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Leeds' casuals (in the horizontal, grooving by the palm trees sense - Andy Pye is NOT a hooligan) Balearic Social signpost the summer with a sumptuous split EP from Bonnie & Klein and BlackBush Orchestra. Slow as Viduka but steady like Nigel Martyn, these three cuts conjure stunning coastlines and the deepest azure - slip the needle into the groove and dive deep (like Harry Kewell?).

Putting aside the football references, (World Cup season init!), we can enjoy the lilting excellence of "Motmot", a beautiful bit of sundowner Balearic courtesy of Greek duo Bonnie & Klein. The time-honoured combo of melancholy pads, bossa beats and a winding double bass bring to mind "My Boss" before the echoing Spanish guitar, delicate pianos and evocative organ come on like Knopfler and Richard Wright jamming at Aptera. Lush as you like and bare Balearic fam. We stick with the cradle of civilisation for A2's "Iris", as B&K bring us an audio embodiment of the rainbow goddess. As befits the west wind's wife, the track is a breesy affair, all limber bass sounds, gentle percussion and sublime melody - the well read out there might even find flavours of Mulatu at play...

In this case the B stands for BlackBush, with the Beauty & The Beat affiliated Orchestra expanding our mind and moving our bodies with a folkloric life changer inspired by Cedric Woo, Jeremy Gilbert and Cyril Cornet's extraordinary party. Suitably psychedelic, the track opens with the gentle clatter of organic percussion, backwards guitar licks and panning rainforest idents. A spheric kick signals a move from the bean bag to the dancefloor, nestling seemlessly into the Brazilian rhythm section like a carnival veteren. Haunting strings and heartwrenching guitar remenisce like childhood friends and suddenly the track's so pretty it hurts. Lysergic bass swells, hallucinatory sound design and an endless supply of soul offer sensory immersion for around fifteen minutes, with the latter stages building into something truly ecstatic.

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. 


Patrick says: Another excellent outing from Leeds' Balearic Social, who enlist Italy's most lysergic duo for two tracks of polyrhythmic, hypnagogic dance music. Whether you lose it to the swampy tribal of the A-side or acid stomp of the flip, the choice is yours.

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!


Patrick 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!


Patrick 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!

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