Looking For The Balearic Beat / July 2022 / Part 2

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

Part 2. I did promise, didn’t I…

Joe Armon-Jones & Mala – All Ways – Aquarii Records

Joe Armon Jones Mala

Taken from the 5-track E.P., A Way Back, this is a deep, deep, meditative musical dive. Where blissful, womb-like, all encompassing low-end boom wraps its warmth around a fine filigree of piano and guitar detail. It`s a super nice update of Smith & Mighty`s seminal Erik-Satie-at-the-soundclash sonic template.  

Chronixx – Never Give Up – Forever Living Originals

chronixx never give up

Jamaican roots artist, Chronixx, with a very cool vamp on The Wailers` Bob Marley and Peter Tosh-penned, Get Up, Stand Up. Produced by Sault band member, and Forever Living Originals founder, Inflo, this appeared briefly, promo`d, on a limited 10”. A slow, summery strum, Chronixx`s lyrical riffing transforms the paean to the poor and oppressed, its shout for solidarity in the face of adversity (inspired by the slum conditions witnessed by Marley in Haiti) into a plea for apolitical universal love. A call to keep your mind open, for collective overstanding in these testing, troubled, dividing, times. On the flip, a deft dub delivers some nice Nyabinghi rattle amidst the big bass drops. 

Feel Fly – Esperanto – Hell Yeah

Feel Fly Esperanto

Daniele Tomassini aka Feel Fly’s Esperanto first appeared on last year’s brilliant Buena Onda comp. Now singled out, the tune has picked up a couple of contrasting remixes. The original fixed congas and chimes to disco drums and trippy sequences. Its arpeggiated b-line building to showcase some damn fine spirit-lifting 6-string fretwork. It`s kinda like Chris Rea gone cosmic. Marcoradi – one half of Hear & Now – comes up with something more pounding, more “trance-y” for want of a better word. Nicking a nagging motif from an early `90s classic and taking the track through sunset to past midnight. Gallo, on the other hand, weaves feather-like fragments of the OG into a beatless, beachside sunset / sunrise serenade. Calming chords showering in cascades, surrounded by synthesized swells, gifting the listener with keys to their own inner cinema. Providing a place to recollect and reflect, before sending in a shuffling break. 

Funky Folk & Trippy Troubadours Volume 1 – Re:Warm

Funky Folk & Trippy Troubadours

Two singles so fat have been released to promote Re:Warm`s Funky Folk & Trippy Troubadors compilation. Put together by the world renowned Paul Hillery, and named after his marvelous mix series, the music contained really falls into Balearic Mike territory – as he’s the BBTT expert here – but Jeb Loy Nicols is a legend, and Eik`s Mr Sadness is lifted from the flip of a super obscure Icelandic 45, original issued in 1975. I can’t wait to hear the whole album. 

Jasper James – 0141 b / w E – Maniac – ESP Institute

Jasper James ESP Institute

Glaswegian, Optimo Trax alumni, and super-talented son of legendary DJ James “Harri” Harrigan, Jasper James, makes his ESP Institute debut with 0141 – a seismic side of shattered, shuddering, beats and racing ricochets. Splintered shouts and chopped up chants, pounded into sonic submission. With an electricity that echoes of Mark Ernestus / Ndagga`s galloping dubwise griot grooves, this is jumping jit juke jive, fierce footwork fidget. Bursting with energy and totally alive. That`s backed by E-Maniac – house that`s in a real hurry. Rushing dangerously, close to out of control, and rattling keys from a `90s New York garage dub, psycho snares scythe snatches, snippets, of heavy breathing, while the bionic bottom-end rings like a beefed-up take on Jay Dee`s Plastic Dreams.   

Lova – Gypsophila Remixes – NuNorthern Soul

Verona-based musician, Davide “Lova” Lovato`s flower-fancying E.P. from last, year Gypsohilia, receives a trio of remixes on NuNorthern Soul. Danilo Braca takes on Esperanza, Hear & Now do Echoes of Memories, while Leo Mas & Fabrice work their magic on Cecilia. As far as the Balearics go, the latter long-standing DJ & studio duo can do no wrong. It`s their re-fix that`s my personal favourite here. Turning the original’s boogie into an irresistible 105 BPM kick and conga`d chug, the pair gradually bringing onboard a grumbling growling b-line, and tambourine tapping, until the whole thing takes off and soars. Davide`s guitar work evolving from emotive arcs to precisely picked Johnny Marr-like jousting. Locking into a clipped cyclical lick that could almost be a play on Stex`s Still Feel The Rain.

Lova - Gypsophila Remixes

Margot Et Max – Monte La Musique – Chuwanaga

Margot Et Max

A new project from Parisian label, Chuwanaga taps into French dance-floor history, the duo of Margot Lafage and Maxence Robinet, following in the funky footsteps of folks like Micky Milan. With stuttered vocal samples, a la Paul Hardcastle`s NNNNNNN…19, Monte La Musique is a pretty much perfect `80s pop electro-boogie reproduction. Sure it`s a sugary confection, perhaps intentionally so, and perhaps with its tongue in its cheek, but it`s also performed with passion and aplomb. If it`s a homage, then it`s heartfelt, and to my ears is no less dance-able, desirable, than any of the sought-after Italian tracks spun by Ron Hardy at Chicago`s legendary Music Box – such as Radio Rap Band`s Radio Rap – or those dusty European 45s that Cosmic Dudes used to sell for a small fortune. 

Stimela – Rewind – Mr Bongo

Stimela Rewind

Mr. Bongo reissue South African band, Stimela`s 1986 E.P., Rewind. The outfit consisting of a crew of core musicians who rose from the ashes of a group called The Cannibals, once recorded as Kumasi (whose hits were recently compiled by Smiling C), and guested on Paul Simon’s Graceland. The 12 containing 4 tracks, across a variety of tropical tempos. Hate Telling A Lie, for example, is a sleek, extremely soulful, secular, but gospel-infused, sunset / sunrise groove. The church is there in the piano, the backing, and lead vocals. The song starting out sorta sleepy, but rousing, waking, awakening, to an ace axe solo. 

Shaka Doo Ba, meanwhile, is a slo-mo, crashing, clapping drum-machined moment – a crazy cosmic cut with a harmonica-like keyboard refrain. Coming on like Ray Lema`s Dans-o-meter, Bill Laswell`s `80s classic electro cultural collisions on Celluloid, Manu Dibango`s Abele Dance.

Mixes, including tracks from this list, and the previously posted Part 1, are available over on Mixcloud.


Part 1

Good Block – Dryad (Alt Mix)

Ruf Dug – Don’t Give In (Reggae)

Stimela – Shaka Doo Ba

Two The Hardway – Blossom Street Dub

Athletes Of God – Don’t Wanna Be Normal

Projections – Echophonic (Special Dub)

Accura – Jazz Maiden (Jazz Mix)

A Mountain Of One – Star (Arveene Mix)

Lova – Cecilia (Leo Mas & Fabrice Mix)

Saidera – Dexia Tudo Fluir (Uprockin Dub)

Risco Connection – No Stopping

Two The Hardway – Who Said?

Shawn Pittman – I`m Losing Control (Bass-Ment Mix)

The Maghreban & Omar – Waiting

Bright & Morris – New Island Sound

A Man Called Adam – Ammonite

Flavio Vecchi – Work It (Fuckthegovernment LTD Mix)

Bianca – Tabu (Ruf Dugs Caribbean Dub)

Unknown Genre – Elevator Ride

Baldo – Hotplay (Paramida`s Hotpants Remix)

Two The Hardway – Hot Number (Alternative Mix)

Roy Of The Ravers – Emotinium (Original Demo (edit))

Part 2 

Jezebell – Jezebellearic

Matthieu Beck – Suede

Ruf Dug X Private Joy – Don’t Give In (Streetsoul)

Stimela – I Hate Telling A Lie

Bright & Morris – New Island Sound (Dawn)

Matthieu Beck – California

Quinn Luke Lamont – Don’t Run Away (Chris Coco Remix)

Feel Fly – Esperanto (Gallo`s Tropical Hinterhof Remix)

The Inn House Crew – Luanda

Pete Herbert – Far Flung (Gold Suite Restring)

Zenmenn & John Moods – Out Of My Mind

Elaine Hawley – To The Test

Jasmine Myra – Words Left Unspoken

Eik – Mr Sadness

Walter Hawkins – Metropolis 

Chronixx – Never Give Up

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