MAGIC MIX

Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat

WEEK STARTING 24 Jan

Genre pick of the week Cover of There In Spirit - Inc. Jex Opolis Remix by Michael David.

Michael David

There In Spirit - Inc. Jex Opolis Remix

Michael David first stuck his digital pin in the musical map back in the blog days as one half of indie-dance duo Classixx (who did that killer version of Phoenix' "Lisztomania" if I remember correctly), before branching off for a standalone 2015 single as Cinema Paradiso. A serene and sublime single arrived under his given name last Autumn, proving once again that It IS Balearic! Now the LA musician continues to demonstrate his musical evolution with his best work to date on US label Cascine.  
On "There in Spirit / Rain II", there is a bending of organic instruments. Guitars chop and glimmer. Beats cascade and push forward, but always with a sense of gentle resignation. This is the sound of a mind searching through time, exhuming memories and emotions ‘ good and bad ‘to try and know, recapture, reclaim, and most importantly, feel. The music on both singles was recorded primarily on an Eloquencer sequencer and mixed in part by Joakim. The b side features two new takes on Rain II ‘ an alternate, slow version and a remixed version by fellow seeker, Jex Opolis. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Uber Balearic business here from Michael David, who fuses Fairlight sequences with nuanced percussion and delicate guitar across two gorgeous A-side cuts. The B-side serves up a slow version of 'Rain II' for the sundowners out there, before Jex Opolis gets the acid breaks on.

ALTAR is a solo artist who was born in Liverpool and grew up between Liverpool, Manchester and London. Sea of Fog is the 7 track debut album from the young scouse and it's not quite like anything you’ve heard before, but somehow so familiar. Distinct melodic vocals reminiscent of Jeff Buckley and Frank Sinatra mix with calm progressive instrumentals and dark trip hop on this unicorn of a record.

Recommended if you like: Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Portishead, Fink

The next official reissue oozes the feelgood factor, a reggae disco cover of ‘Ain’t Nobody’ by Jamaican artist Yvonne Archer. For the first time since the original release in 1980 the full length original 12” mix gets the reissue treatment along with the Lovers Rock leaning ‘Checking Out The Way I Feel’.

On the flip Jura Soundsystem provide 2 edits, a main edit that pulls back on the electric guitar from the original and a Dub adding subtle delays and sparse use of the Vocal to let the groove work its magic. This is the first of two 12”s licensed from producer John Rubie that will appear on Isle Of Jura in 2020.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Obviously "Ain't Nobody" is mindbogglingly brilliant in its original form, but how about a cosmic reggae cover from the digital era. Yep, also totally amazing! You also get a neat lovers rock cut from the original single and a pair of reworked versions from the Jura crew! Fans of reggae, cosmic, Balearic, pop, enjoyment all need a copy!

Angelo Badalamenti

Music From The Twin Peaks Soundtrack - Coloured Vinyl Edition

"Lucy, put Harry on the horn." And so began the most unique, iconic and absurd series in the history of television. For two glorious seasons we pressed our nose to the glass and watched the strange and beautiful goings on in Washington's weirdest logging town. We looked on in awe as Cooper drank coffee, ate cherry pie and savoured the woodland smells, got close to Audrey but kept a respectable distance. We rooted for Norma and Ed, Harry and Joan, Andy and Lucy, Margaret and her log, and laughed ourselves queasy at James and Donna's hilariously wet highschool romance. We tried to find Laura Palmer's killer, figure out the Red Room and the Black Lodge and work out exactly how Cooper got in touch with Diane. We failed, gave up and enjoyed the goings on anyway. And throughout it all, we were swept along on the thematic perfection of Angelo Badalamenti's sublime score. From the swelling bass and dreamy chords of the title music to the bittersweet beauty of "Laura's Theme", from Audrey's seductive jazz to the smokey sweetness of "Dance Of The Dream Man", the score never put a foot wrong. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: In a rare triumph of synchronicity, the finest TV show ever made also boasted the best soundtrack ever written. And that gorgeous, glorious, dreamy soundtrack is now available on coloured vinyl! As lovely as Audrey and as cool as Agent Cooper, this is aces!

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Translucent green 140 gram vinyl.

Beatconductor

Yugo 001

After a little lay off the Beatconductor is back to punch your disco ticket, turning out a super limited, hand stamped and effin' MEGA single sided 12". Raiding the crates to plunder a gorgeous bit of Yugoslavian jazz, BC extends the late night groove, applying a little "Sexual Healing" percussion, shining a spotlight on that sublime guitar hook and generally taking us to poolside paradise. The bass is warm and weighty, the vocals shimmer with a soft rock star wipe and the tender brass adds more than a little sax appeal. Probably the best Balearic end of set smasher since "Jonny Hates Sax"....

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Insanely limited and utterly exceptional edit from Beatconductor here, transforming a guitar led slice of Yugoslavian jazz into the very definition of Balearic. Do. Not. Sleep.

Following a trip into the heart of Max Santilli’s Sydney studio, Into The Light Records’ ‘International’ series returns to Europe for an audience with former Peur Bleue, Versatile and Wisdom Teeth contributor Benoit B.

The Berlin-based producer has previously won praise for his atmospheric and evocative approach to electronic music, which priorities melody, texture and vibe over form and function. "Notes of Love", his first EP for Into The Light, was deliberately designed as a 'soft journey for the ears', with Benoit B opting to layer up only the most essential musical elements in order to guarantee sparkling, crystal clear sound and an overriding clarity of purpose. More recently, a 10" for Firecracker sublabel Unthank saw the producer head to dark leftfield dancefloors with a heady concoction of EBM and mutant warehouse stylings.

Compare and contrast the sunrise-ready new age synthesizer melodies, bustling synth-bass, Fairlight style stabs and shuffling breakbeats of "2090", the Vangelis Katsoulis style bliss of "Polar Nights", the Art of Noise style ambient collage that is "Czechoslovakia" and the intergalactic, post-electro pulse of "Cowboy Dan", whose rubbery synthesizer lines and electronic motifs somehow manage to be both funky and foreboding; and we find find a multifaceted artist with an already dazzling catalogue!

Yet for all of these stylistic twists, “Notes of Love” is a coherent statement of intent from a producer whose personal musical vision remains as clear as ever.


Music From Memory are back with more essential action on the archival tip, this time combining the ultimate techno-tropical tonker from Curt Cress with the finest dancers from his most celebrated solo LP "Avanti" - providing those with a thirst for the deeper dancefloor experience with the best of Cress in one easy place.
Prolific as a percussionist and producer, Curt Cress came to fame during the 70s, lending his rhythms to a who's who of German prog groups, jazz rockers, fusionists and popstars, before finally stepping out on his own with the "Avanti" LP in 1983. Inspired by his time with the fusion groups, the burgeoning NDW scene and cutting edge synths, Cress swept through backbeats, breakbeats, syncopation and solos, providing melodic intricacy via tumbling mallets and otherworldly electronics. The three tracks which make up the B-side on this retrospective 12" all appear on the second side of "Avanti", and give an instant impression of the impact, accomplishment and ambiance of the LP. "Sundance" sprints through syncopated hits, tumbling talking drums, ace electronic passages and a hypnotic mallet refrain made for dancing feet. Taking a tougher approach, "Power Vein" thumps out the toms, rock snares and white noise hats in true mechanical funk fashion before "Flying HIgh" offers us dreamy Asiatic melodies, bouncing Linn idents and an intricate, ever changing web of pure percussive joy - a true dancers' delight.
From a DJ's point of view, all this was just foreplay ahead of Curt's '92 12" "Dschung Tek", pulled from a point in his career when the veteran drummer was experimenting with techno and tribal house, with the confidence to have a little fun. Played with passion by Ruf Dug, Talking Drums, Basso and Bufiman over the past half decade, "Dschung Tek" takes us on a trip through the undergrowth, pairing warped synthetic metal hits, a pounding beat and all sorts of tropical tropes (birdsong, cicadas, crickets) with a gurgling sequence a bit like an army of ants chomping their way through a DX7. Add in an elephant trumpet, ace pads and a break with a fly swatter and you're having the time of your life.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: My favourite and most played dance record ever, and the essential Talking Drums track! Play "Dschung Tek" loud enough and you'll actual land in Jumanji! If that weren't enough to have you buzzing harder than an irate mosquito, the flip pulls three of the best tracks off Curt's excellent "Avanti EP" and gives them a fresh pressing for club use. Top!

Alex Bradley's new reissue division at Utopia Records recovers the early works of Gianni Gebbia, a saxophonist and composer from Palermo, Sicily whose highly sought-after debut LP from 1987 is remastered with added unreleased material and updated art work by Gebbia himself.
A minimal and contemporary jazz album of the highest order, its beautiful sound, sentimental electronics and use of synthesisers - that were a precursor to the house and dance music scene of the early 90's - has made the album endure the years that have passed.

It will be sure to be a valuable addition to your home listening collection with stand out tracks like Cud evoking visions of a Sicilian beach stroll and the intense and brooding 'Vedersi Passare le Cose Attorno' with its Juno chords transports you to a Detroit night club in 1992 counterbalanced by Gebbia's soft saxophonic embrace...

The self taught Gebbia's works touches on the avant-garde whilst maintaining a musicality and fluidity with his technique of circular breathing adding an extra element to his playing, the ability to create Reichian like minimalism with a single breath whilst maintaining melodic structure.
The multi solo album artist is noted recently for working on the music score of Heiner Goebbels' music performance piece 'Everything that happened and would happen' at the Manchester international festival and for his curating of the "Anassimandro Festival of Music and Philosophy" in his home city of Palermo of which Bradley hosted last years after party.

Hot on the heels of a fine outing on Hivern, Italy's Manuel Cascone, better known as Steve Pepe brings his hypnagogic brand of tribal electronics to Sacha Mambo's home of metal music. A firm fixture in Rome's underground for years now, Steve's previously found himself in new wave, pop, avant and experimental bands, experience which presumably informs the singular fusion of genres and styles we find on this double LP. Syrupy, spaced out synths meet ethno-wave flutes, clattering machine drums collide with organic polyrhythms, found sounds pan wildly and re-modeled vocals top sub tickling basslines on this skewed shamanic masterpiece, taking us on a real trip.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: If I had commissioned him myself Steve Pepe couldn't have come up with an LP more relevant to my interests than this one. Fourth world flutes, light industrial idents, brain-mulching fx and cosmic synths all coalesce into a killer double LP of tribal electronic bliss.

Symptoms of Love, a project by Detroit duo Ryan Spencer (Freakish Pleasures) and Ben Christensen (Sector 7G), present "Foam EP" on Sydney label Planet Trip Records. This is the team’s second release, a follow-up to their 2019 "Eye Contact" (SOBO, Montreal). "Foam EP" reflects a contrast of the high-energy late nights and laid-back afternoons in the sprawling echo-chamber of Detroit.

Recorded over the course of two years, the duo stack live instrumentation onto the vast synth and drum machine collection in Christensen’s home studio. The tracks are finished with explorations into sample-based wormholes that deliver a truly diverse EP. The sounds cruise through balearic and streetsoul inspired smoothness, machine funk dancefloor jams, and bleepy percussive workouts.

This five tracker holds a mood and a groove for every hour of the dance; be it at peak time, sun up or sun down. Receiving early support from Jex Opolis, Millios Kaiser, CC:DISCO!, Lauren Hansom, DJ D.DEE, Ben Fester, Ruf Dug, Bayete & more.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Niiice n steady balearic-house business with 'nuff tropical inflections and a buzzy vibe right though. Already getting big spins from Ruffy, I'm reckoning this is gonna be huge when the masses catch on...

Unknown Artist

Les Edits Du Golem 11

The infamous series returns! Les Edits Du Golem return with a special 7" release featuring two spaced out francophone oddities. On the A-side we have a wonderfully crooned, kinda Balearic and undoubtedly cosmic slow disco burner lamenting an evening getting lost while disco dancing. Think Brel or Gainsbourg attempting some seventies seduction after at least two tabs of acid. On the flip, things simmer down even further with a doped out dad rock track complete with proggy space whistle, nebulous pads and the slowest of drumbeats.

Celebrating over a decade in the edits game, Les Edits Du Golem can always be relied upon to bring forth the obscure! Recommended. 


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: It's always a good day when a new Edits Du Golem drops, and this 7" edition is a space age smash. Both sides are slow, syrupy and swaying cosmic bombs with a touch of Gallic humour. It's the kind of tackle you'd expect to hear on a Harvey Sarcastic Disco mix.

The cultish Rhythms Of The Pacific series returns with its first new edition in three years, showing off the freshest sounds from the Canadian Riviera all the way to The Big Smoke. Khotin returns to the series after two blockbuster ambient albums and shows how his melodic gift still carries over to dance music with a piano house track that feels as dreamy as an old Vincent Floyd jam.

Wolfey makes his debut on Pacific Rhythm with a chilled-out, Joey Negro-style disco-house track that sounds like it was made for a Manhattan lounge in the late '90s. They extend another olive branch to the East Coast after releases from ANF, Ex-Terrestrial and Jump Source with Toronto's Active Surplus. The duo delivers a jaunty tune whose quirky samples and synth horns give you an idea of what to expect from their debut EP in the coming months. And have you heard of Chapters? That's okay, we haven't either- but if you've been out in Vancouver at all the last few years, you've probably heard their incredible, addictive dubby house track "Ray Trace". Lazy but propulsive, melodic but minimal, it defines what Rhythms Of The Pacific is all about: relaxed, quietly inventive and essential house music.

Recommended!



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