More Balearic inspired music targeted at the discerning if ageing post-clubbing crowd (by which I mean: stopped clubbing years rather than hours ago).
I recently reviewed José Padilla's So Many Colours album and this new Balearic compilation album is imaginatively entitled Balearic and feels like it comes from a very similar place, and not just geographically. The 13 pieces here have been selected by Chris Coco and Jim Breese. Coco was a key part of the first wave of Ibiza-inspired albums, having been part of the company that put together the Real Ibiza compilations in the 90s, and the wave of chill-out releases that chased on their heels. Breese was a resident at Café Mambo and now produces the Ku De Ta albums for the well-known Bali-based sunset venue.
Balearic very much treads the chilled sunset celebrating path you would expect. The songs here are going nowhere fast, happy instead to bask in the warm glow of an orange sun that gradually threatens to drop from the sky and plunge everyone below it into a more forgiving inky-well of nighttime desire. Which is to say this is music to listen to in good weather before you go out.
For those, like me, who have largely placed such evenings behind them what you get is a delicately played selection of songs that evoke memories of the island's white walls and quiet corners. Joan Bibiloni's Spanish guitar picks out melodies that reflect Ibiza's sun caked and slowed down style of living perfectly, opening the album much in the style it continues.
There are moments of modern ambient styles - Johnny Nash with Phantom Actors - and these lounge next to tracks that combine Spanish influences with electronic and ambient production. The Open Space Remix of Nautic's Freedom of the Floor is a great example of this - female vocals swirling in echo as a Mediterranean guitar picks out melodies amid synths that wash like a warm ride over the listener.
There is no escaping the fact this album largely reflects the same sounds that have long been associated with Ibiza's chill scene. Several tracks sound like artists that grew out of that movement's popularity - Zen Baboon's La Maison Vert could be an Air track lifted straight from their first album.
The album is best when it throws the net for inspiration a little wider than the early noughties to catch something less overtly populist. Everything in here is still very rearward facing, but tracks like Don Carlos' Ouverture are rooted in a 90s dream house music aesthetic that ironically feels fresher in hindsight. Similarly a rare 1991 classic from Manabu Nagayama & Soichi Terada called Low Tension.
Chris Coco also introduces his own new project Nick & Samantha, whose Bitter Sweet Song is a lilting acoustic ballad that gently winds the album up before it concludes Nils Frahm's beautiful Over There, It's Raining.
How you feel about tracks like Coco's gently inoffensive Bitter Sweet Song is likely to influence much of how you feel about this album. Little here beyond Low Tension, Ouverture and Over There, It's Raining feels genuinely essential... But if the thought of sitting in the sun with gentle Balearic-inspired music warms your soul a little then you are likely to enjoy the ride Coco and Breese take you on here.
Balearic is released on 22 June. Preview the album below.