Monday, November 12, 2012

Sexy, Sophisticated & Melodic: Balearic Dreams - Your Mind is on Vacation (2012)


01 - azymuth - linha do horizonte
02 - jorge ben - oe oe faz o corro de boi na estrada
03 - jago - i'm going to go (instrumental)
04 - tullio de piscopo - primavera (stop bajon) (12inch version)
05 - rah band - float
07 - pino daniele - yes i know my way (special 12inch version)
08 - prism - the white shadow (rare remix of risco connection version - 1980)
09 - salena jones - summertime (mark wayward edit)
10 - supermax - camillo
13 - fleetwood mac - dreams (far away edit)
14 - the hollies - draggin my heels (special disco version)
15 - jimmie rowles - your mind is on vacation


I have finished compiling this selection of some Balearic favourites of mine a while ago, but I thought I ought to do some proper writing to accompany it. What is Balearic? As I can't put it any better - I will give the word/pen to Radio Jiro from the great website Panther Club:  
''First off you need to understand that Balearic isn’t just some kind of genre, it’s more about a vibe, a feeling and an attitude. This might sound like some hippie shit but that’s exactly what Balearic music is all about, it’s about being in Eivissa and listening to Alfredo while you dance naked during sunrise, it’s about that feeling of total euphoria, where there’s no problems just pure bliss (...) There aren’t really any rules as to what can and can’t be classed as Balearic as long as it feels right, but to me it’s usually something sexy, sophisticated and melodic that gets your body and mind feelin’ good.''
Next I am going to quote Apiento's What’s It All About? Balearic Beat In 2012 from Testpressing
''By definition, and harking back to it’s original origins, it means a musical style that means anything goes. To some it means a specific period in Ibizan clubbing history, as Terry Farley, DJ and producer, says when questioned. ''Its all about Alfredo - pure and simple. A South American kid in exile looking at the rich and fabulous slumming it at an after hours club off their rockers and thinking ‘I can play anything and they will dance’. The UK take on Balearic is totally shaped by what he played in those two summer seasons before 1988. By ’88 by and large he was playing HOUSE - using that logic Balearic lived for two beautiful years then died a death in ’88.''
But then again, it is also worth noting - as Bill Brewster, author and DJ, wrote in 2008 on djhistory.com
''In the 1980s, before the arrival of house music, almost all club DJs played an eclectic range of music that might incorporate disco, funk, soul, rare groove, go-go, electro, hip hop and even the occasional comedy record. Nobody billed these DJs as Balearic; a) because the term did not yet exist and; b) because everybody played in this style.

In New York, it was the same story, too. Larry Levan, with his wide ranging tastes that encompassed the classic disco and soul of his youth to bands like the Clash or Cat Stevens or even Nu Shooz, it could be argued (and is, frequently, by some ninnies) that Larry Levan was Balearic. The same could be said for Ron Hardy. And Frankie Knuckles. Oh and Tony Humphries, Shep Pettibone, David Mancuso, Nicky Siano and about a hundred others.''
Back to Apiento from the great Testpressing website: 
''So what does Alfredo, one of the Godfathers of the whole scene, think? “Originally, it was as simple as me trying to make a party with a very cosmopolitan and different crowd very late at night, or very early in the morning!!! A crowd that came from another places and was open to a special experience. This fact gave me the opportunity to play all kinds of styles and tempos of music, and not only English, also Italian, French, Spanish, Brasilian, African, South American… That was the beginning. In actual terms - a mixture of chill out, lounge and dance music. At that time in Ibiza I could play soul, reggae, rock, pop, Latin, and if I like it, the crowd would like it. They where kind of ready for that. And I think they where looking for that 'cos I was one of them!”

It’s certainly true that Alfredo was the original DJ and there are those like Farley who believe his playlist in those two years is where it began and ended, but there are thousands more around the world that picked the baton up and ran with it, loving the anything goes spirit of the genre that allowed DJs and producers to take in folk, ambient, house, R&B and whatever suits the mood.

Manchester duo Moonboots and Jason Boardman of the Aficionado club probably have a better take than most on the overall sound of the modern balearic beat. “Its all about playing anything good outside of the four-four mainstream for minds and feet with a balearic edge. Referencing the multi-tempo playlist of Ku , Shoom and the Cafe Del Mar, disco has been added to the mix alongside electronic and folky oddities.” Bill Brewster shows the extremities of the genre, ''Balearic Beat in 2012 is the same as it was in 2011, 1999 and 1984. It’s shit pop records and brilliant EBM records. It’s everything and nothing.'' We disagree on the shit pop records but then we like The Blow Monkeys. Mark from International Feel, the label behind DJ Harvey’s recent releases amongst many others, also goes for the anything goes angle. ''Balearic Beat is anything I want it to be… Anything you want it to be. In a world of digital noise, black sausage waveforms and ringtone pop music, its pure atmosphere and melody, the last bastion of real emotion in music.'' (...) (Balearic) means the beautiful sounds of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra with their fusion of world and classical music in the 80s. It means finding strange records no-one has ever heard or hoping to find a B side on an Italian pop record with 'that' sound. It could be any of the host of new producers and DJs bringing the sound full circle to the current day and starting to bend its edges into new shapes. It’s getting a new mix (...) and marvelling at the amount of music that fits our world. It’s not just music. Anything can be balearic. The art-house film Bagdad Cafe is very balearic for example, and on the subject of video, if you want to watch the most balearic thing ever then check the Ku Tourist clip Look De Ibiza (...) from the mid-80s with its amazing soundtrack. To summarise, to us its an attitude.
We’ll give the final word to Alfredo. A don and Ibizan legend. ''My definition of Balearic; its a music mostly, eclectic, happy , sexy, not cheesy, that gets its roots in the origins of dance music and flourishes on the dancefloor, as a sound that makes you forget genres, or categories and you just enjoy it, listen to it, dancing and sharing it. Beat poetic, but real!'' 
Here a little selection how the term "Balearic" has been discussed on djhistory.com which pretty much sums up what I wrote/quoted above:
1. Balearic is whatever was in Alfredo's record box back in Ibiza in the mid-'80s and cannot be anything else, or replicated. (It was a time and a place.)

2. Balearic is radio-friendly pop music, but played at *that* moment in the night transforms into a thing of dancefloor magic. (Can be any DJ at any time.)

3. Balearic is a mindset, not a record or a musical style, which understands the first principle and is capable of pulling off the second.
More Balearic Niceness coming in the future! Until then enjoy this first selection of some Balearic favourites of mine.  

DubMe

Original links, videos & some mixes I enjoyed listening to on soundcloud:


2. What’s it all about? Balearic Beat in 2012 (Apiento / February 2012)

3. In Search of Balearic (Bill Brewster / 2008)

4. Balearic Beat on Wikipedia.

5. One March Morning by Moonboots on soundcloud. Quite a few new Balearic classis  on here. Beautiful mix! 

6. Autumn by Wonderfulsound. Deep Balearic stuff for some long Autumn evenings!

8 comments:

  1. just the right size & stuff we love :) great selection, dubme, thank you!

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  2. Hola Mister B&C Great Selection with my Friend Pino Daniele and Tullio De Piscopo Napoli Singer Bless Up My Friend Salut From Naples Babbodub

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  3. congrats dubme, enlightening presentation about balearic sound, keep digging mate

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  4. great stuff dubme! you never fall short of excellent!

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  5. one of my fav comps already nice bro

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  6. Hi! Thanks for all the nice comments! More Balearic beauties coming soon... Been listening to lots of great songs lately... They just keep coming in... ;-)

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