Mix / Looking For The Balearic Beat / June 2018

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

ProjectSandroPST1Cover

Project Sandro – Brand New Day – PST1

Tony Watson and Anthony “Rollmottle” Puglisi`s Project Sandro launch new label, PST1, with a four track E.P. of Orange Sunshine electronics. Across a range of tempos, mixing Soft / Yacht Rock guitars and Techno tropes in the way that only those Californians seem to know how. 

Big drums and a slap bass sound, that, as the one-sheet states, could have been lifted from a Simple Minds stadium anthem, joined by bouncing 4 / 4s. Bass buzzing. Melodies straight out of `90s Shoegaze / Dream Pop. 

Like most contemporary West Coast stuff, the overall feel is one of pitched-down House / Techno. An update of the Afro / Cosmic chug. With a generally blissful air. Aiming for introspective giants for both the feet and the mind. Brain-dancing in Eden to a cicada chorus, while keys conjure images of light playing out at sea. Bright shiny horizons. Even in the dark of a warehouse rave. As someone once said, “surfing at midnight”. But make no mistake, loud they pack a large, body-moving, kick. 

Saying that, something like Mental Mother could have easily found itself in Phil & Jose`s Sunrooms set. Alongside classics such as 51 Day`s Paper Moon. Music from the Touche label. Soundtracking a Cafe Del Mar Sunset. 

Benedek Earlyman Dance

Benedek – Earlyman Dance – Second Circle

Fellow Californian, Benedek, steps up for Second Circle. Fusing his own characteristic `80s-homaging analog machine Funk to the label`s modern tribal aesthetic. The lead track, Earlyman Dance, sounding like John “Jellybean” Benitez` Dub of James Ingram`s Ya Mo Be There, running up Kate Bush`s hill. Making Big Love with Fleetwood Mac with huge muted horns. Axes scratching and screaming. Drums tumbling between the breaks of Arthur Baker and Phil Collins. 

The b-sides combine the Techno ambience of Underground Resistance`s Journey of the dragons with honking saxes. Hip Hop beats. The Electro-Boogie of Midnight Star`s Midas Touch, if made over by Push Button Objects. 

Somerville & Wilson – Yantar E.P. – Hell Yeah!

Another resident of the Sunshine State, Ryan Bishop AKA The Beat Broker, lends a helping hand on Somerville & Wilson `s Yantar E.P. for Hell Yeah! The BB remixing Melt, with a bass-line that`s a ringer for Ester B`s Pleasure Of The Music, and a beat, the twin of Lola`s Wax The Van. All four tracks are epic in their aims. Sunset Acid. The wobbly ambience of Yantar setting The Swan And The Lake tripping with Ulrich Schnauss. Label mates Tempelhof preparing John Carpenter`s Starman for lift off. While Los Gatos Escobar`s remix the same track into a would-be Smokebelch. Cero Gravity rattles along on ritual drums. Its 303 sweetened by psyche-searching strings.

There is in fact, a whole lot of Hell Yeah! this time out.

Kito Jempere Sea Monster Remixes

Max Essa Han Zon Roc

Kito Jempere – Sea Monster Remixes Part 2 – Hell Yeah!

On the second 12 of remixes from Kito Jempere`s Sea Monster LP, Jimi Tenor employs synths, flutes, and broken Afrobeat. Reimagining Puzzled as a Tech-Jazz spiritual. Miskotom`s “Old Spice” rework turns Ampa into a swirling House tribute to early `90s Italo. Angelic choirs, pianos and the sound of Mediterranean holiday waves crashing. Max Essa also takes two swings at Ampa. Packing the fragile male vocal off, beach bound. Sipping cocktails to a slow motion b-line, bongos, pan pipes and fragmented Rock riffs. 

Max Essa – Han Zon Roc (Midori Coup) – Hell Yeah!

Mr. Essa has his own E.P. for Marco Gallerani`s labour of love. Han Zon Roc, the follow up to Themes From The Hood, The Cad, & The Lovely. How You Showed Me Everything is seductive Pre-, during, Post-, coital Electro Soul. Mtume drum-programming and jazzy guitar. Recalling Farbor Resande Mac, and getting me reaching for that Ruf Dug quote about “Sade wading through treacle”. The more urgent Rainbirds Alfalfa Jam puts Fusion licks, wah-wahing solos, with a Minimalist keyboard refrain. Swaps Jan Ackerman for Pat Metheny in Steve Reich`s Electric Counterpoint. The title track is a dance of two halves. Opening with a soundscape of drones, swells, and cello, and harpsichord tones. Then hitting a groove of Def Mix piano, Jonny Nash Blues, and perhaps drawing some inspiration from Open Space`s remix of Nautic`s Freedom Of The Floor.

Open Space, Lexx & Harriot Brown – Hot Weather  – Phantom Island

Open Space themselves feature on a new release from Switzerland`s Phantom Island. An E.P. split between the duo of Apiento and Sade`s Andrew Hale, and label co-founder, Lexx. The collaboration also making good use of yet another Californian, Harriet Brown. Last heard assisting Daniel T. on his fine cover of Tatsuro Yamashita`s Windy Lady, Harriet adds his electric six string picking, and smooth R&B vocals. With an Outkast / Take Off Your Cool flow. Lexx making those Juicy Fruit rhythm boxes bubble and percolate to a bass-line straight outta Kingston, JA. His Dub giving the echoed snatches of HB a Paul St. Hilaire edge. Open Space slow everything slightly, laying Hot Weather even further back. Removing the guitar and concentrating on the flute-toned synths. Their Dub beefing up the bass, throwing in mixing board effects, and adding dialogue that dreams of tropical climes. 

If you`re into this then be sure to have a listen to Bo`vel`s Check For U, which is about to be reissued on Be With Records. Soundsystem Street Soul that`s genius in its stripped-down simplicity, and universe-shaking in its bottom-end. 

Womack and Womack

Womack & Womack – MPB – Melodies International 

While I`m at it, Def Mix, get a look in. Floating Points` Melodies International reissuing two of the  highly sought after Knuckles, Morales, Poppo, and Schwartz overhauls of Cecil and Linda Womack`s MPB. A Shoom classic from the 1988 Conscience LP – which also contains another biggie for Rampling, Life Is Just A Ballgame. Plus old Harvey / Moist favourite, Teardrops. MBP is a definitive “Balearic” Go-Go-Not-Go-Go groove. Its piano and B-line later recycled for the Pure Sexy, “Hallucinogenic” mixes of Chaka Khan`s Ain`t Nobody.

I picked up a copy of MBP for relative pennies after Farley and Weatherall played it on a BBC Radio 6 show – that focused on the Shoom`s legacy – back in 2012. But the asking price of the original has soared.

Flamingo Flame Label side 1 FinalFlamingo Flame – Simmer – Rogue Cat Sounds

It was Mind Fair who gave me the heads up on the hike, and there`s another teaser from their forthcoming Flamingo Flame single. The Warehouse Preservation Society swapping the Frazier Chorus vibe of the original for something more throbbing. Sleazy and sex-ed up. Like Weatherall skanking with Meat Beat Manifesto. 

Omer Coleman Art

Omer Coleman Jr. – Lovin Babe Sure Is Fun (Instrumental) – Left Ear Records

If it`s slow, Funky and Acidic you`re after, then Left Ear dust-off Omer Coleman Jr.`s Lovin` Babe Sure Is Fun. Combining both sides of one 1985 7”, with an edited instrumental from another. The former bumping a rap and arcade game noises. The latter, Prince-esque. Complete with Purple Rain shred. Some of you might know Coleman from his Starship Commander Wooooo Wooooo alias. Left Ear reissued his Mastership long player a little while back. The title track being a Weatherall favourite (he even put it on an Asphodells mix CD). 

If you`re into that then you should also take a jaunt over to the Aloha Got Soul site. A new 45 dips into the archives of Hawaiian FRNT BZNZZ, for more Prince-flavoured Electro-Boogie. Retro-Not-Retro popping and locking constructed from what sounds like Erotic City. 

ARVO sleeve

Arvo – So Deep / Bikini – Strangelove

Still with the `80s, Strangelove have two tunes taken from Arvo`s sole 1984 LP, Luna. A record I first saw in one of Crown Ruler`s mail-outs. So Deep is sardonic Antipodean synth Pop. The original accompanied by an instrumental edit from Melbourne-based Italo expert, Hysteric. Bikini is tongue-in-cheek, smart Pop. Sashaying sexily along the same shoreline as Linda Di Franco and Isabelle Antena. All sighed vocals, sampled surf, marimba and brass. A kind of Girl From Ipanema re-write that makes a sly dig at Bondi Beach bimbos. Shelter – who has a new album due on Growing Bin Records (more on that later) – turning in a super extension.

Marlui Miranda Art

Marlui Miranda – Tchori Tchori – Optimo / Selva Discos 

Finally, there`s Brazilian flautist Marlui Miranda`s Tchori Tchori. Rescued from her 1995 CD, Ihu Todos Os Sons, by Selvagem`s Selva Discos. A piece of vocal experimentation that could be an out-take from John Gomez` Outrotempo. Chants not unlike Roberto Simone`s Coro Delle Lavandie. Gentle chimes provided by Uakti. A group of classically trained musicians, playing home-made instruments. Keeping it Brazilian, Joutro Mundo`s update has something sonically in common with Highlife`s African workshop releases, Esa`s remix of Dayme Arocena, and not-so-distant dance floor ancestors, like Mory Kante`s Yeke Yeke.

Track-list

Lexx & Harriet Brown – Hot Weather (Dub) – Phantom Island

Arvo – So Deep (Hysteric`s Instrumental) – Strangelove

Project Sandro – Brand New Day – PST1

Womack & Womack – MPB (Paradise Ballroom Mix) – Melodies International

Max Essa – Han Zon Roc (Midori Coup) – Hell Yeah!

Arvo – Bikini (Shelter`s Extension) – Strangelove

Flamingo Flame – Simmer (Warehouse Preservation Society Mix) – Rogue Cat Sounds

Omer Coleman – Lovin Babe Sure Is Fun (Instrumental) – Left Ear Records

Kito Jempere – Ampa (Miskotom Old Spice Mix) – Hell Yeah!

Somerville & Wilson – Cero Gravity – Hell Yeah!

Marlui Miranda – Tchori Tchori (Joutro Mundo Mix) – Optimo / Selva Discos 

Benedek – Earlyman Dance – Second Circle

Reference Links

Simple Minds

Paper Moon

Ya Mo Be There 

Running Up That Hill

Journey of the dragons 

Midas Touch 

Push Button Objects 

Pleasure Of The Music

Wax The Van 

The Swan And The Lake 

Ulrich Schnauss

Tempelhof 

Starman 

Smokebelch

Mtume

Farbor Resande Mac

Jan Ackerman 

Electric Counterpoint

Def Mix 

Jonny Nash 

Nautic

Windy Lady 

Take Off Your Cool 

Paul St. Hilaire

Meat Beat Manifesto

Purple Rain

Starship Commander Wooooo Wooooo

Linda Di Franco  

Isabelle Antena 

Coro Delle Lavandie

Dayme Arocena

Yeke Yeke 

 

 

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