Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat


Genre pick of the week Cover of Sweet Dream - Inc. Andras Fox Remix by Onyricon.
Those generous chaps at Aficionado return with their tenth release, eager to extend your summer with a 12" ticket to the sun and fun of La Isla Blanca. As you should know by now, Messrs Moon and Boardman don't do things by halves, so rather than hastily booking a scattering of seats on an Easyjet airbus, they've plumped for the luxury and bliss of Club Class on Onyricon air; the airline that gives you Mas y mas. This pan European consortium, headed up by the production duo of Leo Mas and Fabrice (ably assisted by the writing talent of Italo legends Rago and Farina) formed with the aim of creating the perfect flying experience, and their triumph is presented in all its transcendent beauty on the A1. The "On Air Mix" of "Sweet Dream" coasts smoothly through the upper atmosphere on a bed of blurred new age pads and celestial vocals, pure as the sunlit white of the clouds below, tranquil as the heavens above. As you hit the strip of the Aeroport D'Eivissa, the hedonistic pulse of the Island begins to course through your body, driven by the hypnotic tribalism of Leo & Fabrice's "Balearic Militant" mix, carrying you back to an unremembered youth of faded club flyers and open air parties. You're in the mood for a dance, and man of the moment Andras Fox is on hand to take your bags and show you a good time. The antipodean tape peddler brings a dash of drum track exotica to his remix, leaving the Roland out in the sun long enough to fully harness the lilting patter of island rhythms. The fretless bassline is a white walled penthouse but no pavement as the Fox provides executive Balearic free from the dust of Ibizan streets. As you step into the realm of the senses mystical melodies, spiritual vocals and circular bassline swirl around that rattling rhythm like a Nu Groove B-side lost in Rheji's luggage back in '89. After all your danccefloor exertion, it's recommended you cool off with a dip in the pool to the echo drenched swelter of B2's "Sun Mix". The sweet fragrance of dub and shimmer of suncream on the water are all you remember as you drift gently away.

Officially Aficionado.

Antenna Happy

Pinto / Fallen

A twenty year break away from making music is almost unheard of especially within electronic music circles, but that is where Antenna Happy finds himself with "Pinto". Clocking in at 9.09 "Pinto" draws from psychedelia and techno set straight for the sun. This kaleidoscopic sonic excursion has all the makings of a cult classic, trippy arps, circular sequences and decaying lead lines. Perfection. Taking lead on the B-side an entirely different affair in the shape of "Fallen". This is benchmark electronic music, as arpeggiators take flight mirrored against hypnotic acid bass, for a journey into the outer house territories. The EP title track takes its name and inspiration from paintings by Antenna Happy's three-year-old daughter, whose birth inspired him to return to making music. Close-ups of these paintings can be seen in the artwork for the release.

Highlife deviate from their usual globe trotting explorations on this release, instead making like Icarus and heading straight for the sun. Highlife chief Auntie Flo steps away from the edits and hits us with an original winner in the form of "Sun Ritual II", which shifts up a couple of gears from its earlier counterpart on Kompakt. The London based producer sets hearts racing with a thumping intro of hard hitting percussion and a roving two note bassline before bathing all before him in the warm glow of synth laden euphoria. It's a truly blissful piece of dancefloor weaponary.

On the flip, it's the turn of Miajica, one third of Alma Negra to do his solo thing on Highlife with a heartwarming dancefloor version of a delightfully familiar summer treat, "Let The Sunshine In". The passion and glory of the original is extended, updated and expanded without losing any of its charm or finesse. If you thought summer was over, think again; these two cuts are gonna bathe you in warmth all year round.


The Light Brigade

Like his mythological namesake, Daedelus - otherwise known as Alfred Darlington - is an inventor, a creator of sonic labyrinths combining sounds from an eclectic palette into an innovative genre all his own. With 'The Light Brigade', Daedelus returns to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder, a fitting home for the Los Angeles electronic pioneer. The album recalls the Crimean war of 1853-56. The music was written and recorded before the recent troubles broke out in the region, a turn of events which lends an air of requiem to the album.

Opening with 'Until Artillery', an elegiac voice invokes the conflict as glorified in Lord Alfred Tennyson’s infamous poem, backed by electronic swells that build into a poignant climax, contrasting the simple melodies that are the distinction of the album. 'Onward' is a haunting lament; layered, melancholy vocals provided by previous collaborator Young Dad wind their way through treated pianos and deep textures creating a mournful ballad of noise. In 'Shot And Shell', a cavalcade of fingerpicked guitars are embedded in warm synths, and closing track 'Country Of Conquest' is a heartbreaking string composition that recalls Shostakovich.

'The Light Brigade' is a musical interplay of light and dark, soft and heavy, beautiful and frightening. The ghosts of war reverberate into the present in this deeply moving meditation on mortality.

The Gino Fontaine

Revnorev / Konkondo

The mysterious Gino Fontaine is unmasked - a nom de plume for non other than that Chicken Lipped, Emperor Machinist himself, Andy Meecham. Time and again the synth master has proved his mettle, and it's safe to say that he delivers another absolute killer here. In fact esteemed gentleman of dance music, Bill Brewster has already picked out lead cut "Revnorev" for his acclaimed "Late Night Tales - After Dark (Nightshift)" compilation. And quite right too, if you can find a better example of an anthemic light / dark chug-fest, we'd be happy to hear it! This exclusive 12" mix bounds out the speaker with scorching bass pulses and atmospherics, jet propelled by synthesized drums and the trademark Meecham synthwork. Soon enough ice cool Chic-esque guitar and YMO style top lines emerge to create an epic space-disco finale. On the flipside we're greeted with "Konodo" which starts life like  a mysterious early 80s Cosmic holy grail (think Tangerine Dream or Richard Schneider Jr) with its gentle wave washes before gradually unfurling into an undulating bass driven chugger perfect for an ALFOS party. A stunning release then, limited and lovely as ever - don't sleep!

The 'Environment' series originally began as an archive of previously unreleased recordings but Environment Five features thirteen all new songs recorded in the first half of 2014.

Following on from the themes of the first four 'Environment' albums, 'Environment Five' explores the space / time / dimension that exists when we die. The moment of departure from this mortal coil. The album includes brand new recordings by The Future Sound Of London. Part electronica, part progtronic complexity, part Balearic-friendly psychedelic ambience, the album mixes synths and tablas, organic and synthetic sounds to create a meditative whole. It includes appearances from Daniel Pemberton (BAFTA nominated / Ivor Novello winning composer), Raven Bush (Syd Arthur) and Riz Maslen (Neotropic).

Stujammer James

Allotments (Vol.1 And 2)

    Both volumes of Allotments by stujammerjames dubbed straight, one to one, onto cassette. A cornucopia of aural delights recorded between the years of
    1989 to 1993.

    This extremely limited edition cassette of 20 (inc. 10 promo/friends and family) is recorded on Ferric type 1 tape housed in a very rare bi-colour yellow / blue cassette box with individual hand made sleeve and insert artwork from Mundo Secreto.

    Ah yeah, this is where it's at! Endless Flight come through with the goods and whack the finest moment of KZA's recent "Dig & Edit 2" collection on a 12", backed by an Eddie C remix! Say whut! "Vous Dansez" seduced absolutely everyone in the shop with its perfect combination of steady rhythm, timeless acoustic strum and soaring strings. A totally blissed out sister to "Les Fleurs", "Vous Dansez" is a simply timeless arrangement of tone and texture that you'll be listening to until your dying day. Perfection. As well as the album version, KZA gives the beards a real treat with the horizontal beauty of the drumless mix, undoubtedly a future Nado classic. On the flip, Japan's esteemed musical astronauts, Cos/Mes dive into "Transaction" and reshape it as a psychedelic head nodder, phat with hip hop breaks and subtle acid. The coastal sounds of chiming guitars and drifting vocals safely usher us into distinctly Balearic territories, where the killer percussion gets us shaking our shit. Dope. It falls to Canadian edit master Eddie C to bring proceedings to a close, and he takes to the task with trademark aplomb with his floor friendly remix of "Vous Dansez". The Red Motorbike man breaks the track down and reassembles it into the kind of dubby disco house groove Nuphonic and Discfunction used to dish out in their prime. All in all, this is a pretty fucking sublime release!

    Man Power here on the delectable Hivern Discs - fast becoming a one-stop-shop for all things new and tasty in that hard-to-pin-down scene of 'Balearic-house' (cough). "Renamed" kicks things off with a nice warm 303 line paired with lush organic drums and an exotic weaving lead melody. The whole thing's wrapped up in a lovely outdoor terrace sheen, perfect for shaking and shuffling around in the sun at all the best coastal resorts. "Taronja" continues with a slightly exotic, otherworldly theme as xylophone melodies interact with machine-code drums and ethnic percussion. Atmospheric to the max, a great tool for slipping into your extended DJ set to turn heads and get the crowd locked into your vibe. "Song With A Name" concludes with a smooth, low-slung groove and plenty of tape-delayed goodness cascading through the mix. A bit of a Compass Point vibe runs throughout as vocal fragments echo through a dubby, stripped down backline of bass, drums and delicate guitar licks. Exceptional stuff I'd expect the Balearic Mafia to be all over by now....

    If you're one of the horizontally minded, possibly bearded (or not if you're a woman), designer clobber wearing folks of the world, then chances are you spend an inordinate amount of time immersing yourself into the online world of Test Pressing. Test Pressing is a one stop shop for all things Balearic, be it previews, reviews, mixes or retrospectives, and now they've finally got their arse in gear and launched a record label. For their inaugural release, the label team up with Balearic supergroup Nautic, whose recent "Navy Blue" EP caused a drifting weather movement through numerous record collections. Kicking the release off groovy fashion, band member Bullion goes solo with a rework of "Freedom Of The Floor", the B-side bomb from their last single. His remix is an upbeat collage of kraut rhythms, glacial synths, loose disco basslines and plenty of off the wall funk, which ups the tempo of the original and drags it sweaty palmed to the nearest dancefloor. Next up, Womack & Womack get the Nautic treatment, with our coastal crew covering the duo's 1989 hit "Missing Person's Bureau", transforming the limber electronic soul classic into a heavenly vision of dubbed out beauty, richly textured with overlapping vocals.

    On the flip, "Freedom Of The Floor" gets another rework, this time from new outfit Open Space, the production handle of TP's Apiento and Andrew Hale of Sade group fame. The polar opposite of Bullion's scurrying ADHD dancefloor take, Open Space's translation is a soulful slow jam perfect for deep relaxation. Imbued with the same sensual rhythms as Sade's finest moments, the mix blooms into life with fragile acoustic guitar, immersive pads and soothing keys. Undoubtedly a future classic, this one steals the show for me; great stuff!

    When house first emerged from Chicago's basements and warehouses and spread across the globe, it carried a message of change, love and togetherness. Despite the occasional assault of abrasive acidity, this was a new wave of sound, for a new generation united by their dissatisfaction, disenfranchised by the powers that be (sounds familiar!) and brought together by music and ecstacy. Now, every scene needs an anthem, and this absolute beauty from Joe Smooth is as anthemic as they come. The combination of a euphoric chord progression, uplifting vocals and timeless Chicago house rhythms transcended the boundaries of electronic music and left a lasting effect on the broader musical landscape. Equally loved by the Balearic movement, the soul collectives and Paul Weller (who paid homage with his Style Council cover version), "Promised Land" is pure musical perfection that no home should be without. Now I'm off to neck a load of garys and hug everyone in the shop...


    Black Rox 3 - Soft Rocks Remixes

    Soft Rocks are back in the house with the third sacred offering in the Black Rox series. Trust me when I tell you that you're blessed to have these tracks in your life and your record collection. I heard both tracks dropped off a shady CDR at the duo's Kinfolk clubnight and was reduced to a wide eyed loon! On the A-side "Sabu Dance" (seemingly not by Sabu, but definitely danceable) is a sunny Afrobeat effort with a loose and limber bassline, infectious vocals and hot horns which soon breaks down into a fierce percussion break. Balearic in the Idjuts / Harvey sense of the word, this rattler will rock your dancefloor if you play your cards right. On the flip is the swooning, sweltering end of nighter you've been looking for all summer. "Every Breath I Take" (thankfully not THAT "Every Breath You Take") is a sensitively stretched and reworked slice of UK reggae, touched up with a whole load of dub and set free to soothe those weary dancers.

    Brand new special edition CD-r release from shop favourites Watch Repair on Manchester’s seminal DIY label - Ono. Towards the end of last year label owner Michael Holland brought in their debut for the label entitled "Stopped Clock Chimes"; a beautifully organic piece of music comprised solely of 'field' (more like 'home') recordings of various grandfather clocks, clock chimes and other found sounds from the world horology ('the art of measured time' fact finders). The formula hasn't changed (thankfully) so you'll be glad of another 37 of minutes of sombre, minimalist, serene enchantment. Occasional moments of serendipity where melodious chimes and bells meet in key, or moments of unplanned discord, as resonant frequencies collide with standing waves. The warm, untreated recording aesthetic places the listener right in the space, sounding like you're lost in a dream in your grandparent’s old house, and you can almost smell the atmosphere, never mind hear it. In a world full of bland field recordings, ambience with no purpose and soulless black noise, this is a refreshingly meaningful piece of 'found sound' muzik, and comes highly recommended from shop daydreamer Matt.


    Matt says: More spellbinding magic from Watch Reapir via the currently prolific Ono handmade factory line. Fans of the first release won't be disappointed. The perfect accompaniment to an Autumnal afternoon reading a good book.


    Ltd CD Info: Limited, hand-stamped CD with beautiful sleeve art and wrap-around inlay.

    Paul White has long established himself as an acclaimed hip-hop producer, but on his debut LP for R&S Records he expands his horizons with the most personal music of his career to date. With the sampler laid aside, the South Londoner emerges as a multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer as he charts the intoxication, heartbreak and ultimate triumph of a grand love affair.

    Shaker Notes is White’s fourth album as a solo artist after he made his name in 2008 with the oddball cult classic The Strange Dreams of Paul White, but his first for R&S. The legendary Belgian label is a natural home for someone whose musical world was blown wide open by Aphex Twin’s ‘Xtal’ as a teen and while he has not turned his back on beats, this LP marks the true emergence of a remarkable artist.

    Emotional Rescue and Woo once again come together, this time to reissue their masterpiece, the previously cassette-only album 'Into The Heart Of Love'. A joyous, uplifting ode to love in all its forms, the trials and tribulations and ultimately the triumphs are all encapsulted in Woo's unique soundscapes. Of all the myriad of released and unreleased Woo recordings, 'Into The Heart Of Love' is without a doubt their most complete and cohesive body of work. Full of Woo's quirky analogue dub electronics, there is also a very English sense of folk. With more vocals then their other albums, the structure and softness of mood quintessentially comes from the Mother Isle. Mark's guitar craft is at its most expressive, entwined with subtle bass, a breadth of clarinet and touches of piano. This is all mixed and merged beautifully with Clive's now recognisable desk and synthesiser mastery. As individual as anything you'd hear coming from the Black Ark. More peaceful and uplifting than 'Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong' and encompassing than 'It's Cosy Inside', the album presented as 'Into The Heart Of Love' is exactly that. Drawing you into its swirls and layers upon layers, slowly wrapping you in it's own special, spectral soundcape. It is love indeed that permeates throughout. Again and again the titles lead the way, but it's more than that. The lilting hopes, joy, optimism and peace expressed in songs like 'When Your Find Your Love', 'Sarah' and 'The Heart Of Love' show Woo in all their glory. Of all Woo's songs and craft, their best is all included. The simplicity but detailed interplay between the two brothers is as telepathic as imagined. Pushing and pulling together to represent a wondrous album. Of course, it had to be. It's Love.

    Pack your flip flops, a towel and some suntan lotion, it's the VERY long awaited follow up to Balearic Mike and Kelvin Andrews' celebrated 'Down To The Sea And Back' compilation!

    It's been four long years of late nights, licensing cat and mouse games, dusty fingered rummaging and tales of adventures cherished like postcard memories from far away beaches, soundtracked by music so perfect, it lasts far beyond the moment.

    The beautiful thing about this music we call Balearic, is that a magical dancefloor moment can occur with the most unlikely record.

    While most modern compilations - even the most eclectic - are unlikely to surprise, the tried and tested 'DTTSAB' method has delivered another absolutely golden selection. It may sound corny, especially in a world of internet experts, but these tracks have been curated, searched for, cherished and most importantly unleashed with impeccable timing on many an unsuspecting dancefloor. Whether it's album B-sides, neglected pop or lost classics hiding in plain sight, the passion with which this music is sought and championed is what sets these long players and their LP apart.

    A stunning collection once again. Available as a limited edition double vinyl package and double CD (with 20 page booklet).


    Patrick says: The follow up to Mike and Kelvin's essential Balearic comp is finally here, and it's packed full of sandal stepping goodies. Double CD edition out now, double vinyl to follow in a few weeks.

    Limited-edition vinyl sampler of a new digital compilation due to drop at the end of September on Music For Dreams. ‘Music For Dreams – The Sunset Sessions #2’ is a 50-track album compiled by esteemed Balearic, ambient and techno DJ / producer Kenneth Bager (aka Dr Baker), also head of the Music For Dreams imprint, plus promoter of Coma Club and Apple Flower Festival in Denmark. Kenneth has used his wealth of experience and knowledge to pull together an top eclectic selection of revered names such as Dusty Springfield, Roisin Murphy, Javier Bergia, Hollie Cook, Todd Terje, Nils Frahm, Faze Action and Jan Akkerman alongside recent Balearic favourites such as Mop Mop, Baby Alpaca and Habibeats.This vinyl sampler features a sneak preview of what we can expect from the compilation with a choice of quality Balearic gems including brand new unreleased track by Lucci Capri, "Kilimanjaro", full of jazzy / African Balearic vibes, plus Mop Mop’s chilled steel drum heaven, "Kamakumba" and the Turbotito remix of Baby Alpaca's "Sea Of Dreams" bringing back memories of the Boys Own era. From Naples in Italy comes the smooth and beautiful "Solo Un Delay" produced and sung by Tuccinelli, then we have the poppier Emil Germ sounding almost like a cross between Royksopp and Arthur Russell on "Tease & Burn". Finally The Kenneth Bager Experience delivers a dubby, melodic electronic excursion with live drums with a distinctly tropical feel on the hilariously named "Fat Bottom Penguins". Essential stuff!

    ...And then John Grant came back into our shop and bought all the ABBA LPs! Catch him on @BBC6Music with the @BBCPhilharmonic this Friday.
    Wed 1st - 8:43
    RT @themonsterist: Just watched that Cassetteboy/Cameron clip. Genius at work (CB not DC)
    Wed 1st - 8:34
    RT @lightshinesband: Debut album, Now The Sandman signs available to pre-order @normanrecords @PiccadillyRecs
    Wed 1st - 6:10
    NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Thurston Moore - The Best Day / Matador Records |
    Wed 1st - 5:16
    NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Lee Ranaldo And The Dust - Acoustic Dust / ... |
    Wed 1st - 5:16
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