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CLAREMONT 56

French multi-instrumentalist Jype graces Balearic institution Claremont 56 with a double disc delight of a debut album, served up with a host of collaborators. Yes we know - it's hardly the time of year to be digesting poolside pleasure with all this snow, wind and rain - but don't blame us blame the pressing plants! Beside, you can get ahead of next year's jetsetters by familiarizing yourself with this assortment early...

Moving through the moods effortlessly and with a stylistically cool approach; we get lounge, jazz, samba (of course) and fully fledged Balearic - all executed with the sun lounger and pina colada in mind.

The recording is clean, the melodies are humble, the movement is light and breezy. Did we mention the cover is also delightful?!


TRACK LISTING

Side 1
1. Jpye & E11e - Samba With You (4:04)
2. Jpye & E11e - Downside Up World (5:01)
3. Jpye, Leonidas & E11e - Oui Non (5:21)
Side 2
1. Jpye & Renato - Cosa Ti Va? (3:50)
2. Jpye & Renato - Non Ci Pensare (4:14)
3. Jpye & Renato - Don't Stop (Tididam Dub) (4:08)
Side 3
1. Jpye & Leonidas - Let The Record Spin (5:00)
2. Jpye & E11e - Samba With You (instrumental) (4:04)
3. Jpye & E11e - Downside Up World (instrumental) (5:00)
Side 4
1. Jpye & Renato - Cosa Ti Va? (dub) (3:50)
2. Jpye & Renato - Non Ci Pensare (Mudd Dub) (4:44)
3. Jpye & Renato - Don't Stop (instrumental) (4:07)

Since joining the label back in 2018, Hear & Now have quickly become one of Claremont 56’s most prolific and consistent acts. The Italian duo impressed with their debut album Aurora Baleare – a drowsy, mood enhancing masterpiece – and then went one better with 2020’s Alba Sol, a seductive and sun-kissed set that incorporated more nods to Hear & Now members Ricky L and Marcoradi’s 1990s deep house roots.

The pair have once more struck sonic gold with their third album, Milvus, a set whose colouful chords, unfurling melodies, warming instrumentation and sun-soaked vibes were mostly laid down during the various pandemic lockdowns of 2020. If it’s vivid, picturesque and immersive musical escapism you’re after, Milvus delivers and then some.

The album’s clear White Isle-friendly intent can be heard on opening track ‘Bassa Marea’, a yearning chunk of horizontal brilliance in which guest musician Marco Evengelista’s emotive flugelhorn sounds spar with slow-motion, eyes-closed electric guitar solos over billowing ambient chords and a tactile, thickset bassline. The pair’s ability to craft high-class, saucer-eyed Balearic soundscapes is a theme that’s returned to several times across the album, with ‘Abisso’– another near beat-free slab of touchy-feely dreaminess – standing out.

Ricky L and Marcoradi’s love of evocative, pitched-down excursions is another recurring theme. For proof, check out the chugging weariness of ‘Zanziblu’, where a lone whistle drifts across waves of heady chords and metronomic beats, the dub-fired Balearic reggae shuffle of ‘Coccobello’ and the bright aural colours of gentle title track ‘Milvus’, whose cascading piano motifs, echoing harmonica motifs and chunky dub disco grooves are as appealing as they are infectious.

While the prevailing mood is perhaps even more horizontal than their previous albums, Hear & Now have not completely abandoned the dancefloor. Two of the set’s standout moments are those where the pair actively explore their early ‘90s Italian dream house roots.

There’s the rolling haziness of ‘Levante’, where more emotion-rich electric guitar solos and ear-catching whistling softly spar with pulsing pads, club-ready house beats and chiming synthesizer motifs, and the breathlessly brilliant ‘Baiadriatica’, whose stirring, sustained opening chords should always be described as “rush-inducing”.

Rich in jangling piano riffs, fluid keys, squelchy bass and glistening guitars, the track is little less than a glorious 21st century update of the dream house sound first made famous by the likes of Sueno Latino and Key-Tronic Ensemble. Like the rest of Hear & Now’s absorbing and emotive third album, it’s a stunning, sunset-ready delight. 

TRACK LISTING

A1. Bassa Marea
A2. Levante
B1. Coccobello
B2. Spuma
C1. Baiadriatica
C2. Milvus
D1. Zanziblu
D2. Abisso

Buried amongst the gems on the second Claremont Editions compilation was ‘Oui Non’, a collaborative cut that marked the first label appearance of Jpye (real name Jean-Philippe Altier), a French multi-instrumentalist, DJ and producer best known for his work as part of Twonk alongside Leonidas and percussionist/vocalist/guitarist Renato Tonini.

Here Jpye and Tonini join forces once more for their first single on Claremont 56 – a sensual and seductive slab of slow-motion, sun-soaked synth-pop that features more than a few subtle nods to classic Italian Balearic disco cuts such as Radio Band’s ‘Radio Rap’ and Tullio de Piscopo’s ‘Stop Bajon (Primavera)’.

Built around squelchy synth bass and a shuffling drum machine rhythm, ‘Cosa Ti Va’ is marked out by glistening, jazz-fired guitar solos, vibrant synthesizer squiggles, rich electric piano chords and echoing, dubbed-out electronics. It’s a pin-sharp but effortlessly laidback number that’s as tactile and loved-up as it as lazy and horizontal.

‘Cosa Ti Va’ is presented in two complimentary versions. On the A-side of the vinyl version you’ll find the full vocal, which boasts Tonini rapping in his native tongue in the manner of Italo-disco’s most eccentric and atmospheric vocalists. With his deep, rich tone and fluid flow, it’s hard not to fall in love with Tonini’s previously unheard rapping. Rounding off the single is the pair’s vocal-free instrumental take, in which Jpye’s stunning guitar motifs and tactile, soft-touch production can be savoured in full.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Summer's just round the corner, nature is in full bloom and the Aperol's on chill - there is no better time for this synth-y shuffler to greet my ears. Whisper rapped Italian vocals happily skipping atop a Balearic pop belter.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Cosa Ti Va? (vocal)
B1. Cosa Ti Va? (instrumental)

Over the years, Claremont 56 has played host to some memorable collaborative projects, most notably Bison, an unlikely super-group whose members included Holgar Czukay, Ursula Kloss, Liquid Liquid’s Sal Principato, Ben Smith and label boss Paul ‘Mudd’ Murphy. Now Murphy is at the helm of another collaborative outfit, Hillside, whose seductive debut single contains two deliciously pie eyed instrumental workouts. Hillside is very much a family affair, with Murphy joining forces with two old friends: bassist/guitarist Alex Searle and percussionist Patrick Dawes. The trio has a collaborative history that stretches right back to Murphy’s time in Akwaaba in the mid nineties. For their debut outing, Hillside has also welcomed a very special guest musician: award-winning jazz violinist and long-time Bert Jasch collaborator Mike Piggott. As opening gambits go, “Hidden Port” is an emphatic statement of intent.

The audio equivalent of sailing slowly around a cluster of sun-baked islands in search of shelter from an approaching storm, the track sees Searle wrap bluesy, Peter Green style guitar passages around a shuffling, Latin-tinged groove rich in Dawes’ distinctive percussion patterns and Murphy’s languid electric piano and synthesizer lines. As the track progresses, Piggott steps up to make his mark, with his undulating electric violin lines complimenting Hillside’s impeccable instrumentation while adding extra emotional weight to proceedings. It’s a stunning beginning to the Hillside story. Piggott also makes a big impression on accompanying cut “The King’s Tun”, delivering fluid and energy-packed solos that weave in and out of a bright and breezy instrumental track rich in jangling acoustic guitars, subtly spacey electronics, fireside-warm bass and more sparse-but-intricate percussion courtesy of the effervescent Dawes. Searle’s eyes-closed, rock style guitar solos cap another memorable excursion from Claremont 56’s latest in-house band

TRACK LISTING

A. Hidden Port
B. The Kings Tun

Okinawa Delays Feat. Satoko Ishimine

Nariyama Ayagu - Inc. Phil Mison Remixes

    Blink and I missed it! After the highly sort after and supremely limited first run disappeared over the horizon, OBI strip and all, Claremont 56 take pity on schmucks like you and I with a plain sleeve repress of this serene Balearic beauty. Though it may not be the looker it once was, you'll be reassured to know that this gem sounds just as good as ever. Label favourite, Cafe Del Mar hero and all round top talent Phil Mison takes controls on the A-side, rewarding one and all with a pair of pure, ambient bathers. Celestial synthwashes wax and wane beneath gentle acoustic guitar, occasional piano chords ripple through the infinite calm and the fx laden vocal sings sweetly to the siren, leaving us to drift peacefully into a new state of mind. In dub form, Phil omits the vocal and lets his tranquil instrumentation take centre stage, rivalling the superb "69" on Growing Bin for untampered beauty. Over on the flip, original Okinawa Delays cut "Vibration" steps a nimble path between Japanese jazz, mature funk and city pop to take a place at the top table with Eri Ohno, Ruriko Ohgami and Sadao Watanabe. The mix of shuffling percussion, diminished 7ths and rubber-necking bass should keep your body loose and limber, while Satoko Ishimine's smooth vocal soothes your soul to perfection. This won't be around for a long time, so buy a copy and stay cool all summer long. 

    Claremont 56’s latest release is very much a family affair. It sees Idjut Boy Conrad McDonnell - a regular remixer of Claremont 56 releases since the label’s inception - serve up two spaced-out, dub-wise revisions of a little known cut by Bison, the imprint’s very own “super-group”. The 12” has extra emotional resonance for Bison’s Paul ‘Mudd’ Murphy and Ben Smith, as it marks the band’s first release since the passing of fellow founder members Holger Czukay and Ursula Kloss.

    Clutching his cherished space echo and tape delay units, McDonnell has delivered two tasty new dubs of “Salmon Spungcake”, a spacey, gently throbbing Bison cut that he co-wrote, produced and mixed for Claremont 56’s 10th Anniversary box-set in 2017. While the original version shied away from the dancefloor in favour of creating a hazy, horizontal mood, McDonnell’s “Zip It Shrimpy Mix” re-invents the cut as a hypnotic dub disco shaker rich in weighty bass, layered hand percussion, locked-in kick drums and spaced-out vocal snippets. In true dub fashion, flashes of the band’s original instrumentation - effects-laden guitars, hazy electronics and meandering, deep space chords - float in and out of the mix at irregular intervals. It’s the kind of remix you want to get lost in while wearily shuffling at 5am in a dark, sweaty basement.

    The glassy-eyed, head-in-the-clouds fun continues on the “I Think I’ve Got Gout Mix”, an even more spaced-out affair that recalls some of the other inspired dancefloor dubs McDonnell has produced alongside Idjut Boys partner Dan Tyler. Stripped back, heavy, percussive and driven forward by sturdy kick-drums and the track’s rich, warm bassline, this is a deep space dub disco tailor-made for space cadets and intoxicated sunrise dancers.

    TRACK LISTING

    A. Salmon Spungcake (Zip It Shrimpy Mix By Conrad McDonnell)
    B. Salmon Spungcake (I Think I've Got Gout Mix By Conrad McDonnell)

    Smith & Mudd

    Blue River

      In 2007 Smith & Mudd's first album, "Blue River", came out as a CD release. It's now been fully remastered by Simon Francis and finally gets a vinyl release, on a hand numbered limited edition gatefold LP no less.
      "Blue River is a spine-tingling and evocative mixture of the organic and the electronic, the past and the future. It's an album you will want to hear again and again and as you listen more you will begin to notice the subtlety of the production, the clarity of the guitars, the warmth of the bass guitars, even the vivid colours the music paints in your mind while you listen. Blue River is a beautiful collaboration between Paul 'Mudd' Murphy and Ben Smith and features some incredible guitar work from Bob Klose, a founding member of Pink Floyd.

      What we said in 2007...
      What a way to end a brilliant year, Paul Murphy AKA Mudd has been banging 'em out left right and centre, (releases on Rong music too), not to mention a fair bit of DJing too. Fortunately for you the quality is totally consistent and this CD will prove it to you. Claremont 56 have had four releases this year, three of them very limited 12"s which are all included here. The CD by Smith & Mudd is a beatiful suite of downbeat and (dare I say it) Balearic style tracks, often inflected with plenty of live guitar, bass, keys and occasional vocals. Perfect soundtrack for early mornings or very late nights and the perfect end to a very good year at the Mudd camp.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: At long last Mudd does the honourable thing and delivers a much needed vinyl release of this early Claremont classic. Blissful, melodic and entirely Balearic, this one set the blueprint for all the wonders which followed.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. 24/7
      A2. Tanglewood
      B1. Blue River
      B2. The Start
      C1. Shulme
      C2. Elsewhere
      D1. Plot Of Land
      D2. Vegetable Square
      D3. The Secret

      Jack Cutter

      Serpent Strut / Gift Of Our Fathers

        Jack Cutter is a songwriter and guitarist based in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. He started with a $5 banjo just after finishing high school. In University, during the late 60’s, he performed with bar bands in Buffalo, New York. After completing University and a year as an Aerospace Engineer, he decided that attack helicopters were not really what the world needed and so he headed off to California in pursuit of music and mystic times.

        Fast forward to Fall 2014: Jack is playing his quintessential tune, ‘Gift of Our Fathers’ in the SF BART subway to an onslaught of morning commuters when he was spotted by 40 Thieves. Eureka! Love at first sight and in the next few months, two of Jack’s original acoustic pieces were given the 40 Thieves treatment.

        Enter David Sanderson aka David Harks, a singer, songwriter, producer and label curator from East Sussex. “Having fallen in love with the cosmic boogie (of 40 Thieves classic ‘Backward Love’) I really felt I would love nothing more than to write a tune with them. Layne got back in touch with a track he was working on entitled Serpent Strut with Jack Cutter and we worked via email over a few months to brew up that misty soul.”

        Deep, stony, psychedelic, drawing from the well of Hawkwind, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Baffo Banfi and Tolkien-tinged acoustic Led Zep, the proof of concept is now complete and in the capable and loving hands of Claremont 56.


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