Review: Sydney label Efficient Space unearths another forgotten classic from the Australian underground. This time in the form of Melbourne synth enthusiast Braden Schlager who produced this record back in 1990 and is considered by some to be the first deep house record to come from Down Under. On the first side are two versions of "Morning" the first "Du Heame Mix" features vocals and is definitely a soulful, tripped out affair. The "Rummage Mix" equally as emotive but more melodic and with some nice floating pads for extra effect. On the flip is "Rummage" on more of an experimental techno tip; dark, booming and crunchy, sounding kind of like LFO. Finally Schlager offers a new track with "King Of Comedy" getting on a smooth and summery balearic vibe.
Review: Manchester's Aficionado label passes on the blunt to Stratus. Self-professed purveyor of "warped soundtracks, fuzzed-out psychedelia and Balearic tendencies", it's hard to argue with him when you listen to this one. On the first side is "Axis" with its spaghetti western vibes spread out over a chilled out and funky break. "Oxwich" is utterly sublime and utilises the sounds of a dreamy acoustic guitar on this imaginary film score. "Solstice" is the blissed out trip-hop vibes of yesteryear, but executed pretty damn well. Finally "Tisno" with its nice bongo rhythms and boogie bassline over dreamy early eighties synth work is as good as anything Max Essa's done.
Review: Here's something of a treat for those of a Balearic persuasion: a musical meeting of minds between the ever magnificent Seahawks and the similarly talented Eddie C, on the latter's Red Motorbike imprint. "Say Hello To Love" sounds like it was created to accompany long, endless sunsets, with woozy guitar lines, gravelly vocals and swirling chords wrapping themselves around a lolloping groove. Things get trippy on the flip, where all parties neck a whole load of hallucinogens and lay down the kind of psychedelic fusion of electronics, effects-laden guitars and hissing percussion of which dear old Syd Barrett would no doubt approve.
Review: Formerly of Classixx fame, Michael David makes his Studio Paradiso debut with two chillingly beautiful moments of Balearica. "Ohana" is a smooth, synth-soaked slo-mo boogie moment that wouldn't sound amiss in a Mudd or Aeroplane selection. "Samurai Dreams" takes us deeper into David's world again... A project created as a hobbiest score to a soft porn film directed by David Cronenberg, it's a beatless web of spiralling arpeggios that are so well tamed and wet sounding they'd make Moroder blush. Sexy.
Review: Not content with just curating an awesome compendium of library music for Lo Recordings this month (Tom Furse Digs), The Horrors bassist/keys man Tom Furse has also conjured four original deliciously Balearic spells for the label. Cinematic, detailed and densely textured; each track is a total trip. "Trans-Universal Express" comes on strong like a Beyond The Wizards Sleeve edit, all percussive and rough round the edges. "The Ocean Is Teacher" is a sandy-toed affair with a sedate heartbeat kickdrum and delicate laps of chords that ebb and flow beneath heavily breathed vocal cries. "Let Your Body Go" flies us east on a Kashmir carpet powered by wind chimes while "Cloud Mountain" is a Mudd-style cosmic yarn where an acoustic guitar and subtle percussion provide the framework for unpredictable synth salvos that whip up and vanish just as the title suggests. Beautiful.
Review: The Mondo label first surfaced back in late-2013 under the tutelage of former Jolly Music producer Francesco De Bellis, 'powered by Gerd Janson's Running Back', channelling a dual interest in library music and the Mondo Movies of 1960s Italian cinema. Across a series of highly prized 12" releases, Mondo has cultivated a slavish following amongst the more horizontally inclined selectors out there. Given their limited nature, it's nice to see Mondo collect their 12" output to date for a wonderful compilation entitled Collezione. The tracklist is programmed to mirror the path of the 12" releases, with L.U.C.A, ROTLA, Studio 22, and Odeon essentially granted chapters to sooth the soul with their deeply textured Balearic sounds.
Still Life - "Dreams Of Forever" (feat David Human)
Joel Armstrong - "Interlude 29" (Beatless version)
Micah - "Dissonant Star"
BalErik - "Don't You Ever Know"
Kybalion - "Moscow At Night"
Micah - "Southend"
Romero - "Red Morning"
QuestionmarQ - "HMS Dubai" (Trafik re edit)
Kybalion - "Under The Sun"
Review: When Global Underground launched their Electric Calm series back in 2002, it was designed to provide a woozy, ambient-leaning accompaniment to the more dancefloor-focused fare showcased on their popular, city-themed DJ mixes. Some six years after the fifth installment, volume six arrives, and it's as becalmed and evocative as you'd expect. Offering a mixture of old-fashioned ambience, James Holden style electronica, IDM and downtempo beats, there's much to admire. Highlights include the woozy chords and twinkling pianos of Romero's "Digital Rain", the low-slung, bongo-laden grooves and fizzing electronics of CJ One's "Pull Out", and the unbridled ambient positivity of Still Life's "Dreams of Forever".