Looking For The Balearic Beat / August 2019

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

A few new things, a few more reissues (and remixes), plus a couple of edits…….

BBC bovell

Steve Cobby`s collaboration with Jim Brown and Dennis Bovell, Quality Weed, as BBC, on Déclassé, provides a revive of not only a classic 70s roots reggae sound, but also, in its remixed form, NYC art-rock disco-not-disco trance dance. Interlocking angular guitars fighting over an afro-influenced groove. And the heat goes on…

Crazy P`s Ron Basejam drags Greek sunset-worshipping duo, Bonnie & Klein away from the beach, convinces them to down their cocktails in one, and hit his electro-boogie dance-floor. Raising their BPMs by about 40%. The video clip for Ron`s remix of 1983, forthcoming on Is It Balearic?, appropriately cuts up Break Machine.

bonnie klein video 2

On a slightly mellower tip Chris Coco teams up with Nick & Samantha, to produce their Summer Of Love E.P. Smokey sax blows around a broken bossa nova. A summery scat sings of blue skies. Joe Smooth`s Promised Land gets a gentle mannered cover. The vibe`s not nostalgic – more hopeful. While the title track`s a piece of acoustic pop – more suited to sipping chocolate milk and brandy around a Cafe Del Mar campfire, Chris` Disco Dub of Promised Land is four-to-the-floored. He loses the fragile, magical vocal, to focus on the saxophone`s wordless lullaby. Letting the horn soar and spiral through jazz scales. 

I’ve also included George Alexander & Big John Whitfield`s cover of the Joe Smooth anthem. This came out in May but I’ve only just found a copy. Originally released on Viennese label, Record Shack in 2009, this has been picked up by BBE for their classic house “on 45” series. Again, while far mellower than the 1987 OG, it rinses the song for all its gospel worth, making it practically a hymn. Maybe it always was a hymn. Like Ce Ce Rogers` Someday it`s a tune that has me close to tears, as the optimism I felt thirty odd years ago comes rushing back. 

Staying in Europe, there`s a final teaser from the Quiet Force reissue due on Mind Fair`s Rogue Cat Resounds. The German sometimes Innovative Communicators` For Love And Emotions now remixed by NYC legend Justin Strauss, in partnership with Max Pask. While the 100BPM 1988 original, again, is very Cafe Del Mar-esque, Justin and Max take the tempo up to 110. Buzz it with bleeps, moody synths, and sound effects. Bound to a digidub bass-line, it becomes a dark dancer somewhere between Andrew Weatherall stripping-off Meat Beat Manifesto for a sexy skank, and William Orbit`s Torch Song preparing to energize.  

lowell no mattter

From Italy, via Dublin’s Major Problems / Compassion Cuts crew (Hi Robert), there`s Lowell`s No Matter. Something I`d been after since I heard Kito Jempere and Lipelis play it during a brilliant back-to-back set at Harajuku`s Bar Bonobo a few years ago. It`s a pretty piece of extremely rare italo from 1985, with cool vocal and instrumental versions. The uninitiated might need to begin with the inst. but when you’re ready the lyrics exude positivity and unity “no matter what colour, no matter what race”.  On the remix, Ruf Dug does the opposite of Ron Basejam and slows the tune right down (116 to 103 BPM). The fact that Simon manages to gate in samples from Holy Ghost`s Walk On Air will give you an idea of the effect that he’s going for – and succeeds in achieving. 

Afrodite Se Quiser - Fora De Mim

Further afield there`s another lift from Augusto Olivani and Renata Do Valle`s essential Street Soul Brazil compilation on Hello Sailor, plus the flip of Thank You`s reissue of Egyptian Simone`s Mebsouta. The conscious rap of Um Sonho Real, and the ethno-beats of Rekka. 

Edit-wise, legit, Danilo Braca turns Gianni Marchetti`s Free Pop into a building balearic glam stomp, on Poliedizioni. Teasing out Marchetti`s funky clav and sax 70s porno score. 

Gianni Marchetti Art

Less legit, Mondo Dump visit Japan and have their wicked way with tunes by Yasuaki Shimizu and Shintaro Sakamoto. Resulting, respectfully, in Electronic pop proto-house and wonky indie-rock boogie. 

mondo dump art

AM outta The Netherlands have a new four-tracker, the highlight from which – for me – is the burger highlife of Potentiometer`s Solima. From Kalimba-like opening chimes and acoustic strum, it quickly shifts to rocking like a meeting of Hugh Masekela and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Trying not to lose it in the pleasuredome. 

Track-list

Gianni Marchetti – Free Pop (danyb ReVision) – Poliedizioni

As Damas do Rap – Um Sonho Real – Hello Sailor Recordings 

Mondo Dump – Sakamoto – Mondo Dump

Nick & Samantha – Promised Land (Chris Coco dub)

Quiet Force – For Love And Emotions (Max Pask & Justin Strauss mix) – Rogue Cat Resounds

Lowell – No Matter (Instrumental) – Major Problems

Bonnie & Klein – 1983 (Ron Basejam mix) – Is It Balearic?

Potentiometer – Solima – AM

Simone – Rekka – Thank You

BBC – Quality Weed (Remix) – Déclassé

George Alexander & Big John – Promised Land – BBE

Reference Links

Joe Smooth

Someday

Innovative Communication

Meat Beat Manifesto

Torch Song

Holy Ghost

Hugh Masekela

Frankie Goes To Hollywood

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