Jezebell have a new track out. Produced to help promote / commemorate / coincide with Darren – one half of the duo, alongside Jesse – hosting a day of music, poolside, at the White Isle`s most infamous hedonistic haunt, Pike`s Hotel.
A daydream-like drift, perfect for that shimmy from sunset to twilight, Jesse described the tune to me as “a full blown tribute to Ibiza”, “both cheeky and reverential”, sampling as it does several pop hits from those pioneering pre-acid house daze that gave birth to the Balearic beat. Full of gently flickering, fluttering, percussion, and grounded by a groovy bass-line, the piece is peppered with dialogue from the one and only Alfredo Fiorito. Backed by filtered, fragmented breaks, the genre-not-genre`s Godfather describes his search for freedom, and paradise, while rattling off an incredibly eclectic list of songs that he`d play to keep his devoted Amnesiacs moving. A soundtrack to life-changing, world-shaking, moments in love. In the words of the maestro himself, “To make them dance, you have to tell them a story…”
Listening to Jezebellearic took me back to my own conversations with Alfredo. The sampled dialogue sounds a lot like he’s reading straight out of “the yellow book”. I`d arranged to meet him in Tokyo, for breakfast. He and his son, Jaime*, had flown in the night before, and immediately done a fairly toe-curling interview for the live-streaming institution, Dommune – where the questioning had been along the lines of
“So how did you meet Paul Oakenfold?”
“Can you tell me more about Danny Rampling?”
So to begin with, Mr. Fiortio, he was understandably a little bit bad tempered and grumpy – berating Nozo, the Japanese promoter who’d brought him over. To be honest, I was struck by how old Alfredo was. He was a hero, a legend. In my mind he couldn’t age. It made capturing his story all the more important.
As with with most folks I’ve been lucky enough to chat to in person, once we got going, Alfredo was extremely generous with his time. Overrunning the scheduled 30 minutes, into hours.** It was actually me that had to call things to a close, as I had to dash off to pick up my kids from school – a bullet train and some 350 KM away. I asked him if there was anyone else, regarding the “birth of the Balearic beat”, that I should speak to, and he wrote me a list of names and phone numbers – something I`ll treasure forever, and aim to get framed. I also – I’m a fanboy and I just don’t care – got him to sign the cover of my copy of Elkin & Nelson’s Jibaro.*** As we shook hands and bid our farewells, Alfredo said, “Thank you. But you never ask me anything about Danny and Paul?”
“If I wanted to learn about them, I`d speak to them. Man, it was an absolute honour to find out all about you.”
*Alfredo`s primary purpose at the time seemed to be helping to promote Jaime`s DJ career.
**Before you ask, yep, I have it all on tape.
***Alfredo seemed a little shocked that I should want him to “deface” the artwork – as if it would reduce the record`s value, instead of making it priceless.