Chocolate Milk & Brandy / A Few Favourites From 2020

Looking back at the year, music to accompany those sunset cocktails came from all quarters – from globally recognized giants, such as the Brothers Eno, to those, like Gigi Masin, who go criminally unsung. 

There was music from old friends – Steve Cobby, Rune Lindbaek, Ruf Dug`s Ruf Cutz, and Phil Mison`s Cantoma – plus future classics from names that were new to me at least: James Bright, Felbm, David Harks, Raymond Richards, Reuben Vaun Smith,  Slow Attack Ensemble, Yamp, and Cal Gibson`s Secret Soul Society. 

There were new labels too, like Eclectics, Ish and Modern Manners, as well as those such as Archeo Recordings, Balearic Social, Growing Bin, Hell Yeah!, Is It Balearic?, Music For Dreams, and NuNorthern Soul, who continued to carry the Cafe del Mar torch. The latter`s Joan Bibiloni E.P. deserving an extra special balearic big up. 

Be With Records` partnership with KPM picked up apace, with stunning sets from Seahawks and Jon Tye`s Ocean Moon. 

More esoteric moments came from the truly mediative Melody As Truth, Canada`s sublime and subversive Seance Centre, and the consistently envelope-shredding 130701. 

There were tributes to Andrew Weatherall – man, I still can’t believe that he’s gone – from Nina Walsh`s Woodleigh Research Facility and the remaining Sabres, Jagz Kooner and Gary Burns` Stray Harmonix. 

Timeless UK and European techno / trance – much of it championed by Mr Weatherall upon its original mid-90s release – appeared to get a reappraisal, with essential reissues from Global Communications, Primitive Painter, and lesser known treasure from Ebi, Higher Intelligence Agency, and State Of Flux, with Music From Memory providing the perfect primer in the shape of their Virtual Dreams compilation. There were also fresh frequencies that pushed this sound forward from artists such as Phonica favourite,  Asyncronous.  

White Isle residents DJ Pippi and Willie Graff represented on Leng, with Lunares. Balearic beat veterans, Richard Norris, and A Man Called Adam, reinvented themselves through healing, analogue kosmische and delicate, digital sound design. The Orb – thank goodness – kept on being The Orb.

On the rock front the mysterious Common Saints resurrected the passions of Mancunian balearic guru, Moonboots – Hallelujah!!! – and brought him back to the fray. 

Jazz came in the form of spiritual fusions made by Tenderlonious on a trip to Lahore. Cafe del Mar stalwarts Mikkel Nordso and Ole Theill also flexed free-flowing ECM-esque muscle. Greg Foat released the stellar Symphonie Pacifique. Then there were those lush Lady Blackbird reworks from Greg and Chris Seefried.

The South Americas strutted their stuff on a range of reissues, beginning with John Gomez` priceless Priscilla Ermel retrospective, and blossoming into bounty galore with sides from Mr Bongo, Time Capsule, and Vampi Soul.

Japanese gems also showered down – both brand-spanking and shiny, and coveted, and archival – with fresh fancies forthcoming from artists such as Karel Arbus & Eiji Takamatsu, Chari Chari, Tokyo Black Star, Hiroshi Watanabe, and guitarist Leo Takami – and labels like Archipelago, Jansen Jardin, Palms & Charms. 

Notable Nippon reissues focused on Haruomi Hosono, Yumiko Morioka, and The Kindaichi Mystery Band. WRWTFWW made available – for the first time – vinyl pressings of masterpieces by Yoshi Ojima and Somei Satoh. Both mood and mind-altering in very different ways….

…and finally there was a comp called Oto No Wa – giving me an excuse – not to blow my own trumpet – but to shout out huge THANK YOUs to my friends and fellow compilers, Ken Hidaka and Max Essa, to Music For Dreams for their perseverance and patience, and to everyone who lent their support.

None of this of course would likely even exist, certainly not in this context, with disparate genres rubbing shoulders, side by side, holding hands, if it weren’t for the lasting legacy of José Padilla Maria Requena. May the maestro rest in peace. 

Here’s wishing you all – everything crossed – a more prosperous, less crazy, New Year.

New Stuff…..

More can be found on a music kindly hosted by Eclectics….


Again more can be found on a mix kindly hosted by Disappearing Dining Club….


New Stuff….
Rune Linbaek – San Agustin
Roger & Brian Eno – Spring Frost
Ocean Moon – Crystal Drift
Seahawks – Sun Salute
Gigi Masin – Nefertiti
Karel Arbus & Eiji Takamatsu – Artes Mechanicae
Tokyo Black Star – Kagura
Stray Harmonix – Mountain Of One
Leo Takami – Quiet Waters
Steve Cobby – Dandelion Clocks
Dmitry Egravov – Endless
First Minute Of A New Day – June 15th
Raymond Richards – Denton, Texas
Yggdrasil – Dimun
Woodleigh Research Facility – Woodleigh Lament
Richard Norris – Water
Suso Saiz & Suzanne Kraft – Nunca
Ocean Moon – New Infinity
Asyncronous – Padma Kirtanam
Gigi Masin – Anemone 
Lady Blackbird – Beware The Stranger (Chris Seefried`s Remix)
Karel Arbus Eiji Takamatsu – Tracer
Jonny Nash & Suzanne Kraft – Breath Chant
Greg Foat – Island Life
Ole Theill – Sunfoni
Ocean Moon – Forest Motion
Lexx – Farewell Sayonara
Fools – Metaqua
Gigi Masin – Mayoslide
Lady Blackbird – Collage (Greg Foat Remix)
Seahawks – Rolling Deep
Asa Tone – To Tell A Picture
Raymond Richards – Fossil Oregon
Nordso & Theill – Castanos Azules
A Man Called Adam – Tak Bat (Vangelis Edit)
Gigi Masin – Khalifa Golf Club
The Orb – Ital Orb (Too Blessed To Be Stressed)
Gallo – Flensburg
My Friend Dario – Storm
Harks & Mudd – Susta
Yggdrasil – Dimun (Mike Salta & Mortale Remix)
Woo – Arc II (Ultramarine Remix)
Seahawks – Hot Sand Shuffle
Common Saints – Idol Eyes
Florin Buchel – Co-Moving Distance
Mali I – Sunday Feel
Seahawks – Catch A Wave
James Bright – World So High
Max Essa – Jules Y Cynthia (Eddie C Remix)
Yamp – Fuyu No Ne
Secret Soul Society – Greg Meets Billie Downtown
Greg Foat – Pointe Venus
Maat – Feuglace
Dub Mentor – Guava
James Bright – The Level (Statues Remix)
Seahawks – Sky Blue Sky
Cantoma – The Mountain
Cantoma – Closer (Apiento Remix)
Jacob Gurevitsch – Finus
Ruf Dug – Episode 5 – 6
Asyncronous – Shinkansen 
Hiroshi Watanabe – Kariboshikiriuta
Sinead O`Connor – Trouble Of The World

Mix for Eclectics….
Seu Jorge & Roge – Pra Você Amigo – Night Dreamer
Jura Soundsystem – Karahi King – Isle Of Jura
LX72 – Passing Time – Lexx Music
Dan Fabrice – Yes, I`m Available – Eclectics
Gallo – Small Things (Balearic Gabba Soundsystem Remix) – Hell Yeah
Expositions – Energia Mistica – Balearic Social
Tuccinelli – Different Nature – Modern Manners
Reuben Vaun Smith – Sunshine Flute – Soundway
Pablo Color – Los Claveles 36 – Ish
My Friend Dario – Fenice – NuNorthern Soul
Kenkou – Everlasting Dreams (Calm Remix) – Hell Yeah
Reuben Vaun Smith – Under The Thunder – Soundway
Natural Hugh – Fountains – Jansen Jardin
Quiroga – Chiaia Sunset (My Friend Dario Remix) – Hell Yeah
DJ Pippi & Willie Graff – Lunares – Leng
Secret Soul Society – Sunday Brown – Paper Wave
Cantoma – Solando – Highwood Recordings
Chari Chari – Uluwatu Monkey Dance – Groovement
Steve Cobby – Shatterproof Bionic Heart – Déclassé
Okinawa Delays – Just A Little Lovin (Seahawks Remix) – Archipelago Records
Seahawks – Smooth Runnings – KPM / Be With
Greg Foat – Lament For Lamont – Strut

Yumiko Morioka – Komorebi
Pauline Anna Strom – Freedom At The 45th Floor
MLO – Birds & Flutes
Hiroshi Yoshimura – Creek
Yoshi Ojima – Sealed
Suzanne Ciani – Velocity Of Love
Brian Eno – Always Returning 
The Arc – Orphic Mysteries
Bedouin Ascent – Joyriding III
Craig Kupka – Electric Piano, Vibraphone and Percussion
Priscilla Ermel – Martim Pescador
Yumiko Morioka – 銀の船
Ebi – Chuu
The Grid – Floatation (Special Request Remix)
Global Communication – Epsilon Phase
Haruomi Hosono – Ambient Meditation #3
IAO – Feel The Forgotten Sense 
Higher Intelligence Agency – Orange
Primitive Painter – Levitation
Sun Electric – Love 2 Love
State Of Flux – Mercury
Haruomi Hosono – Armenian Orientation
Hiroshi Yoshimura – Green
Dubtribe Sound System – Sunshines Theme (Sunshines Mix)
Petros Soutaris – Attica
Suzanne Ciani – The Eighth Wave
Jon Hassell – Toucan Ocean
Reload – La Soleil Et La Mer
Tommy Mandel – Alpha (Flutes)
Spark Sparkle – Lazy
Haruomi Hosono – Honey Moon
The Kindaichi Mystery Band – 三つ首塔

Mix for Disappearing Dining Club…..
Asha Puthli – Right Down Here
Serginho – Batalha Maravilhosa
Pedro dos Santos – Sorongaio
Smoke City – With You
Fulvio Maras, Alfredo Posillipo, Luca Proietti – Sotto La Cascata (Remix)
Estela Magnone & Jaime Roos – Tra Tus Ojos
Miquela – I A Des Sers
Stelvio Cipriani – Orgasmo Nero
Al Diaz – Whats In A Name
Travesia – En Este Momento
Ike Turner – Thinking Black
Hugo Jasa – Y El Tiempo Pasa
Marcia Maria – Amigo Branca
Fairuz – Aloula
Joan Bibiloni – Joana Luna
Gratien Midonet – Ven En Leve
Elia Y Elizabeth – Alegria
Octavio Burnier – Que Nem Sol

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