As far as I`m concerned, Antena, and their Camino Del Sol E.P., entered a more “general consciousness” when Harvey included the title cut on his hugely influential, and important, Sarcastic Disco mix (1).
Harvey`s mix turned out to be inspired by the recordings of sets by Daniele Baldelli and Beppe Loda. Since it contained a number of “unknowns” that had been favourites of these legendary Italian DJs. Something that became apparent as their tapes resurfaced on-line and began to reach a wider audience.
Baldelli and Loda had both “rinsed” all the songs on Antena`s E.P. as they went about their Cosmic versus Afro battle. The Greek myth made Synth-Pop of Achilles, and the Caribbean lilt of Bye Bye Papaye, sometimes at their intended speed. Sometimes not.
Camino Del Sol, so it transpired, was also big at Ibiza`s Amnesia. A sultry, sparse Electro-Samba for the French jet-setters. Ethereal and haunting. It slotted in and around Sade and Viktor Lazlo. One of the nightclub`s key record spinners, Leo Mas, once gave me a t-shirt with the E.P.`s artwork on the front. It doesn’t get any more “Balearic Beat” than that.
The tune`s rediscovery via Harvey, via Cosmic, via Afro, had a knock-on effect. Alerting previously ignorant UK Balearic enthusiasts (I`m including me here) to other gems in Antena`s back catalogue, and that of lead singer, Isabelle Powaga. The essential Seaside Weekend (2), like a Summery, more Mediterranean take on Acid Jazz. John Morales & Sergio Munzibai`s remix of Life`s Too Short, blending Brazilian cuica with NYC`s Danceteria. The Marc Moulin produced Laying On The Sofa, which someone popular must have played – `cos the current prices are crazy.
A while ago, when we used to interview DJs, one of the questions we`d ask was
“Which track do you wish you had back in 1988?”
To which, Aficionado`s Moonboots` had replied, “To Climb The Cliff” (3).
In Japan, Isabelle`s music gets lumped into a genre called Funka-latina (4), and it influenced a generation of Japanese Jazzy House producers. Such as Yukihiro Fukutomi, who covered Isabelle`s tune, Playback (the OG, coincidently, another Amnesia play).
- Harvey`s Sarcastic mix was influential because for about five years afterwards, every on-line mix seemed to be a segue of weird electronics, Prog Rock, Euro Disco and forgotten Pop. It opened up people’s minds regarding what you could play to a dance floor. It was also the start of “The Cult Of Harvey” – deservedly – going overground (anyone spot the DJ in the latest Mission Impossible?). Harvey`s Sarcastic mix was important because it made everyone go out digging again. It re-enthused a generation of DJs. Those old enough to have taken part in the Second Summer Of Love, who, until they heard Harvey`s CD, thought that they had all the “Balearic Classics”. Ginny got everyone going again.
- Seaside Weekend will always remind me of Discossession`s Zecky (RIP). When I found it difficult to reconcile his heavy Rock guitar playing, and full-on tattoos, with his love of sweet, European Pop, he explained to me that he was into “authentic” extremes.
- On the live version of To Climb The Cliff you can hear a piano in the distance, laughter, and the clink of wine / cocktail glasses. It has a very Cafe (del Mar) ambience.
- I bought my first copy of Camino Del Sol from Japan. I paid about 25 quid for it on eBay, a couple of years before I moved out here. When I arrived in Tokyo, in the Fall of 2006, within the month I`d picked up five more from the 300¥ bins of the city’s second hand stores.
Antena`s Camino Del Sol E.P. is back in shops, care of The Numero Group.