Most music does not come out of nowhere. Arising and appearing in a pre-existing system of influences, cross-references, roots, memories and desires, it either directly points towards a heritage or into the future. Mark Barrott’s "Nature Sounds of the Balearics" is a bit of both. The mastermind behind the International Feel label and the Sketches from an Island series presents an intermediary.
Technically, it’s his departure from a software based workflow and onto (or back to) a hardware driven creative point of view. Philosophically, it deals with the schizophrenia of our times: the late Paul Virgilio’s dromology and logistics of perception versus a decelerated life outside of cities, internet algorhythmics (sic!) versus meditation, the excessive stock market (all track titles are derivates of that world) against a tactile way of living.
Musically, it is the outcome of what Barrott himself described as his "techno album". For people whose definition of techno has to do with speed (again) and kick drums that might seem like a misinterpretation. Listeners who remember the Artificial Intelligence and Freezone compilations, various chill out channels or Detroit’s mellow moments, will tend to agree. "Nature Sounds of the Balearics" miraculously evokes those days and times, without breaking his neck. It is as much at home in a Caribbean water utopia between dolphins and old fishing boats as it feels current and applicable in a Ridley Scott dystopia. And if meta levels aren't your thing: it’s just a beautiful album.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Moving away slightly from the beach-bound cocktail-fuelled halcyon lysergia of the previous outings, Barrott opts for off-kilter melodies and hardware-based sequencing to create a more rhythmically diverse offering, as fascinating as it is engrossing. Lovely stuff.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd LP Info: Gatefold 180 gram vinyl.