To crack a festive cliche, Christmas has come early.
I received this in the post yesterday. Phil Mison`s Tape #1. Tape # fucking 1! It was here that Señor Mison`s DJing career began. Before the residencies at London’s Milk Bar and Ibiza`s Cafe Del Mar. This was the musical “calling card” that opened the door to nigh on three decades of spinning and making music – the odd bit of journalism and some ace compiling. Keeping the balearic flame burning while the rest of the dancing world went prog house, US house, techno, drum n bass. Recording as Cantoma Phil pretty much defined the “chill-out” genre.
“If I hadn’t come home from Ibiza one summer and decided to make this tape – after hearing Jose Padilla play his first season at the Cafe Del Mar – I probably would never have ended up DJing at all. I had a few “Cafe” sounding records, so I went round my friend Joanne’s to do this mix. I gave a copy to another mate Tony, who was an old friend of Darren Emerson. Darren liked the mix and asked if I wanted to play some records at his night at the Milk Bar. I said yes, and everything took off from there really. So huge thank yous to Jose, Jo, Tony and Darren. As Penguin Cafe Orchestra`s Simon Jeffes once said, the random elements in life are the most important!”
Now tell me that hasn’t got your attention. If that isn’t something to take pride of place in the old balearic museum.
The tape dates from July 1991. I recognize little on it. Save a few of Phil`s “signature tunes” – songs he introduced me to, so as far as I’m concerned they’re his. No Man’s Days In The Trees. William Orbit`s Riding To Rio. Goodness knows in 1991 I had my toes poking over the edge of “the void” and was about to spend around three years in surrender to it. I think the closest I came to “chillout” was Bandulu`s Invaders. I still have no idea – despite hassling him for info – how Phil came up with such a timeless selection way back when. He was probably only twenty (Jose Padilla would have been thirty-six).
Acoustic strings. Treated vocals, and rippling pianos. Flashy fretless bass and EG Editions. Trippy twilight trance signals. Beatless silicon sirens` calls. Melancholy pop segued into Strange Cargo. Synthesized shakuhachi, muted horns and congas. Zen garden calm and Belgian beauties. Chamber music counterpoint, Celestial new age. Aquatic, ethereal Lynch-ian atmospheres. Sexy Sherilyn Fenn. Celtic themes, synth-y film scores. Alt. country laments. Sax at sunset. Dub odysseys. Rave b-sides with proper house b-lines. A journey that concludes where kosmische meets Hollywood. Just like the last time Phil was kind enough to share a mix, I’m gonna post a partial track-list. If folks could help, and chip in with IDs, well then that would be smashing.
Huge thank yous to both Phil and Robin “Faze Action” Lee – who did such a brilliant job of rescuing and restoring the tape.
2. Bryan Ferry – Nocturne
4. It`s Immaterial – Ordinary Life
6. Strange Cargo – Riding To Rio
8. Herb Alpert – Rotation
9. Andy On The Eve – Melodies Of Passion
10. Penguin Cafe Orchestra – Perpetum Mobile
12. No Man – Days In The Trees
20. Tangerine Dream – Love On A Real Train