Looking For The Balearic Beat / April 2023

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


Ban Ban Ton Ton’s super reviewer Cal Gibson teams up with Japan-based multi-instrumentalist Jules Brennan as Boogie Brothers Vs Secret Soul Society. Each pseudonym supplying 2 tunes apiece on a new E.P. for Citizens Of Vice. Freaky Francis is chunky, chugging, cosmic disco. Chokka block with Sci-Fi sound effects. Similarly showered, Sunshine Slowdown is vintage synth-led jazz-funk. The fogged frugging of Saturday Night is deceptively densely detailed, full of filtered, feel-good, Philly soul vibes, and echoed instrumentation. Dubbed out beatdown business with a speaker-blowing beast of a bass-line, and a gleeful groove. A party-starting celebration of the weekend. Free, stripped back to almost an accapella, further encourages you to shake your shackles off. Remixed by Pops Neon this then becomes a haunting ethereal nod to both `90s IDM / ambient acid and techno-tinged soulful house. An introspective rave “moment”, which, for me, has a bit of the Billie Ray Martin’s about it. 

Boogie Brothers vs Secret Soul Society


Palms & Charms El Supremo, Sam Bruce has created a couple of new sunstroked soundscapes, under his Canebrake guise. Both are elevated above a sea of standard soft-synth sunset gear by Sam’s kinda blue trumpet. The musicality – something so often missing from modern productions – of his muted horn raises the tracks way above the norm. Sam’s brother, Max Essa, remixes Major Barbara, makes it move to a mid-tempo disco-beat. Supplementing it with little 6-string details that switch between soft Spanish-leaning and sharp new wave nuanced. Bike Ride 6AM sets its keys to a propulsive b-line, with a TB-303 twist. The result like Herb Alpert on acid. Minus Yogi’s rework, however, might just be the standout. A sleek, smooth, tropical take, with sorta skanking keys and a touch of timbales. Partnering Sam’s parping with piano. 

Canebrake Major Barbara : Bike Ride 6am


Chris Coco joins forces with DJ Rocca and together, as Cocorocca, they collaborate with Italian performance artist, Niconote. Rocca’s rub is a pumping and percolating Italo disco update, that builds to surround Nico’s sexy, sultry Sueno Latino vocals with spinning, spiraling arpeggios. Constructing a sort of trance-y tunnel for the more discerning darker dance-floor. Chris’ cut is more abstract, more avant. The swinging beat offset by moody chords in a mutant mix of jazz and new wave. The guitar buzzing around a big tribal thump. Full of rhythmic flicker, it’s deeper, dubbier, plain weirder. 

Cocorocca Paradiso Inconsapevole


eyes of others big companies

There are two new pieces of “post-pub couldn’t get in the club music” from John Bryden’s Eyes Of Others. The first, Big Companies, Large Tentacles, is a strong flashback to the British Balearic Beat of the early 1990s, with John’s post-punk prose hijacking some proper acid house. Adding an indie-rock edge and a `60s psyche organ. The second, Once, Twice, Thrice, is a laidback, loved-up lullaby that has a kind of Washed Out (the band) vibe. Its blend of breakbeat, bucolic chimes, and melancholy poetry, its retro rattling, reminds me a little of TV Girl’s Who Really Cares – sorta like a broken hearted Beastie Boys. The Orielles’ remix deconstructs the drums, chopping and screwing them into an excellent echoey electronic dub. Sending in serrated sections of the original. Speeding up and stuttering the vocals.


Good Block step away from the serious business of their terrific post-punk dub 12, Naiad / Dryad, with an E.P. of fun edits for the “mysterious” Duca Bianco. Snaker is sample and breakbeat-stuffed late `80s pop dance, featuring some incessant, crazy cowbell. Heavy on the high-hats, Mouse House’s vocalist might just be a legendary Jamaican MC (the clue’s in the title) – or someone doing their very best impression of him. Sleep Bullet is a shot of camp hi-energy. A dose of the Divines and Bobby O. Pumping and pounding pop of the Dead Or Alive, Scarlett Fantastic, Viscous Pink variety. For my money though, Bisnes, is the one – combining Spanish singing and chanting with a big bashing and crashing, almost industrial chug. Boasting bursts of  bionic brass and slapped bass sections, it’s like Tackhead remixing The Gipsy Kings, minus the flamenco flourishes. As a wise old DJ famously once said, “Don’t fear the cheese.”

Good Block X Duca Bianco


Damian Harris remixes Crazy P’s Jim Baron into Balearic pop near perfection for his newish label, Vicious Charm. Blue-eyed soul with beefed-up beats and gospel pianos, its mission to win your heart assisted by lyrics concerned with old friendships and nostalgia. A sing-along of congas, cowbells, hand claps, and strummed guitars, it’s sure to be a big summer hit.



Left Ear and Mixed Signals have licensed Chicago trio, LITIA=LOE’s 1994 mini-LP, Life, Love, Dance. The record features 4 originals and 2 alternate instrumental takes. Rush possesses something of Prince’s perviness, while its moody synths make it a kissing cousin of Master C&J’s classic Dub Love. The pace-ier Peep Show’s treated vocals – trippy with treacly reverb and delay – counter the track’s super stripped back rhythm. Filled with filtered flickering percussion, First World is a dynamite Dance Mania-like mover. Whisper To Me also rockets along like a runaway express train, its hook a nagging repetitive riff. The drums rattling with increasing intensity. Computerized cowbell doing its best to keep up. Clearly Italo-influenced, the set is similar, say, to Frankie & Jamie’s Waiting On My Angel. Rough and raw. Passion over polish. 




Those much-loved, Midlands diggers extraordinaire, Wrekin Havoc, are back, sharing another stack of repurposed pop, with all profits from the desirable – something for everyone – 12 going to charity. For starters there’s the sophisticated strut of Double Deb, all clipped rhythm guitar and faux brass blasts, sounding to me like a French, female-fronted ABC. Boon Rocks is bonkers electro, defined by its mad bass synth. Kool Keith finds folks rearranging Raze’s Break 4 Love into some reggae-fied skanking, replete with a slice of toasting. Splash Gordon touches down, furnishing an emotional end-of-the-nighter. An ace AOR / blue-eyed soul sing-song swayer, with gently weeping, and wailing, guitar, that’ll have refreshed revellers joining hands and voices to its chorus of “A change is gonna come.” Rumour has it that the chaps next outing will eschew edits for originals.


Eyes Of Others – Once Twice Thrice

Jim – Still River Flow (Generalisation Dub)

Wrekin Havoc – Kool Keith 

Paolo Mosca – EthnicTronic

Canebrake – Bike Ride 6AM (Minus Yogis Remix)

Boogie Brothers – Sunshine Showdown

Woolfy – Aeroplane

Eyes Of Others – Big Companies, Large Tentacles

Cocorocca & NicoNote – 

Woodleigh Research Facility – Crack Ed

Jezebell – Trading Places (2AM)

Chris Munoz – Big Sam

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