Suave, sophisticated and dressed in perfectly pressed black, here comes BSR 007, licensed to kill dance floors and set to seduce any right minded DJ in its way. The Leeds imprint have done sterling work to date, and this trippy two-fer is the perfect companion to the double dose of Mori Ra from earlier in the year, locking us into a fireside ritual of shoulder rolling weirdness. For their seventh release, Balearic Social turn to Italy's modern masters of afro-cosmic swamp-funk, Mushrooms Project, who kick up the bonfire, crack out the cauldron and serve up some utterly lysergic groove music. Stretching across the whole of the A-side at a langurous 70 bpm, title track "Motolani" is a proper head trip - a treacle thick amalgam of low slung bass, rainforest melodies, space synth and organic percussion, brought to a simmer with tribal vocal samples, whistles and birdcall. Imagine a lost Alessandroni score to an early 80s giallo flick in which a hapless Bear Grylls happens upon a ravenous bunch of musical canibals - this is the feast scene! The tempo ramps up significantly (105bpm-ish) on the B-side as the Parma duo set shoulders rolling with the pulsating Balearic beat of "Chillin'dretti". After an inviting intro of echo drenched vocal samples, buzzing bass and syncopated percussion, the track soon segues into a perfectly balanced fusion of driving 303 bass and dreamy piano keys. It's Pink Floyd on pingers, Brits abroad in '91 and the kind of danceable downbeat you'd expect to hear K&D deliver at the peak of their career.
Shuckin' and jivin' like a Paisley gloved Mayweather, Leeds' brilliant Balearic Social Records hit us with a one-two combo of musical wonderment this week, scoring a hat-trick of 2017 releases with a little help from Japanese genius Mori Ra. If you're a regular customer here you'll have heard us bang on about this deep digger, dope collector and editing expert time and again - and as usual, he lives up to even the loftiest of expectations. Bathed in a neon glow and psychedelic shimmer, Mori Ra sits on the cosmic fringes of the Balearic universe - imagine Starchild, not the Level 42 track but the evolved form of David Bowman from Arthur C Clarke's epic space opera. How better to start this set then, than with the astral lullabye of "Dream Will", a gorgeous combination of free-flowing aquatic piano, hypnotic drum machine rhythms and the immersive swell of undulating waveforms. Kinda kosmische, but with bossa's beat and the Balearic spirit, this is holodeck exotica worthy of any FTL craft. Flip the disc and the outer rim exploration continues with "Pcych", a swaying, soothing journey through Tangerine Dream sequences, subtle percussion, swooning synth strings and plenty of space tones. With the baggy beat holding it down for the beards and the expansive soundscape working wonders for the cosmic kids, "Pcych" lights up our collective consciousness before a stunning piano melody melts all the worldly trappings away. Simply jawdropping. Mori ups the intensity and pushes the tempo for EP closer "Exodus", locking into the woody and weird sounds central to the cosmic music of Japan. As the moon shines over the enchanted forest, the constant tumble of tuned percussion clatters out a ritualistic beat, driving the mystical koto melodies and squals of proggy guitar through the night. Truly transcendent dance music for late in the session!
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: Here we have "Akebono" (Dawn to you and me...), the first of two Mori Ra masterworks on Balearic Social delivers kosmische hypnotism, blissful Balearic bossa and a properly proggy trance-dancer! Majestic stuff from the Japanese hero.
Walking past pagodas and rice fields we join Mori Ra for "Tasogare", which is a poetic way of saying 'Dusk', and also the second part of this superb double 12" release from the Japanese master on Leeds' impressive Balearic Social. While "Akebono" embraced the power cosmic for a trio of astrally inclined excursions, "Tasogare" gets stuck into a breezy bit of Japanese fusion with "Simpacia". Employing a bubbling boogie bassline, dreamy city pop vocals and joyous jazzy chord progressions, this 80s obscurity is transformed into the smoothest poolside cocktail you'll taste all year. Time to roll up those pastel sleeves, slick back your hair and join the beautiful people in a snake-hipped celebration of synth marimba solos! From there we move on and groove on to the bass-led shoulder roll of "Kabul", a transglobal chugger which scores top marks for style, substance and sass. Plucked from an 80s prog rock oddity, this left-field body shaker boasts thick bass, mechanical percussion, esoteric violin and the mother of all psyched up guitar shreds. Put it on the turntable and watch the machine elves wander into the sweet spot. This perception shifting journey into the furthest corners of Mori's labyrinthine mind comes to a close with "Chuva", an irresistible exercise in percussive dance floor jazz. Rhythms click, pop, patter and pound on an extended intro which waits for the perfect moment to break into a perfect marriage of sidewinding bass and elegant piano. Musical, melodic and made for movement, this spiritual slice of jazz dance should delight fans of Gilles, Four Tet and Floating Points as well as anyone with ears. Music to elevate your mind, body and soul!
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: I've said it before and I'll say it again, Mori Ra is the muhfucking man! "Tasogare" takes us from the observation deck to the dance hall with a trio of jazzy, fusion dancers revived and restored from the pit of obscurity. Peerless stuff!
Following his much lauded release on Is it Balearic? earlier in the summer Joe Morris returns with another sun dappled four tracker, this time for Andy Pye's Balearic Social imprint. Channelling early Larry Heard, title track "Bahia" sees nature sounds & a steel drum riff decorate lifting choir pads for a subtle not-quite-deep-house early evening dance floor warmer. "Star Over Benniras" is a homage to northern Ibiza's famed hippy beach; achingly slow drum breaks eventually give way to soaring keys, while 'Emerald Mountain' takes a New Age approach. Tight Japan style drums sit over a loose, fret-less bass rhythm and dubbed out horns meld into atmospheric synths. "The Voyage" does as intended; a horizontal ride into the cosmic stratosphere. Lofty marimbas and a rising 303 pattern help deliver the listener to another plane...
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: Balearic Social score a stunning hat-trick here with a sumptuous offering from Leeds based Joe Morris. Skipping between exotic house, somnolent breaks, nimble new age and tropical kosmiche, "Bahia" conjures all the best sights and sounds of the broader Balearic movement.
11 NEW ITEMS
Suzanne Kraft / Minor Science / Sultan Shakes / Eyedress / Geller & KayaCovered In Gloria: Sampler 2
207 NEW ITEMS
PREORDER: Mr. Fingers 'Cerebral Hemispheres' https://t.co/7vorF2MqxF Larry Heard follows up that spectacular 12" w… https://t.co/iX5u0MECij
Sat 17th - 2:56
Sat 17th - 2:56
Stellar Saturday morning soundtrack from... @lcdsoundsystem @HOOKWORMS @DitaVonTeese @SebTellier @whoisMGMT… https://t.co/2tEMD7KNde
Sat 17th - 11:13
Sat 17th - 11:13
A definite hit here @PiccadillyRecs Gonna be on the shop player for some time to come I think..... https://t.co/z203CuoY0F
Fri 16th - 1:54
Fri 16th - 1:54
This mornings audio treats: @DitaVonTeese @SebTellier @TheOrielles @nilsfrahm @carseatheadrest @bbemusic https://t.co/K1a6Fj9KSb
Fri 16th - 10:37
Fri 16th - 10:37