Words by the ever erudite Adam Turner.
Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams imprint is celebrating 20 years, two decades of releasing, in their own words, ‘Danceable Balearic and electronic, to beautiful ambient music’. Those celebrations involve the 10th edition of their Sunset Sessions compilations – an album split into two parts. Part 1 came out in June, with Part 2 available today – containing eighteen tracks, compiled by label boss, Kenneth Bager – who also features on several of them.
There’s so much music here – not just the number of songs – but the length of them too. Many of them going over the five minute mark, nine of them heading north of six minutes and two coming in at around nine. It’s almost too much to digest in one sitting and while there’s a definite similarity in terms of sound and feel, there’s a wide range of styles and musical genres on offer.
The collection commences in laid back, almost sombre, style, with reverb-laden piano and strings from Vinicio Adames, and a wordless female vocal. The electronics come in with Betrayal, a collaboration between Islandman and Kenneth. Boasting a bubbling, filtered synth, which is quickly joined by a violin, pushing neo-classical influences to the fore, then eventually giving way to a bass-line and some pitter pattering pads. The track takes its time, toplines rising and falling, melodies dropping in and out – Danish minimalism meeting Turkish Balearica.
Ken Fan’s Momentum Of Love kicks in with a spoken sample about love and waking up, harking back to the sides of the late `80s and early `90s, those of legendary White Isle-bound acts like A Man Called Adam. Long synthesized notes, piano and that sampled voice again, ‘More people are waking up, more people are starting to believe…’. It`s a full-on 60s / 90s / 2020s circle completed.
Mr. Bager returns with Hess Is More and Iboja Wandall-Holm, on the very chilled Det Var Hvor Det Var. Bass and percussion accompanied by a sweet song and a twinkling tune. The singer takes off, jazz / Afro blues floating over the track. Jamie Porteous plays some light, early evening keys on his La Vida En Bici. Multiple voices and drums join in. With Lips Lips Lips’ Soon, remixed here by Valentin Huedo, things take a slightly shadowy turn, the insistent rhythms and sequences building for several minutes, before a euphoric breakdown and then starting all over again. Subnesia, a Denmark / Ibiza face-off, have echoes of Yello crossed with deeper house sounds.
Belgian Balearic heroes, Rheinzand, are represented not once but twice. First on their own, with Ibiza Macht Frei, and then as the duo of Charlotte and Reinhard, who deliver, We Can Dance-Just An Illusion. The former has an airport announcer making a final boarding call, Spanish dialogue, trumpets, bongos, panpipes, and a warm bottom-end, and eventually a lazy but insistent beat, as Rheinzand’s signature dance-pop builds a head of Mediterranean steam. The latter is a super sultry cover of the old Imagination top 10 hit – Charlotte reinterpreting the classic late `80s groover, and summoning sexy scenes of sleazy summer holidays, dodgy discotheques, Club Tropicanas, suntans, very short shorts, and white espadrilles.
DJ Pippi brings the prettily picked and strummed acoustic guitars, with Riccio on the remix, for a nine-minute odyssey as the sun sinks into the sea. Pippi and Kenneth then both re-appear on Bailando Contigo, alongside The Swan And The Lake, bringing Chilani and Rosebud along for the ride too. The tone taking on a darker, duskier hue, as sunset travels toward night.
The set begins to draw to a close with Dalholt’s La Vie – restrained, low key Balearica with a distant vocal and lots of filters, slowing the tempo as dawn beckons. The closing, Creaky And Mellow, by Laudness, returns us to where we started, with heavily reverbed piano and strings – the comedown and melancholy after all that dancing and fun, fading into the buzz of morning traffic. Time to go home.
You can find more fine prose from Adam Turner over at his own brilliant blog, The Bagging Area.