After whetting our appetites with the Aperol Spritz of his recent ‘Tabarin’ 12” on Highwood, Phil Mison returns with the first Cantoma LP in six years, a gorgeous collection of summery moods and sultry grooves called ‘Just Landed’. Guitar in hand, the Cafe Del Mar legend leads us through shimmering heat haze to a distant horizon where azure waves meet an endless blue sky.
Sophisticated from the off, the set stretches into life with the delicate guitars, dreamy chimes and swaying rhythm of 12” cut ’Tabarin’. Appearing here in its original form, ‘Tabarin’ soundtracks la dolce vita of the Mediterranean, sweeping through Capri, San Antonio and Casablanca on a swell of swooning strings, sun kissed trumpets and airy flute. The beachfront soul of previous single ‘Alive’ finds Bing Ji Ling musing on Tibetan mindfulness over Phil’s gentle samba groove, before the titular ‘Just Landed’ reclines on the beach, looking out to where the waves chase the sun over the horizon. Phil delivers a touch of dub on ‘Echo’, laying a fluid foundation of limber bass and circular steel drums for Suad Khalifa’s soaring vocals, before the stunning ‘Abando’ brings us to the halfway point. A collaboration with Balearic legend and former Finis Africae member Javier Bergia, the track pairs Bergia’s emotive vocals with Phil’s cascading guitar licks, before cinematic strings offer a panoramic view of the coastline. The flamenco guitar and insistent backbeat of ‘Tali Lumi’ offers a subtle change of pace, while the African drums, dreamy harp and future primitive melodies of ‘Vialas Journey’ hint at the rich vegetation of tropical climes. ‘Clear Coast’ drifts in on the jet stream as Brenda Ray’s whispered vocals glide over a verdant blend of guitar, synth and melodica, transporting us to a distant cliff top where the piano led beauty of ‘Sea Of Blue’ fills the air. Before the sun sets on ‘Just Landed’, there’s still enough time to bask in the warmth of ‘Claudio’s Theme’, an expansive excursion into transcendent chords, hazy guitars and clear summer skies co-written by Shoom founder Danny Rampling.
‘Just Landed’ finds Phil Mison in imperious form, showing off a lifetime of musical experience and calling on a who’s who of Balearic legends to help him deliver the finest Cantoma LP to date.
“The past is past, the future not yet risen…the only thing we really have is now.”