Mix / Looking For The Balearic Beat / March 2018

Paraphrasing the Soul Sonic Force and sorting through today`s releases for tunes that could have graced Alfie & Leo`s Amnesia dance floor.

James Perri Cover

James Perri – Express Yourself – Imogen

Ilan Kabiljo – Golden Days – Imogen

Two 12s from Imogen. Street Soul from James “Jimi Polo” Perri. Rescued from his archives by the Croatian imprint. Dating back to James` stint with Soul II Soul. And it shows. Aching with strings, and that positivity, we all felt after the initial E rush. We thought we were gonna change the world.

Ilan Kabiljo`s Golden Days was a record that I knew nothing about until I interviewed Imogen`s boss, Ilija Rudman. A record that I now can`t get enough of. Mediterranean beach-flavoured, fretless-bass led, Electronic Pop Jazz.

Diva La Nuit

Diva – La Nuit – Discomatin

More Pop, from France, that Boogies around. In a manner that`s almost Boule Noir`s Aimer d`Amour. But not quite.


Miskotom – Ankhesenamun – Balearic

Ankhesenamun takes its name from the Egyptian queen (wife of Akhenaten (her father), then Tutankhamun (her half-brother), then Ay – all before she was out of her twenties). Takes its vibe from the loved-up Italian House of the early `90s. Like those pitched down end-of-the-night Scream Up reprises by Johnny Parker (Love It) and Mr. Marvin (Entity). Fairlight angels singing of love, surrounded by heart-tugging synthesised harps and strings.

The rest of the E.P. also seems rooted in the sounds of Italy`s yesterdays. With the live-bassed Hai Bar recalling Georgie Red, and the Baldelli-esque electronic chug of Midnight Baddie.

Respuesta Alternativa

Respuesta Alternativa – Amigos – Left Ear

Restored from a cassette recorded in 1986 (and released in `87), Australia`s Left Ear reissue Jesús Mª Catalán`s Spanish New Wave. Mixing scratchy Funk guitars with slapped bass, bell-like keys, drum machines and harps. Level 42-like Fusion with heavy synths, Rock posturing, and Electric Flamenco solos.

uneven paths

Patrick Forgas – Sex Move – Music From Memory

Brenda & The Beachballs – Dancing Thru The Night – Music From Memory

Two tracks from Music From Memory`s forthcoming Uneven Paths compilation. Where Jamie Tiller and Raphael Top-Secret share twenty-one Avant-Pop Unclassics. Which I`m guessing is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the treasure they`ve dug up goes.

Patrick Forgas` Sex Move is conga-led Jungle magic. Synthesisers and saxophones soaring. Somewhere between the Bristol Dug-Out Post-Punk Jazz of Pig Bag, and Johnny Chingas` Phone Home.

Brenda & The Beachballs` Dancing Thru` The Night is a musical melting pot of dubbed-out Electro rhythms. Proto-House, melodica and Rock`n`Roll riffs. Like an alternate take of the band`s seminal Wait. With Brenda sighing, whispering subliminal seductions in your ear.

Copenema album sleeve copy


Copenema – Deixa A Musica Tocar – Music For Dreams

Kenneth Bager`s done it again. The previous teaser from his Copenema alias, Te Faz Bem, was one of the “Balearic Beats” of last year. This next one doesn’t disappoint. Raising the tempo, it adds fruity horns, and takes Jorge Ben`s Africa Brasil as it`s credo. Mixing Portuguese song with musical cues from Makadem`s Nyako. The beat, House, but unobtrusive. Hidden behind the live elements. The whole thing, if I`m honest, with a considerable debt to Phil Mison`s output as Ambala and Cantoma.

Here`s hoping the album will be ready for Summer.

Noche Espanola domino

Noche Española – Domino (Outdoor Mix) – Highwood

Speaking of Mr. Mison, the second outing from his Noche Espanola nom de plume is imminent.

Congas, guitars, and warm synths grace the Outdoors Mix of Domino. Cuban brass, timbales, and someone going crazy on the triangle in the background. The synths showering like the rain on The Doors` Riders On The Storm. The Euro-House keys, a reminder of `89s piano driven hedonism. The Indoor Mix – already an ALFOS favourite – is effectively a Dub. Toughening up the drums, and sending the handclaps through rounds of phase and delay. Cymbals crash, crash, crashing. Before releasing the synths for an arms in the air finale. A bit like one of those incredibly Balearic Italian remakes, that would cheekily “adapt” a Pop hit for the dance floor. In this case drawing “inspiration” from Belouis Some`s Imagination and Boytronic`s Bryllyant. With its vocal urging you to “live your life”, its potentially this year`s Leonidas & Hobbes. A festival hit.


10Lec6 – Make Madjeng – Ed Banger

Bionic bass rumblings. Space Jazz choirs. Janko Nilovic`s Xenos Cosmos and Disco 3000 allusions. Ibibio Sound Machine. Those remixes of Gilles P’s Havana Cultura Band. An Awesome Tape From Africa. Via Paris. Snare-tapping. Machined handclapping. Rimshots and rewinds. A carnival of horns, woodwinds, and whistles. Broken beats, cuica, and African Rap. Cameroon via Chicago`s Relief Records, Footwork, and Detroit`s Jit. Electrical storms. Blasts of Punk Hardcore Thrash. Barking dogs. Griot via Bad Brains and Rage Against The Machine. Calms of rainforest chorus and Hyperdub Electro Dread. Bantu`s Bulu riding the updated Punk Funk groove of ESG via Gramme.

Earthboogie Silken moon

Earthboogie – Silken Moon – Leng

Chants, scats, and raps of sueno latinos. Hands bang various bits of percussion. Fingers play House keys, and modulate 303 bass-lines. Synths get gated. Creating a kind of Highlife from the looped up results. Punctuated by birdsong and cattle-herder whistles, in a way Silken Moon`s almost Ambient. Beatless at least, with the kick not putting its boots on until half-way in.

Remixes from Felix Dickinson and label mate, Ali Kuru, redress that. Both increasing the Chicago in the Afro, and getting in with the 4 / 4 from the get go.

True Feelings Love Me

True Feelings – Love Me Love Me – Backatcha

Brit-Funk with blue-eyed Soul harmonies. A bit like a more Disco makeover of Liberty`s Girl You Better Wake Up. With Mandre keyboard solos and Proto-Deep House synth washes. Coming out of the early `80s North-West London Soul & Funk scene, that also contained Atmosfear and Hi-Tension. A calling card for Harlesden`s Inter City Soul crew. Reissued by Backatcha. The folks responsible for that Dr Mary Bain release late last year.

GBR014 Señora 01

Señora – Señora – Growing Bin

More Jazz-Funk from the Señora reissue on Growing Bin. All the players shining, of course, but Alex Fischbacher`s guitars duelling with Christian Henze`s keys in a particularly “Balearic”, Flamenco fashion. The title track racing neck and neck with Azimuth`s Jazz Carnival and Cortex` Mary Et Jeff.


Ilan Kabiljo – Golden Days – Imogen

James Perri – Express Yourself – Imogen

Diva – La Nuit – Discomatin

Miskotom – Ankhesenamun – Balearic

Respuesta Alternativa – Amigos – Left Ear

Patrick Forgas – Sex Move – Music From Memory

Brenda & The Beachballs – Dancing Thru The Night – Music From Memory

Copenema – Deixa A Musica Tocar – Music For Dreams

Noche Española – Domino (Outdoor Mix) – Highwood

10Lec6 – Make Madjeng – Ed Banger

Earthboogie – Silken Moon – Leng

True Feelings – Love Me Love Me – Backatcha

Señora – Señora – Growing Bin

Reference Links 

Boule Noir

Johnny Parker

Mr Marvin

Angels Of Love

Georgie Red

Pig Bag

Johnny Chingas





Belouis Some 


Leonidas & Hobbes

Janko Nilovic

Disco 3000

Ibibio Sound Machine 

Gilles Peterson’s Havana Cultura Band 

An Awesome Tape From Africa 

Rage Against The Machine



Hyperdub Electro Dread 






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