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MUSIC FOR DREAMS

Willie Graff & Darren Eboli

The Tribeca Tapes

Quality is the key word from Copenhagen based Music For Dreams and here is another home run. Willie Graff splits his year between DJ residencies in New York and Ibiza. In this new outing with studio partner Darren Eboli, the influence is, as the title suggests, clearly NY-based. Over only four tracks, the pair manage to craft a stunningly comprehensive exploration of the essential elements of dance music.

Opening track "Love Flight" staggers into a lush string-driven groove that recalls the glory of Metro Area meets Wally Badarou vibes. Minimal yet playful, it lounges somewhere in the depths of the house tradition, calling on familiar sounds while throwing in odd details along the way (harmonicas?). It takes both skill, devotion and a sense of humor to pull this track off, making for a strong opening. "Moon Tan" lingers on a metallic hook that drags you into a plethora of percussion followed by a rubbery soft baseline. Dubby key work would suggest this was a new wave band jamming at Compass Point, while the icy chill of the xylophone transports you into 80s italo territory.

"Second Sun" pulls out the bag of boogie tricks, relying on a firm but humble baseline and smattering drum machine claps. Nile Rodgers-style guitar licks guide us onwards into a well-orchestrated jam that builds up and breaks down with perfect timing while dreamy chords reach for the sky. "First Light" keeps the groove tight while dipping over towards more Balearic temperatures. Steeped in a watery atmosphere and gentle organic percussion, it focuses in on a trance-inducing arpeggio that lulls you in to the swaying Badarou-style synth swirls that intercept it.

As a delightful taster for his upcoming debut album called “Between A Smile And A Tear” on Music For Dreams, Danish artist Be Svendsen launches his new vocal driven - the weird and wonderful deep disco single ‘Drop The Gun’ World premiered by Pete Tong on BBC1, and already harnessing great momentum in Ibiza and the summer festivals, this crossover track is very likely to stick in your head. Produced, arranged, mixed, played and sung by Be Svendsen.


Copenhagen's unstoppable Balearic heroes Music For Dreams team up with Fyraften Musik for a mega reissue of Kojo Antwi's highlife disco anthem "Hini Mi". Recorded in Denmark in 1986 by the then up and coming afro pop singer Kojo Antwi from Ghana, the tunes were issued in limited numbers as he was leaving Denmark on the hunt for wider international acclaim. Though a popular favorite on cassette in Ghana his debut album was only released in small numbers in Europe and never achieved the same attention. The tracks selected here showcases Kojo’s transition from the highlife sound of the Classique Vibes to the more drum machine driven highlife disco on ‘Hini Mi’ aswell as the deep, computerized reggae on ‘Emeribi Be Ba’.  Remastered and cut on a 45rpm 12” this reissue brings the songs to new levels in terms of fidelity.
The two first tracks on his release are a document of the first solo recordings Kojo Antwi did and some of the most intriguing African music recorded on Danish soil (perhaps anywhere). The A-side ‘Hini Mi’ was done together with Solomon, Osibio and Danish saxophonist Michael Nielsen (who had record with ghanese super star Pat Thomas a year earlier in Togo) in 1986 in Custom Sound Lab in the heart of Copenhagen. Fusing the 80s highlife reggae sound of the Vibes with an uptempo disco/house beat of that era creating a unique song that became a hit in Ghana but unfortunately never got the recognition it was due here. The second track on this EP ‘Emeribi Be Ba’ – a slow computerized reggae song - was together with Hini Mi part of Kojo’s debut album. The album was released twice first on Kojo’s own imprint (which was shelved) and later on the German burger highlife label Kame records. For some reason which for some reason is also very scarce. The final track on the EP ‘Miribe-Bom’, lifted from the second Classiq Vibes album recorded in 1985, ranks amongst some of the finest mid 80s highlife and shows were Kojo was coming from musically.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Oi Kenny, slow down a bit! Not content with the Balearic-folk of a Prins Emmanuel LP and the AOR excellence of Okinawa Delays, Mr Bager's Music For Dreams team up with fellow Danes Fyraften Musik for this reissue of Kojo Antwi's Afro-disco masterpiece "Hini Mi". All those people who went daft for Tabu Ley Rocheau's "Hafi Deo" need to take note, this proto-house Afro heater is every bit as good. Chuck in a killer digi-reggae cut on the flip and a Highlife hit and you've got a record of the week on your hands.

After causing a stir with that mega 10" on Claremont 56, Japanese duo Okinawa Delays join the ranks of Music For Dreams for this stunning cover of Neil Young's beautiful "Lotta Love". This limited first edition twelve inch on light blue transparent vinyl & comes with fine selection of remixes from Phil Mison, Psychmagik & Willie Graf & Darren Eboli. As the AOR groove of the original meets the city pop stylings of Takeo Toyama's production and Satoko Ishimine's vocal, the track takes on a wonderful Balearic shimmer, perfectly capturing the spirit of a coastal walk on the White Isle. Alongside the breezy original version, the Balearic DJ is treated to a deluxe set of remixes, kicking off with three versions from Cafe Del Mar hero Phil Mison. His Balearic house mix kills it with the restless shuffle of percolating percussion, synth vamps and classic piano, all supporting those heartswelling vocals perfectly. The "Dub Mix" lets the melodic magic come to the fore as Phil showcases his silky synth skills while the "Piano Reprise" strips things back even further for those magic moments when the mood is just right. Psychemagik get suitably weird on their mix, honing in on the melancholic quality of the original and transforming it into a warped electrohouse stomper with maximum chopped vox and bass squelch. Willie Graf and Darren Eboli offer an option at the opposite end of the spectrum, utilising slight reggae lilt and smooth soul arrangements to lend "Lotta Love" a little Sade sophistication.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: You're always onto a winner with a cover of this Neil Young classic, but this is serious stuff. Featuring an all star cast, Music For Dreams' latest release should find its way into more or less every Balearic setlist.

FORMAT INFORMATION

12" Info: MORE STOCK DUE MID SEPT.

Last time Prins Emanuel flexed his musical muscles on Copenhagen's vibrant Music For Dreams he delivered 'Arbete / Fritid' a double LP of analogue disco, Balearic boogie and leftfield house soaked in inventive melody, multi instrumentation and studio wizzardry. A big hitter with Balearic beards, disco heads and anyone with; a) taste and b) ears, the debut delight set a very high watermark for the Swedish producer. So, it's with complete incredulity that I sit here and tell you that "Diagonal Musik" is even better!
Over the course of eight delicate and divine compostions there's nary a kick drum in sight. In fact, Prins Emanuel ignores the dancefloor entirely, swapping the studio trickery for the honesty and immediacy of an entirely acoustic approach. Guitar in hand, accompanied by the most subtle of organic percussion, the Swede strums, picks and slides his way through a gorgeous set of jazz-folk instrumentals. Think autumn leaves, rain on the window pane and cold coffee - cigarette smoke and a tear stained moleskine. If you'd told me this was a lost folk private press from 70s Europe, I'd be calling Basso and demanding he source me a copy. Forget genres, labels, press or playlists, "Diagonal Musik" is absurdly beautiful; and when you're old(er) and gray(er) you'll still be listening to it.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: I've been a big fan of Prins Emanuel for a long time now, and his weirdo disco gem 'Arbete / Fritid' has been in my record box ever since it came out. Here he throws us the most delightful curveball, dodging the dance floor and delivering eight gorgeous acoustic guitar compositions. Intimate, otherworldly and deeply evocative, this is the kind of record you'll listen to until the day you die.

Lanterns is a brand new album from the Japanese based producer & DJ Max Essa, and his first release on Bager's Music For Dreams label. Max Essa has been active as a DJ and producer since the early 90s, initially releasing music on labels such as Warp Records and Paper Recordings and DJing alongside the infamous D.i.Y Sound System. His recent work, for labels like Is It Balearic? Recordings, has been playlisted by the likes of Andrew Weatherall and the late David Mancuso, gaining him a devoted following around the world.

2015 saw his first release with a major label in the shape of the "Vacations Never Taken" CD for Victor Entertainment (Japan). The same year also found him completing another round of world-wide DJ bookings in Brazil, Indonesia, and Vietnam to name but a few. 2018 sees Max continuing his hectic weekly DJ schedule in Tokyo as well as playing the length and breadth of Japan from Sapporo to Okinawa, and releases are scheduled this year for Hell Yeah!, Music For Dreams, Palms & Charms, and Aficionado.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Old fave Max Essa takes a languid and thoughtful through electronic, mostly piano-driven and really quite ambient Balearica... the perfect hammock-resting, waves-lapping-at-the-shoreline soundtracking one could wish for.

Dub Disco label head and Berlin DJ Aussteiger switches to the long form with a killer debut LP for Copenhagen's Music For Dreams. 
Once upon a time a golden boy came back from the shadows. Rumors were told that he once left the big city in a time where the music scene and clubs were dominated by cold music and average beats. He left behind civilisation, living withdrawn in the woody mountains of a covert place. From there on people talked about him as Aussteiger. Connected to the nature and deeply rooted in the harmonic essence, Aussteiger became a part of the great whole. In a full moon illuminated clear night while experimenting with various unique herbs he accidentally found a recipe to create warm and ravishing music. He firmly believes that music is his infinite source to gather strength and positive energy.
After years of strengthening himself and shaping vibrant sounds Aussteiger decided to share his delightful music with the world. He returned from his retreat in order to enchant the music lovers all over the world with his feel good approach and supernatural sounds. Coming back to the city, he also co-founded the awesome Dub Disco Label with his buddy Serj Nosé.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Just ahead of the new season, Music For Dreams unveil their new German sensation Aussteeiger with his debut LP "Zusammenkunft". The Dub Disco boss fuses exotic samples, airy pads and a pristine rhythm section to create the kind of gliding grooves which sit right in the middle of disco, house and Balearic, cocktail in hand.

Various Artists

Jockey Club: The Sunset Sessions #6 Compiled By Kenneth Bager

    Jockey Club, Salinas, Ibiza, The Sunset Sessions Vol 6 is a collaboration between the Ibiza beach institution Jockey Club and Music For Dreams label owner Kenneth Bager.

    Jockey Club was launched as a restaurant on Ibiza’s legendary Salinas beach in 1993 with the spirit of a lively, original chiringuito (outdoor bar). The bar has become infamous for its DJs who create a laidback, sandy soundtrack every day from 3pm until sunset.

    Kenneth Bager is Denmark’s most prodigious DJ, and a global torchbearer for Balearic and chilled sounds. Together with his Music For Dreams label he has helped to re-popularise chillout music in it’s spiritual home of Ibiza. Kenneth is also the music curator and promoter of the Apple Flower Festival as well as the internationally renowned Coma Club in Copenhagen. He also hosts a weekly show on Ibiza Sonica and Los Angeles station Dublab plus he has just launched his own streaming radio station & app ‘Music For Dreams radio’ on: Musicfordreams.dk. Since its inception, the label has sold over 2 million albums and their artists have been featured on more than 1500 different compilations worldwide.

    This double CD is the sixth release in the series of ‘The Sunset Sessions’ and features exclusive tracks including Dj Pippi feat Clara Valente, Jacob Gurevitsch, Okinawa Delays, Prins Emanuel, Aussteiger, Ambala, Troels Hammer, Copenema and Islandman, among many others. 


    Two Music For Dreams releases in two weeks? The Balearic gods are smiling our way. Somehow sunnier than last week's luxurious Dalholt and Langkilde LP, this lush Latin wax winds its hips between house, Balearic and bossa, garnering support from DJ Harvey, Pete Tong, Ruf Dug, Alfredo and Mison in the process. Our beach party opens with "Te Faz Bem", the most played Balearic beauty of Harvey's Mercury Rising residency at Pikes last summer, which flexes its feathers here in true 'Coma Club' fashion thanks to MFD main man Kenny Bager. Solid Balearic beat percussion nods along nicely in support of the swaying bassline before Latin guitar, echo drenched vocals and eventual bursts of brass kick up the warm smell of colitas. Add in flamenco hand claps, opulent Rhodes chords and a mercurial flute solo and you'll find me sharing a cigar with Maitê Proença and Zico in the corner of an exotic beach bar. Italian DJ don Riccio ups the tempo on the A2, injecting those South American elements with a shuffling carnival house beat and buzzing synth lines while dubbing out the vocal for a deeper version that's a dream to mix. Over on the flip we roll shoulders and shimmy along to the Balearic disco delights of "Deixa Música Tocar" (Let The Music Play), a hypnotic offering alive with incessant bass, scatted vocals and extended trumpet solos. Finally K-Bag takes the controls again for an alternate mix of "Deixa Música Tocar" which tweaks the arrangement into something playful, punchy and percussive, like Tony Allen on a South American vacation.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Another sweet summery treat from the good ship MFD here as the Harvey approved "Te Fez Bem" from Copenema gets a vinyl release. Featuring top reworks from Kenneth Bager and Riccio this is a caliente cut folks. Scorchio!

    Copenhagen label Music For Dreams release yet another brilliant debut album, this time by the Danish duo Dalholt & Langkilde. The album has a wonderful warm summery vibe, with slick smooth production, hypnotic bass grooves, live guitars & vocals. The sultry French spoken word vocals on opener ‘Charite’ (one of Patch's Balearic picks of the last few years), ‘Sur Plus’, ‘Tranquille’ ‘& Je M’appelle Spacy’ certainly channel the spirit of Serge Gainsbourg & Max Berlin, which only adds to the European flavour of the LP. There is a jam like feel to most of the tracks on the album; for instance the Moonboots faves "Bonne Nuit" and "Doucement", which sound like Durutti Column /Vini Reilly sessions made in Copenhagen. Demise Ducha provides the vocals on tracks ‘Disco Disco’ & ‘Afrique’, lending an almost Cocteau Twins feel, which when combined with the sweet African (soukous) guitar licks and floaty bongo rhythms are sure to propel these tracks into the realm of the Balearic classic. The album also features summery 95 BPM chugger ‘Versaire’ with Copenhagen friend Emil Breum (The Swan & The Lake) - soft sax tempered with atmospheric synth for a wonderful soundscape effect.

    “Moments In Time” compiled by Moonboots is the second album in the new special collector series on Copenhagen’s music for dreams. The first album was “Tropical Drums Of Deutschland” by Jan Schulte. For the new compilation “Moments In Time”, Music For Dreams has asked long-time friend of the label Moonboots to pick out a selection of songs with the power to encapsulate moods of calm and moments of contemplation.
    Moonboots has been a fixture of the Manchester scene since the Balearic boom in the late 80’s. He runs the prolific vinyl label Aficionado Recordings together with fellow DJ Jason Boardman, a project that started out as a Sunday evening club night. Since 2012, they’ve dished out more than a handful of 12” releases with an ever-surprising selection of underground acts at the fringes of what might be called Balearic. Some of these artists turn up here as well, with exclusive material culled from various demos and unfinished tracks. Swedish-based Farbror Resande Mac for instance, with the brooding, glacial and Carpenter-esque “Janne”, an old fave of Moonboots which featured on their (now defunct) website. “Names In The Sand” by Begin starts off as a similar story: a forgotten demo track Moonboots came upon a few years ago and has been spinning in digital form since. The version you will hear on the compilation is a tweaked and finished version. Another exclusive is the extended version of “Från Andra Hand Till Stränderna I Nice” by Gryningen, previously released in 2015 on Aficionado, now extended by Salta to six minutes instead of two.
    Stepping aside from digging through the outputs of Aficionado affiliates, Moonboots also manages to stumble over a cover of Lesley Duncan’s eternal masterpiece “Love Song”. As Moon runs an Instagram account called onehundredlovesongs highlighting his collection of Lesley Duncan cover versions, this is clearly an obsession that bears fruit. “The Natureboy version came about in a weird way”, says Moon. “I was DJing at Spiritland (London) and playing this obscure Canadian xian version when the owner Paul came over to ask about it. He then told me his brother had recorded a version, put me in touch and next thing you know it’s on the comp.”
    Much of the selection has aimed to include tracks which have previously never seen vinyl release, whether only issued on CD or digital. For instance, the track which gives the compilation its title is a crisp and loungy Paul Hardcastle production from 2005, only ever issued on CD. Other selections only out before on CD are the new age epic “Cello Blue” by David Darling from 2001 filled with field recordings of birds and water while Denmark’s own new age maestro Rishi contributes with the track “Simple Trust” from his 1993 album “Notes From The Inner Stream”. Another track seeing its first vinyl release is the contribution from world-jazz trio Bombay Hotel, featuring Kenneth Knudsen as well as Ole Thiel and Mikkel Nordsø who recently released new material for Music For Dreams - the Cafe Del Mar classic “Between Leaves”. Fact – label boss Kenneth Bager gave a copy of the original Bombay Hotel CD in 1993 to Phil Mison at Cafe Del Mar and told him about the “Between Leaves” track. Phil started to play it and the rest is history. The exception to the rule of vinyl premiers is the sample-heavy “Gissningsleken” by Ben Morris - previously released on a limited run 7” from 2012 - as well as dreamy July Skies track “The Softest Kisses” – the 7” version of which has never been issued elsewhere. New Moonboots faves German duo Blank and Jones are included with the summery “My Island” alongside new Danish artist “The Swan And The Lake“ with the exclusive mix of “Moments Of Lost Swans” (Remix) featuring Jonas Krag on pedal steel guitar. All in all, Moonboots has put together a dense collection of songs with a timeless feel. They will doubtless sound as good in the pub as they might at home on a Sunday or in a cabin in the woods. To top things off, the sleeve design comes from Aficionado’s graphic designer Topsy Van Salkeld.


    Mikkel Nordsø and Ole Thiell are no newcomers. Influential key players both on Copenhagen’s jazz scene and on the international circuit since the late 1970s, they have recorded and performed with such greats as Santana, L. Subramaniam, Jan Akkerman and George Duke to name but a few. Their numerous local projects include the much revered Bombay Hotel trio featuring Kenneth Knudsen. On their first record from 1989, they bridged the gaps between fusion jazz, new age and traditional Asian folk music into ethereal expressions that stand out even today. With this new album for Music For Dreams, the duo delves deeper into that soundscape with an even more profound knowledge of their instruments. With Nordsø on the flute and guitar and Thiell on various percussion instruments, they form a musical language together that reaches high spiritual levels while carefully blending electronic instrumentation to complete the experience. Guest vocalist Caroline Francesca steps in on the opener "Good Morning" and the closer "Sun Fo Ni" - the first being a sun-drowsy Brazilian-inspired jam, while "Sun Fo Ni" leans further towards crisp English folk. The inclusion of Francesca comes naturally, as she is the daughter of percussionist and long-time collaborator Jacob Andersen (who also releases on Music For Dreams as Bongo Entp.) making this quite a family affair. Named after a harbour town in Morocco, the track "Essaouira" weaves field recordings of children playing in the sun together with brooding oriental folk and a discrete drum machine beat. For "Japtal" the flute takes centre stage, leading us on a serene journey that unfolds into improvised passages along a chugging heavy groove, escalating and releasing in tempo much like the breathing techniques of yoga. "Velvet Sky" sees the duo at their most relaxed, letting it ride on feather light ambient chords and noodling out into a wigged out prog rock ballad. "B Phrygian" takes us into ancient Anatolian territory, again showcasing the duo’s vibrant live instrumentation with Thiell hurling an army's worth of percussion layers onto the dusty beaten path laid out by Nordsø's stone-faced psychedelic assaults. This album is a classic in the making already getting strong support from Mison and egg-fan Moonboots, who declared it "the best record I have heard in the last 10 Years!" Don’t miss...

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: The pick of this weeks MFD bunch, 'Nordsø & Theill' is frankly sublime. A gorgeous fusion of jazz musicianship, asiatic melodies and esoteric instrumentation, this LP rightly has Moonboots in a spin. A Balearic masterpiece and certain future classic!

    Istanbul-based Tolga Büyük started his solo project Islandman in 2010 and has already built quite a name for himself with a slew of self-released EPs & albums. Already prominent in Istanbul’s psychedelic scene as part of live-performance band Farfara, as Islandman he builds his unique style off the rich history of Turkey’s psychedelic rock movement, taking it further in his own direction.
    The Anatolian tradition of fusing the country’s folk music with Western influences has produced a unique legacy of sound, as evident by the discographies of Erkin Koray and Baris Manco for instance, with the guitar long the sound weapon of choice. So too for Islandman, but apart from mastering this instrument quite eloquently, he also orchestrates it into a new and different context than merely providing hippie nostalgia. By re-framing the murky and somewhat dusty Anatolian psychedelic sound with a cool Mediterranean vibe and a very Balearic-friendly production, Islandman’s music is the next step in the progression of Anatolian music.
    On “Rest In Space”, his first full length outing for Music For Dreams, the LP keeps a steady pace of around 90-95 bpm, but never gets repetitive with Islandman taking us on a rich and ever surprising journey, full of quirky turns and mysterious instrumentations.
    The opener “Rest In Space” treats us to a funky percussion-thick rhythm that lounges into a pool of playful & jazzy horn & flute arrangements. This is followed by the epic “Night Wind” which sweeps across cinematic desert landscapes of synth layers and falls into a dark night time groove reminiscent of Nicolas Jaar & Dave Harrington’s Darkside project. “Seikleos” centers around a motorik electronic rhythm pattern (not unlike the classic electro-pop classic “Popcorn”) that develops into a chugging balearic house jam while stand out track “Future Days” brings in a female guest vocalist to complete the album with a breezy full on groover that echoes of both Sheila Chandra and Tom Tom Club.
    Also included is the previously released digital single “Agit” as well as a remix by Berlin-based M.RUX, toning down the heavy guitar of the original in favor of a more bouncier interpretation.
    The stunning “Ikaru” wades in through chunks of jungle ambiance and watery percussion to lounge along on a rubbery funk bassline, coupled with a heavy laid back beat and wobbly derelict synth figures.
    “Tawhid” is an odd mix of new wave brilliance and prog momentum that breaks into a cascade of pouring rain and surprising percussion breaks. Lastly comes gorgeous Eastern guitar opus “The True Word of the Wind” and the warm vibey dreamscape “Following”.
    As a whole, Islandman delivers a delicate buffet of influences - spanning the spectrum from hazy balearic pop to tropical new age flirts to deep spiritual psychedelic jamming. 


    Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams comes with yet another strong release - a double album of personal favourites compiled by Jan Schulte. According to all maps and witness accounts, Germany does not officially have any tropical forests. This is of no concern to Schulte however, who has unearthed many stunning examples of tropical drum music recorded there. Perhaps the number of botanical gardens and palm houses in Germany confused musicians into mistaking the climate, or maybe it was just a happy blend of escapism and multi-cultural integration within musical scenes that spawned such a curious output of undefinable tribal folk jazz. Most of the tracks picked by Schulte were released on small labels in the late 80's. The musicians involved were mainly traditionally schooled, born and raised in Germany. At that time to be interested in foreign folk music might have seemed a gimmick to some, what with the emerging "world music boom" already snowballing into the mainstream. But these songs, while they may be based on musical traditions from foreign lands, deal much more with introspection than exploitation. Schulte himself points to his "general fascination for music that describes places where the artists have never been. Songs about the jungle or the rainforest made by people that know the rainforest only from television and books. Somehow I think you can hear their mythical imagination and fantasy in those tracks," he explains. We certainly hear it in the extensive use of wildlife samples on both "Tagtraum Eines Elefanten" by Argile and on "Wuhan Wuchang" by Total Art Of Percussion. Or on the repetitive and trace-inducing drum circle re-enactments of Ralf Nowys "Akili Mali" and Bob Moses’ & Billy Martin’s "Boat Song Part II". And while Austrian band Sanza stands out with their interpretation of the traditional folk song "Sounouh", many of the inclusions take an avantgarde stance towards their visions of the tropics. The works of Om Buschmann and Trimopen seem to convey the stark and feverish nature of the jungle and its dangers, without relying on clichés. And while there is certainly a European approach in the production techniques on many of these recordings, the artists created something beyond all templates. In fusing folk music traditions from various corners of the world with avant-garde jazz improvisation and a distinctly European sound, they carved out a path of their own. Düsseldorf-based Jan Schulte has been following this path with his own productions in the past years. During the present resurgence of tribal influences in underground dance music, his recordings under the alias Wolf Müller and Bufiman have stood out as the most interesting, funky and mindblowing within this niche. With the compilation "Tropical Drums Of Deutschland" for Music For Dreams, Jan Schulte re-traces this path to its origins. With the inclusion of two exclusive edits he also engages and re-examines these tracks and incorporates his own musical expression into the mix.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Clad head to toe in safari attire, Jan takes us into the imaginary jungles of Europe's heartland with this collection of esoteric and exotic tribal jazz. Essential listening for fans of Jan, Marco and Basso.

    That cyberpunk chameleon of styles, Manchester’s pride and dancefloor master Ruf Dug is back on wax on Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams. Following up the first 12” of remixes that came out last year, we once again re-visit the island life of monsieur Ruffy and his debut full length album “Island” (recorded during a sojourn on Guadeloupe).

    First up we have Italians on the mix. Hi-jacking Ruffy’s tribute to Wally Badarou, Leo Mas and Fabrice opt to do their own thing: which is churning out a bouncing house belter of their own that bears little resemblance to the original lo-fi synth reverie. Closer to the original then, is fellow Mancunian Andi Hanley’s take on the same track.

    Adding sparse percussion and and a simple but effective drum beat, this take seems to simply be an uncovered second half of the original, where it finally takes off for the dancefloor. “Mangrove Dub” is reworked by fresh-on-the-scene Aussie producer Tropical Hi-Fi who creates a brilliant version full of moist ambient textures and reverb-heavy dub treatments. At last but definitely not least, Seahawks turns the whimsical hippie folk ballad “Le Rayon Vert” into a more intense and neatly dressed affair, focusing on the instrumental parts and lifting aside vocalist Nev Cotte’s contribution to the original. Still with a mindful of tropical dreams and the ocean shore close at hand, but in a more introvert Vini Reilly kind of way. Essential package.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Like all stone-cold classics, Ruf Dug's 'Island' has had a number of producers queueing up to remix the originals, and here we get the second volume of the outcome. From the thumping house of the Leo Mas & Fabrice remix of 'Thank You Wally' (and it's equally competent doppelganger c/o MCR legend Hanley) all the way through to the stunning Seahawks take on 'Le Rayon Vert', this is a worthwhile addition to the seminal OG. Great stuff.

    Nick Mackrory & Harry Collier’s musical partnership dates all the way back to the 90's, when they were both deeply invested in the musical boom in the UK that followed acid house, the rave scene, and the Ibiza experience. Nick went from drumsticks to turntables to studio wizardry; while Harry honed in on his golden voice - which led him to a stint as a singer for Faithless. They found their way back to each other in 2014 and have since developed a sound together that is fresh but not too polished. With touches of 60's chanson coupled with sundazed electronics, their songs linger on like the feeling of a long day spent outdoors in summer. This album collects their previously released singles for Music For Dreams along with exclusive new material and a number of remixes, edits and alternate versions that together form a mesmerizing listening experience. The lazy guitar grooves and samba rhythms of "Tu Sonrisa" that so faithfully revisits the original sound of the White Isle in its hippie days, are here present on melancholic chansons like "The Other Side" and sleepy instrumentals such as "Inside You". They also prove a suitable framing on their cover of the Jimmy Webb-penned classic "Wichita Lineman". But in contrast to their folky fuzzy side, we also get some rather funky explorations into balearic beat with a dub version of "Pen-A-Maen" that bubbles along on a heavy bassline and some wonderful synth strings. "Blue Bird" picks up the pace somewhere between the warm proto-house soul of Maze and the deep house meditations of Larry Heard, with Collier letting his scope as a singer come to full fruition in some rather trippy turns. Other highlights include the rather special version of the classic "Aranjuez" and a new string update of "Elle Dit". On remix duties we get Music For Dreams labelmate 55 Cancri e, who sprinkles her dreamy night time dust all over "Elle Dit" and creates an astonishingly unified blend of their two musical universes. Also lending a hand to transform "Elle Dit" is veteran duo Seahawks, who gently layer it in their cosmicaquatic color palette. Andi Hanley steps in to re-structure "Lucky Charm" into a jazz beat treat by numbers.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: After the beguiling wonder of "Elle Dit", Mackrory and Collier return to Music For Dreams with a long-player of hazy folk gems, swooning country and coastal grooves primed for your next Balearic bliss out...

    Silent Riders

    I See You Remixes - Inc. Whatever Whatever / Dennis Bovell / Andi Hanley / Kenneth Bager Reworks

    Copenhagen-based trio Silent Riders recently wowed us with their immersive neo-gothic full length album debut on Music For Dreams. Now they are back with a remixed package aimed directly for the darkest of dancefloors. Together with some top notch remixers, they are re-visiting their stand out track "I See You" as well as "Shadows", another cut off their self-titled album. First off legendary producer Dennis Bovell lends some of his charms and works "I See You" into a wacky dubbed out groover, skillfully edited down by Mancunian Andi Hanley. No stranger to the flavours of new wave, having produced bands like Saada Bonaire, The Slits and Orange Juice, Bovell brilliantly fuses his dub science with the raw mood of the Riders. Upping the tempo considerably, NYC duo Bryan Mette and Justin Strauss (yes, THAT Justin Strauss!) don their Whatever/Whatever mantle to flesh out the original into a much more hungry club creature, agile and warmer yet with that air of New York cool that really hits you on all levels. Label boss Kenneth Bager himself sits down with the trio to rework the material into a dark brooding extended mix that could easily fit the soundtrack of a John Carpenter flick. Fresh on the scene is HLLW (pronounced 'hollow') who churns out an organic drum'n'bass banger with eerie layers of odd vocal echoes and a gurgling bass rumble. Last up Fellow countryman Kasper Bjørke offers a more leftfield and mechanical approach to the track. Chugging along at 97 BPM, this epic rhythmic excursion unveils slowly and with hints towards the cosmic-minded Germany of the 1980s. Also features a new jam version of “Shadows” - the band themselves take another turn at the track in the studio and deliver a healthy dose of old school electro á la Egyptian Lover and some powerful cold wave chords to underpin the loose vocal performance of singer Lu.

    Att Lämna Tellus (in english: To Leave Tellus) is a journey between the planets Tellus (Earth) and 55 Cancri e. It starts on Tellus with a feeling thatyou might not be where you are supposed to. A search for a peace of mind and a place in the universe where you belong. Travelling through deserts, dark forests, emotions, space and time. Giving up and moving on at the same time. A revelation. An awakening. Suddenly there is no fear anymore and that is when you find love and the courage to start over. Leaving home for another home. 55 Cancri e - a new beginning. 
    On her debut full length album for Danish label Music For Dreams, Sara Hausenkamp lets her dreams of space travel come to full fruition. With a steady hand on her guitar, the Swedish artist steers us through the desert at night, through cosmic noises of space, and finally to the distant planet 55 Cancri e. Ranging from melancholic to hopeful, the music of 55 Cancri e is perhaps an expression of Hausenkamp’s longing for a better home planet, and for the possibility of escape. In creating these kinds of science fiction lullabies, she is preparing us for both the beauty and the sadness of a looming future. Using her voice mainly to hum or whistle along, she does however break the silence on a few tracks to sing in her native tongue. On "Rävjakt" she imagines a turning of the tables, where the fox hunters are chased out of the forest by the animals. "Alltid Du" is a tender and straightforward love song that has become the centre of her recent live performances. And on "55 Cancri e I (We Ran Away)" she switches over to English for the first time, where we find her in a slightly different voice. Often working with variations of recurring musical themes, Hausenkamp allows for subtle changes over a number of tracks to create a linear progression that unfolds as a whole in a hypnotic brew of folk-inspired pop. Saturating it all in a glistening atmosphere of both electronic and acoustic sounds as well as samples and field recordings, this album comes as a natural format for Hausenkamp to explore her ideas. 

    Jose Manuel

    Excursion Africanism

    Prolific Italian DJ and producer José Manuel releases his debut concept album ‘Excursion Africanism’ on the highly respected Copenhagen based Music For Dreams label. José Manuel began his DJ career in clubs in Italy at the age of 16 and has since gone on to produce and release singles on esteemed Belgian label Eskimo Recordings, cool Parisian label Kill The DJ and collaborated with others such as Tusk, Wax, Kinfolk, Cocktail D’Amore, Above Machine, and Is It Balearic? On this new double vinyl LP ‘Excursion Africanism’, José Manuel delivers innovative and deeply percussive tribal grooves washed with voices and sounds of the African continent. The album includes the singles ‘Bilimbosa’ with its relaxed percussive guitar groove and stunning vocal delivery from Babacar Dieng and ‘Babylon’ which also features Dieng’s spiritual voice this time fused with a raw voodoo rhythm. Other highlights are the tribalistic and dreamy ‘Macumba’; the chanting ambience of ‘Voices of Africa’; ‘Rain’ - nomadic village chill out with savannah beats and the funky percussive world groove of ‘Congo’. Afrobeat drumming, electronic textures and cinematic accordion become the template for ‘Magic’ while ‘Excursion Africanism Part 3’ is spaced out futuristic roots music for the global generation. The original of ‘Hungry’ is laden with jungle beats, strong bass and repeated afro choir, plus we have a special bonus version - the sublime afro trance dub by Ibiza legend Leo Mas and partner Fabrice. ‘Excursion Africanism’ is a visionary concept album written, produced, and arranged by José Manuel that succeeds in combining a sense of Balearic beats, world music and Afro acid within a template of space disco. Don’t miss...


    Doctr

    Tropique - Inc. Kenneth Bager Edit

    Every once in a while a record comes along that defies any sort of conventional explanation and transcends today’s numbed-out consensus beats - “Tropique”, the latest offering on Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams is one of them. Cosmic disco, neo-Balearic, retro-Italo-futurism – get as creative as you like trying to peg it but one thing is for sure, Doctr’s “Tropique” is undoubtedly an excellently crafted tune, an irresistible crowd-pleaser. As if magically appearing from the untouched realms of electronic music, the soundtrack to some quirky, exotic floating party at the centre of the Bermuda Triangle, “Tropique” is a simple concept, a seemingly innocent loop which rolls along and sneakily picks up more effects with each rotation. The production is near faultless, perfectly structured and fine-tuned to draw the maximum drama out of its infectious bass and tasty keyboard hook. Its creator? Well, little is documented about the producer who simply goes by the name of Doctr, but it’s clear that he operates to the beat of his own drum and knows how to rock a party with rollicking flair judging by the dubby yet joyous vibes he brings to this eclectic and high-sprited offering. “Tropique” sounds like its gestation was characterised by years of crate-digging and wild, balmy nights. Having played only a handful of acclaimed shows so far, it appears Doctr is that rare find; a crowd-pleasing DJ whose musical skills trump his proven ability to move bums.
    ‘Tropique” is the tune this summer’s been craving and will no doubt become virtually inescapable throughout 2016 and for years to come - a future classic for sure.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Music For Dreams take a house excursion with this piano driven terrace tonker from Doctr. Hedonistic shizzle which comes backed by a Compass Point styled rework from Mr Bager himself.

    Ambala

    Calypso Beach

      Continuing a fruitful, fifteen year relationship, Phil Mison is back on Music For Dreams with brand new collaborative project, Ambala. Recorded with Danish musician and engineer Volmer across a series of weekend sojourns to the scenic streets of Copenhagen.This vinyl three tracker is a teaser for a full album of Ambala magic slated for release just before the summer kicks in. First track "Calypso Beach" showcases a new direction from former Cafe Del Mar DJ Phil Mison - classical house with West Indian vibes - a hooky steel drum, live bass, dreamy pads and an irresistible melody make a winning combo. Flip over and there is another twisted tale "High Line...", a funky organ-driven groove wrought out of old school drum machines and soulful keys. It's hypnotic Balearic for warm summer nights. EP closer "Bambari" is a slow African chugger complete with chanting voices. Three choice cuts - pick your favourite! More quality Mediterranean output from that man Mison aka Cantoma aka Ambala.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      12" Info: *WAREHOUSE FIND!! - 1 copy found*

      For 19 years, Cafe Mambo has been hailed as the place to be on the sunset strip in San Antonio, Ibiza. With an unrivalled reputation built via great guest DJs and the world famous sunset. The family behind Cafe Mambo love great, chilled out down-tempo music and in 2013 they entered into a new relationship with Music For Dreams honcho Kenneth Bager, the legendary Balearic, ambient and techno DJ / producer, who exports his Balearic delights from his native Copenhagen to Ibiza for this double CD compilation.

      The compilations opens with rain forest ambience from John Heckle and goes on to include everything from opera by Maria Callas, cinematica from Johann Johannsson, a Balearic chugger by Mudd & Pollard, Ramadanman's post-dubstep rework of Jamie Woon's "Night Air", deep house from Jacob Gurevitsch, Buggles' 80s Compass Point style electro-reggae and Richard Hawley's echo-drenched Americana. Where ever you are - sofa surfing, sitting by the ocean, in a forest, driving or gliding in the skies - this double CD takes you through a musical journey of sunset material of the highest calibre…

      Music For Dreams release their first vinyl of 2016 with the debut of Nick Mackrory & Harry Collier. Late one night label boss Kenneth Bager was surfing the net and found "Elle Dit" – he immediately fell in love with the track and signed the duo. Their first outing for the Danish imprint showcases their distinctive blend of electronic and organic acoustics with a very Balearic twist. Mackrory began his musical career as a drummer before embracing electronic music during the early UK rave scene and branching out as a DJ, producer and percussionist. More recently he’s been running labels Forgotten Corner and Colona with fellow producer Phil Banks. Vocalist Collier has previously recorded and toured with Faithless as well as successfully writing and performing with his own band Kubb. This new collaboration sees both artists on top form with Mackrory’s productions providing beautiful backdrops to Collier’s uniquely stripped back, honest and emotional vocal performances. "Elle Dit" gives a perfect example of the Balearic duo’s timeless Burt Bacharach songwriting stylings and is a bitter-sweet ode to the breakup of a rather Kafka-esque love affair. It has been heavily featured on Ibiza Sonica and gained support from former Cafe Del Mar Resident Phil Mison. "Tu Sonrisa" continues the continental theme with Spanish lyrics made up by non-Spanish speakers Mackrory and Collier "so please forgive us if it doesn't make much sense! We think it's about drinking margaritas on a beach, chatting to a beautiful señorita, with the sunshine filtering through the leaves of the palm trees!" The instrumental has been getting strong support from Manchester’s Moonboots. Finally ‘Pen-amaen’ is an epic piece of jammed Balearic madness - inspired by the local Cornish coastline that hosts the sunrise where on certain mornings a mermaid can be seen silhouetted against the sky.

      Troels Hammer

      Trans/For/Mation LP Sampler - Inc. Fabror Resande Mac Remix

      Music For Dreams cap off a fantastic year with this 6-track vinyl sampler of the brilliant debut album "Trans/For/Mation" from Danish composer and pianist Troels Hammer including a stunning remix from Farbror Resande Mac. Released on Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams, this taster showcases Hammer’s unconventional approach to combining classical and electronic music as part of the New Nordic Classical Movement. Opening with a haze of dreamy pads, solo synths and old school drum machines aimed squarely at the dancefloor "The Singing Clouds" updates the Innovative Communication blueprint perfectly. The string-infused bliss of "Mother Space" follows on perfectly before the warm, soulful and spaced out "Cold Hawaii" delivers 100% cinematic sunset material with just a hint of Bladerunner. It's companion piece, "Father Space" sees floating pads drift steadily through the seas of electronic beats towards the horizon of the Universe, while the beautiful ‘Birdy’, a classical piano piece composed by Polish film score composer Zbigniew Preisner, here adapted by Troels Hammer delivers deep emotional resonance. The icing on the cake is a very special remix from Sweden’s Farbror Resande Mac who deliver a timeless chill out rework of ‘Mother Space’ - drum machines, soft pads, bubbly synths and nice guitars creating a full moon ambience, a future classic for Balearic connoisseurs to be sure. Six horizontal tracks of the highest calibre - recommended to all fans of Nils Frahm, Wim Mertens and lovers of deeply rewarding melancholic and stunningly eternal music.

      Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams continues its run of great releases with a tasteful 12 inch from label boss Kenneth Bager who presents four on-the-money remixes of his single "Sunshine Stereo" taken from forthcoming album "Follow The Beat". Currently enjoying heavy rotation on P3 (Denmark’s answer to Radio One), this summery anthem gets makeovers from Denmark’s Jazzbox, Greek duo Bonnie & Klein and from Mr Bager himself who teams up with Napoli-born producer extraordinaire Tuccinelli to give us not only a superb extended vocal mix but also an on-fire dub version of the track that’s sure to be a future classic both for the Balearic brigade and all lovers of funky downtempo dubbed-out weirdness. Treading the same territory as the fabulous Frankie Knuckles’ ‘Hallucinogenic’ mix of "Ain’t Nobody", this dub is full of tricks, teasing and pleasing the dancefloor and already getting strong support from Moonboots, Amnesia legend Leo Mas and Danish DJ Peter Visti. Elsewhere Jazzbox deliver a great uptempo beach boogie version full of soul and groove making great use of the unmistakeable voice of Damon Scott, known for his work with Storm Queen, while Bonnie & Klein produce a very special percussive jazzy dub mix. The pair are on a roll at the moment and this remix with its warm marimba vibes creates that Mediterranean vibe we all love. A real sun-soaked winter warmer, this 12” feels like a knitted sweater in the cold! Limited vinyl.

      Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams delivers another strong package with the debut from Danish artist Emil Germ. A sensitive artist overflowing with creativity and personality, he comes across like a mix between Arthur Russell /Royksopp meets Vini Reilly but stands firmly on his own feet combining falsetto vocals, beautiful guitar playing, and powerful keyboards with slow disco grooves: "I just play and do what feels natural" says Emil Germ. This Music For Dreams 12" features two tracks from his forthcoming album "Adult Party" - first single "Tease and Burn" is already gaining international recognition - on the playlist of 28 international radio stations and getting support from the likes of Yam Who, Ame,, French Rivera, DJ Nori etc. - while "Give" is another quality slice of slow disco with pop sensibilities - a very catchy groove and an irresistible melody line that will creep under your skin and stay there for months. On the remix tip, Messalina edit maestro Lucci Capri delivers a housed up Larry Heard inspired remix of "Tease and Burn" with a great jazzy sunset feel and looped guitar hooks - essential for lovers of the White Isle. Athens-based duo Bonnie & Klein take on remix duties for "Give" and the result is a modern Chic/Talking Heads style affair not far from Erol Alkan’s recent remix of Kindness. Emil Germ has recorded new David Byrne-esque guitars  especially for this mix, which alongside the repeated saxophones and a superb breakdown make this a serious dancefloor contender. A great introduction to the hotly-anticipated new album. 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Ahead of his forthcoming LP, Music For Dreams' latest signing Emil Germ hits us with this tasty 12" sampler, pairing a couple of his Arthur Russell meets Vini Reilly originals with a sunset house remix from Lucci Capri and a Chic-esque interpretation from Bonnie & Klein. Already selling like hotcakes so act fast.

      Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams continues to fly the flag for Balearic madness with this high quality four-tracker. EP opener “Charité” is the result of a jam session between two young Danes, Mads and Frederik, and seems certain to be a future classic, with demand building since its first plays on label boss Kenneth Bager’s Ibiza Sonica radio show. A deep and dense Balearic groover in the style of Max Berlin (yes that good!), the track combines French spoken vocals (mais oui, bien sûr), Spanish guitars, floating bongos and a warm bassline into a rich and heady cognac groove. Legendary Balearic pioneer Phil Mison heard an early mix and his exact words were "This is good, no, this is really really good!", and you can't argue with Phil. Mads Dalholt pops up again on Side B in collaboration with fellow Danes Dj Zimino and Dj Djek for a spot of "Balearica". This groovesome number does what is says on the tin as a smooth and rolling bassline, 70s Hammond keys and deep and mysterious voices create an incessant groove, bringing together various styles and influences in a hippie spirit. Closing out each side in sublime form is Troels Hammer, a composer and piano player whose debut LP is soon to be released on the label. Here he previews two short compositions from that LP, "Azur" and "Birdy", which both ooze that melancholic sunset vibe we just about remember from the golden Cafe Del Mar era.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Finding the middle ground between Max Berlin's 'Elle Et Moi' and Yves Simon's 'Raconte-Toi', Dalholt & Langkilde perfectly nail the windswept sleaze of a swarthy lothario on 'Charite'. Whispered French vocals and open-shirted guitar licks top a cognac-smooth groove in this record bag staple.

      Brand new wax from Denmark’s acclaimed Music For Dreams imprint featuring two artists new to the label - Bonnie & Klein and Coyote. Hailing from Greece, Bonnie & Klein debut with three impressive cuts including future sunset classic "Total Blue" - already receiving maximum support from the likes of Moonboots and Phil Mison, this gentle summery melody conjures up perfect Cafe Del Mar moments with its dreamy pads, lush keyboards and beautiful accordion. Also "Coral" which follows the same route - another sunset chill-out gem with a Mental Generation/ Double Fantasy feel - and finally "Demode", a great bass-heavy slo-mo White Isle dreamscape with gorgeous flute. Also making their first foray onto Music For Dreams are Is It Balearic? dons Coyote with the superb "Gitarra", a flamenco/ Spanish guitar-laden, percussion-driven chugging monster of a track with huge Balearic dancefloor appeal.

      Music For Dreams label head honcho Kenneth Bager is back with a sixth outing in the "Luftkastellet" CD compilation series. Featuring a selection of Balearic house, cosmic disco, downbeat grooves and twisted psyche-dance gems, the set includes the likes of Aeroplane's all-conquering mix of Grace Jones' "Williams' Blood", Edwyn Collins wonderful "You'll Never Know (My Love)", remixes by DJ Disse, Pocketknife and Mungolian Jetset and more.

      Tracklisting
      1. Edwyn Collins - You'll Never Know (My Love) (Ashley Beedle's We Love You Edwyn Edit)
      2. Yoav - Club Thing (Radio Edit Brian Gardner)
      3. Mari Boine - In The Hand Of The Night - It Ain't Necessarily Evil (Mungolian Jet Set Remix)
      4. N* Grandjean* - Wake Up (Pocketknife Remix)
      5. Grace Jones - Williams' Blood (Aeroplane Remix)
      6. Moby - I Love To Move In Here
      7. Kenneth Bager Feat. Gisli - Fragment One (...And I Kept Hearing) (Pocketknife's Wind & Whisper Remix)
      8. DJ Disse Taxi To War (Downtempo Remix)
      9. Osunlade Feat. Divine Essence - My Reflection (Original)
      10. Aura - You Are The Reason (DJ Disse Remix)
      11. Henrik Schwarz & Amampondo - I Excist Because Of You (Henrik Schwarz Live Version)
      12 Shantel - Disko Partizani


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