in the Rapso movement, deploying his music to spread messages of hope and liberation. The authorities took Brother Resistance’s rising status seriously, destroying what they could of his studios and in the process leaving only a small amount of his music in circulation. Now for the first time we can hear Brother Resistance’s finest work remastered and repressed.

Opening track "Star Warz Rapso" struts its stuff in the same end of the reggae disco dancefloor as Tapper Zukie's "Visions Of Love" and Monyaka's "Go Deh Yaka", fusing a steady proto house rhythm with twinkling synths and dub elements while Brother Resistance preaches some deep social commentary. "Dancin' Shoes Rapso" closes out the A-side with a rolling bassline, bright guitar licks and the peculiar chime of steel drums, transporting us instantly to a tropical paradise. The music and the message live on through "Rapso Take Over"’s stripped back rhythms infused with steel and strings, all carried by the voice of resistance.

A must for fans of Compass Point Studio recordings of the early / mid 80s!

Malmo party crew, record label and occasional dance band Fasaan deliver yet another surefire sell out with their latest release, taking a tour through the Bufiman vaults to tempt the Dusseldorf legend to share some of his unreleased heat with the wider world. For those poor souls who aren't aware of the magnificent Bufiman, you might also know him as Jan Schulte, Wolf Muller or perhaps Diskoking Burnhart McKoolski, the finest purveyor of deep, dense cosmic magic in the world these days. Taking a diversion from the afro-percussion fetish that's tickled his pickle of late, Jan strips things back a touch on "Die Mumie", laying down a skeletal punk-funk groove (complete with spine-bending bassline) skewed space synth noodling and the occasional burst of Steve Miller Band "Space Intro" madness. On the flip, "Raising (Delay Dub)" sees Jan return to the voodoo stylings he's most associated with, serving up a stomping beat with a full bloodied bassline, crescendant synth washes and some humid guitars, all drenched in delay of course. For those diners who prefer a crisper finish, check the pared down "Clean Dub" for a more straightforward edit. Released with the spiritual and physical approval of Dusseldorf - Malmo Love Association (DMLA), this is an essential purchase for anyone with ears.

Manu's Archeo Recordings specialises in old, lost, obscure and forgotten gems from the rich musical history of il bel paese and up to press the label haven't put a foot wrong. Fully licensed by the artists and original labels, remastered and housed in beautiful sleeve designs inspired by the original artwork, each of the three releases so far has made its way into the bags and collections of all the true heads. This collection of some of the heaviest and most sought after drum breaks in the history of Library Music looks certain to follow suit. The man responsible for these hard hitting rhythms is renowned percussionist Tullio De Piscopo, whom the Balearic brigade will know and love from his classic "Stop Bajon (Primavera)". Before he hit the charts as a solo artist, Tullio worked as a session player with Gato Barbieri, Fabrizio De Andre and Pino Daniele, and joined Pino Presti to form the finest rhythm section the Med had to offer in the 70s. This collection of fierce drum tracks, originally released in 1974 has become a true Holy Grail among DJs and producers so make sure you don't miss this chance to land a copy for less than £200.


LP Info: This release is individually 1000 hand-numbered limited edition. Includes full colour 12"x12" insert.

Bryce Dessner / So Percussion

Music For Wood & Strings

"Music For Wood And Strings" might be the official follow-up to Bryce Dessner’s 2013 solo debut "Ahyem" but this ‘solo’ record is really the meeting of three great musical entities: Dessner (a member of The National) wrote the piece, renowned quartet So Percussion perform it and Aron Sanchez (of Buke And Gase) built the custom Chordstick instruments upon which it’s played. The music is pointillist then hazy, distorted then crisp and always hypnotic, melodic and engrossing. Weighing in at 35 minutes in length, "Music For Wood And Strings" is the most ambitious piece of music Dessner has released to date. The CD has a run time of 70 minutes, presenting the composition both as a full length concert piece and in nine playlist-friendly ‘sections’. Dessner et al lure the listener in with an assortment of gentle drones before the piece erupts into a mesmeric gossamer of chiming notes and cascading chords. Blossoming from the fertile space between the minimalism of Reich and Glass and the playful and emotive neo-classical of Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Haushka and Owen Pallett, "Music For Wood & Strings" is an unconventional triumph.

Unfurling out of Los Angeles this July comes St. Catherine, Matt Mondanile’s fifth outing as Ducktails. The new album emerges from the roots of Mondanile's previous work, from the free-form, ambient bedroom experiments of seminal underground release Landscapes (2009), to 2013's eighties pop re-imagination The Flower Lane, but ultimately moves Ducktails on to a more refined, personal and sincere place.

St. Catherine is a finely-honed collection of baroque pop songs that take the blissful, cascading melodic fretwork that Mondanile has made his signature with both Ducktails and his other band, Real Estate, and applies it to songs of considerable new emotional heft and dynamic range.

Mondanile partially wrote and recorded St. Catherine over the course of 2014 and then finished off recording at the start of 2015. The longest time he has ever spent working on a record, it took place in bedrooms and studios predominantly in east LA and Glendale, but venturing as far as Berlin and New York as Mondanile worked on tracks around heavy periods of Real Estate touring.

When Mondanile finally settled back in LA at the start of 2015, it was Rob Schnapf, co-producer of Elliott Smith's classic albums XO and Either/Or, that he turned to in order to help put the finishing touches to St. Catherine. Together, the pair added a new crispness and punch to the record's more upbeat, psychedelic pop tracks (such as James Ferraro-featuring, lolloping lead single "Headbanging In The Mirror", and the soaring "Into The Sky"), that recalls the artful muscularity of Smith's later work, whilst title track, the heavenly "St. Catherine" boasts one of Mondanile's greatest ever lead guitar lines and benefits greatly from Schnapf's warm, rich feel.

Where St. Catherine impresses even moreso, however, is when Mondanile steps out of his comfort zone, as he does frequently and with great success. The Julia Holter-featuring "Church" and "Heaven's Room", tracks which see Mondanile flex his muscles as a composer and arranger, introducing complex, interlocking vocal harmonies, gorgeously sweeping string parts (provided by Chris Votek and Andrew Tholl) and a host of off-kilter electronic elements into his sonic palate - channelling the likes of Broadcast, and Stereolab but with a younger, wide-eyed sensibility.


Andy says: More lush, dreamy sounds and Anglophile jangles from the moonlighting Real Estate man. Gorgeous, as ever.


Ltd LP Info: Limited edition green vinyl - limited to 400 copies only.

Peanut Butter Wolf's new imprint is Circle Star Records launches into action again following (at a snail's pace) Dam-Funk's 2009 45 'It's My Life'. 

This is the debut LP from Jesse Hackett, a London-based producer who you'll probably know better under his alias Elmore Judd. 'Junk' is glam rock, oddball boogie pop and "sleazy lizard lounge punk-funk," all recorded on a Yamaha PSR-110 found in a recycling dump. But of course!


Earth Not Above

    London trio Hælos announce full details of their debut EP ‘Earth Not Above’, due for release on Matador Records.

    The new EP, which features the recently shared title track along with three brand new songs - ‘Cloud Nine’, ‘Breathe’ and ‘Ethyr’ - sees Hælos take another exciting step forward which further demonstrates the band’s ability to create mesmerizing and vividly cinematic electronic pop.

    Each one of the band’s tracks seems to map the long journey from desperation to relief, stress to sanctuary - the basic dynamic of urban life. Calling to mind the same deserted dawn high streets stalked by the music of Massive Attack, Portishead and other electronic artists who spent the 90s finding the pain after the rave, each Hælos track sounds like a ritual; a way to cope. In a world that has forgotten about the chillout room, those rituals and coping strategies are more vital than ever.

    Hælos recently played their second London headline show at XOYO, after selling out Oslo in March, along with a Komedia date at The Great Escape in Brighton. The rest of the summer will see the trio take on the festival circuit with key slots already confirmed at Field Day, Festival No. 6 and Latitude as well as support slots with TV On The Radio.

    Lexx' second release on Zurich based label Phantom Island. After the “Young Corner” EP he puts more wood to the fire with a reconstruction of Bing Ji Ling's cover version of “Hangin' On A String” by legendary Brit 80s Brit soul band Loose Ends. Lexx not only pays tribute to the original from 1985 but also leaves enough space for Bing Ji Ling's voice to shine, imprinting though his over the years developed distinctive trademark sound, the Compass Point Studio 2015 stamp so to say. That's how this version of the producer and record collector by heart becomes more than just a mere rework; it's plain and simple one of his most dedicated work so far. Whilst the A-Side catches you instantly, don't miss out on the flipside: “All That Is Now” seems like a clever dub version of a song, and is exactly the track you might want to hear after the A side. The timid but later dominantly instating bassline still bares a faint resemblance to “Hangin' On A String”, but eventually the guitar by Roger Szedalik carries it obliquely towards the Balearic sound of today. It's foremost Lexx' arrangement though, which heaves this tune above other current midtempo dub house. Sensitive timing of tension and pleasingness is Lexx' favourite discipline after all and here he puts his mastery once again to the test. This is for a certainty a record which will unfold its gracile beauty also in summers to come. So be careful with it, you'll need it quite regularly from now on.

    Moton Records Inc

    Krypto / Exotiq

    The fine folks at Moton, that'll be Diesel and Jarvis, hook us up with something a little special this summer, slimming their usual 12" format down into superb coloured 7"s of edit delights. "Krypto" dives deeper than deep in the crates with an uptempo space disco number alive with expansive synth lines, funky clavs and intergalactic fx. Flipping it over "Exotiq" drops down a few gears for an Eastern influenced synth trip in the true wonky cosmic style - all dub fx, off kilter melodies and chanted vocals.


    International Smark

      Prior to their mega releases on Golf Channel, London's Payfone blew the roof off many a joint with this absolute scorcher on Slate's States. The brainchild of Phil Passera, Payfone struts its stuff under the tarnished mirror ball of the Balearic discotheque, fusing sleazy synths, bubbling basslines and infectious rhythms like the bastard love child of Daft Punk, Metro Area and Daniel Wang.

      "International Smark" sounds like Payfone took the Delorean back to 1987 and found an Estonian white label remix of "Bette Davis Eyes" by T. Bangalter and G.M. De Homem Christo, and cheekily bought all the copies. The flipside is a wobbly, wonky, deep disco nugget and Piccadilly's own Dave Walker loves it!

      Ivan Smagghe and Leon Oakey's Les Disques De La Mort bring the madness to their sixth release, inviting Italian duo Rodion & Mammarella to bring their own brand of slow motion lunacy to the label. Now, these guys arrive with all manner of cosmic pedigree (I know you remember that remix of Visti & Meyland from a couple of years back) and this psychedelic stormer is right up there. "Inner Outer" is the kind of slow and churning electronic growler that terrifies the ALFOS crowd, coming on harder and from way further out there than the usual Ableton tackle. If the original didn't square your eyes then I'd suggest you have a go on Toulouse Low Trax' "Radient Walk Remix". The Salon Des Amateurs resident borrows Jan Schulte's organic percussion set up and strips the track into a totally brain melting cosmic wobbler, complete with a music concrete spoken vocal. Flavien Berger opens the flip with a synth heavy remix of "Totem", injecting the original with some 6/8 sequences, Jarre-esque synth sounds and opiate shuffle for a proper peaking swirler. Rodion & Mammarella regain control to close us out with "Genziana", a room temperature kosmische bather that you'll luxuriate in time and again. 

      Selvagem / Elizio De Buzios

      Le Freak / Tamanquiero - Selvagem Edits

      Well, Hello Sailor! The NYC label return for their second release, inviting São Paulo's edit masters Selvagem to bring some of their tropical genius to the picnic table. The first release sold out completely in about fifteen seconds so there's plenty of pressure on our editors here and they duly exceed all expectations. If you're ever faced with a packed dancefloor on a sweltering summer night, I suggest you turn to the A-side of this little beauty and unleash "Le Freak", a filtered, tweaked and rearranged cumbia version of the Chic classic. If you were to take one of the most uplifting and hedonistic disco records ever, merge it with all the whirlwind excitement of the Carnival then....hang on a minute, you're too late - Selvagem got there first! On the flipside, "Tamanquiero" sees the crew tackle Elizio De Buzios' holy grail of Brazilian funk, digging out the scalpel and offering a DJ friendly extension of this irresistible groove. Superb.

      Universal Cave

      Round The Bend / Riding

      Philly's foremost authorities on the more eclectic fringes of the musical world Univeral Cave follow up their brilliant "Soft Rock For Hard Times" mixtape with this cracking little edit 7" which may or may not feature the talents of D. Lord & Werner Williams and JAZ & Party Dad. On the A-side we float along with one of the stand outs from their DJ mix, edited and extended for yacht club use with a precise touch. The bongos are sky high in the mix, punctuating the breezy beginning as the track builds into a Laurel Canyon classic with glistening guitars, easy horns and crystal clear vocals. A tune fit for hang gliders, rock climbers, and summer Sundays. Sunsets and sailboats. Slow grooves for mellow moods. On the flip, we're taken for a non stop thrill ride by some thrusting Euro rock that's more gloom than glam. "Riding" is flipside meets ripside, no nonsense shredding over a driving drum beat. Long haired beardo disco rock that never quits. An excellent vinyl debut for this group of forward thinking, deep and free musical spirits, when's the next one out?!

      Various Artists

      Kruder & Dorfmeister - The K&D Sessions (Vinyl Edition)

      Originally released on Studio !K7 Records in 1998, Peter Kruder and Richard Dorfmeister's groundbreaking release, 'The K&D Sessions' reset the bar for what could be achieved in a compilation. Across an array of original tracks, dubs and infamous ‘K&D Session’ remixes, the DJ and producer duo took the listener on a smoke-filled blunted journey that flowed flawlessly. Often compared to DJ Shadow's 'Endtroducing' for its similarly deft craft of rhythm and quoted by Allmusic as "the most blissfully blunted music the world has ever heard", the album has sold over 1,000,000 copies to date and was included in Spin’s ‘Top 20 albums of 1999’. The album has long since been deleted on Vinyl with original 4LP sets changing hands for €300+ on the collectors market and even a bootleg vinyl copy will set a buyer back over €100. Sixteen years later, this legendary album will be available as a long overdue 5LP reissue remastered by Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood.

      Music For Dreams is proud to present the first vinyl sampler taken from their forthcoming compilation selected by legendary Ibiza DJ and record collector extraordinaire Leo Mas. The Italian-born DJ gained his reputation spinning alongside Alfredo in the mid-to-late 80s in seminal club Amnesia, creating a sound which influenced clubland worldwide and which resonates massively today in the modern Balearic scene. "Mediterraneo - Rare Balearica Vol 1" brings together some of his favourite obscurities and rare beauties from the 70s and 80s - tracks that both shaped him and star in his sets. The A-side belongs to an elegant disco suite called "Dolce Luna" made in 1978 by Gianni Bella, the brother of singer Marcella Bella - a modern classic and secret weapon of Manchester’s DJ Moonboots. Over on side B we have "L'Ultima Notte" by writer, model, porn actress and politician Moana Pozzi, from 1989. A quality funk track, quite rare too, this is an homage to the class and intelligence of Leo Mas' favourite porno star, who died too young aged just 33 in mysterious circumstances. Viva Moana Pozzi. Lastly comes the little-known yet totally captivating "Gil (Voglia Di Terra)" by Ivano Fossati & Oscar Prudente - an exquisitely beautiful spacey track that the very young teenager Leo Mas used to listen to in the year 1978. All in all, another winner from Music For Dreams and an essential three tracker for the Balearic collector.

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