Mark Barrott and Pete Gooding present the fourth volume in their series of stellar collections, showcasing the sunset sounds spun at Ibiza`s Hostal La Torre.
This time, a present from the Golden Girls, a side project of Phil Hartnoll of Orbital fame, kicks off the ceremony. Kinetic, a standout example of blasting early ’90s trance, has been remixed by David Morley into something that is much more in line with the ambient offshoot of Belgian rave label R&S, Apollo.
The next act is NO ZU, an incredible live eight-piece Australian band that tragically seems to have disbanded. Ui Yia UIa’s call and response dialogue gets the party started as they shout out their star signs’ cross-star compatibility while stomping their feet in slow motion. Daphne Camf Rest In Peace.
Bassekou Kouyate is a Malian maestro on the 6-stringed ngoni. A goat-skin covered “hunters harp”, that via slave traders evolved into the North American banjo. With his group, named after this traditional griot instrument, and Zoumana Tereta on lead vocals, he delivers a dizzying display of dexterity on Bala.
American trio, Rare Silk, share their jazz vocal take on Stanley Turrentine`s Storm, where wildlife whistles and chirrups surround soft Synclavier sighs. A marimba doing the mambo, the reeds winding like wafts of smoke carried on warm Caribbean winds. The rhythm that of a gently lapping tide.
The Synergetic Voice Orchestra was a one-time only outfit led by keyboardist / composer, Yumiko Morioka. A follow-up to her highly respected solo piano work, Resonance, the album, MIOS, was a far more ambitious affair that brought together a collective of 6 musicians and 3 vocalists. The results moved away from new age and modern classical toward pop. The track, Zebra has a rumbling thunder-thumbed bass-line. A snake-charming woodwind cutting through the synthetic shimmer, weaving its seductive spell.
Family Doggo first appeared as the b-side of Paul Woolford aka Special Request`s 2020 DnB single, Spectral Frequency. “Doggo” in comparison is an oasis of calm, albeit packing some serious sub-woofer worrying boom. Stripped back, speaker-rattling, electro-edged introspection, emotive and euphoric, it`s bleep`s more sensitive, more thoughtful sibling. The awakening of the morning after the night before`s rush.
Margaret Wakeley’s magical Hard To Leave The Island was initially rediscovered by the people that power the DJ / artist agency, Warm – who took it from Margaret’s 1976 LP, Better Days, and pressed it on a limited 45. A slice of superior soft / yacht rock, it’s a cool cocktail-hour summer holiday serenade. A sophisticated arrangement of brass, jazzy keys, and acoustic strum, topped off by a smart sax solo.
Composer / pianist Lola Perrin`s Cloud Sky Fade is an unadorned, unadulterated, rippling river of cascading classical keys. Licensed from Lola’s 2006 CD, Fragile Light, her piano rolling, reaching crescendos like crashing surf.
Suzanne Ciani has the affectionate moniker of “Diva of the Diode” – reflecting her huge importance in the history of electronic music. While studying in the 70s Suzanne became firm friends with Don Buchla, and subsequently spearheaded the use of his then ground-breaking modular synthesizer. Moving to New York, where she camped out on Philip Glass studio floor, Suzanne became Hollywood’s first female soundtrack composer. In the 80s, Suzanne then started releasing new age records. The beautiful Eighth Wave surely should have been the blissed-out musical backdrop to some 80s art house love scene – summoning as it does silhouettes of cinematic protagonists passionately disrobing through a Vaseline-smeared lens.
JIM is Jim Baron, Crazy P`s Ron Basejam, but in folky, singer / songwriter mode. Coming on like Crosby, Stills & Nash, he covers the Ian Astbury / Billy Duffy penned Phoenix in an ultra-laidback fashion. Singing of love in terms of fire, and flames of desire, backed by acrobatic acoustic picking and sweeping orchestral strings.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Antipodean audio auteur, Geoffrey OConnor, is some forgotten 80s idol. Her Name On Every Tongue, however, dates from 2014, and can be located on Geoff’s sophomore solo long-player, Fan Fiction. The tracks vocoder harmonies proving perfect for a sing along on a top-down, Californian coastal drive.
Things draw to a close with John Foxx & Robin Guthries exceptional Estrellita – a highlight from the pair’s 2009 album, Mirrorball. Generating a glacial glide of layer upon layer of treated guitar. Grounded by womb-like bass vibrations, while Foxxs choirboy croon soars. Lending the song a prayer / hymn-like air. It’s as close as rock comes to something sacred.
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1. Golden Girls – Kinetic (David Morley Remix)
2. NO ZU – Ui Yia UIa
3. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba – Bala feat Zoumana Tereta
4. Rare Silk – Storm
5. Synergetic Voice Orchestra – Zebra
6. Special Request – Family Doggo
7. Margaret Wakeley – Hard To Leave The Island
8. Pauline Anna Strom – Equatorial Sunrise
9. The Vendetta Suite – Warehouse Rock (Timmy Stewart’s Six Minutes to Sunrise Mix)
10. Mark Barrott – Travelling Music (La Torre Reprise)
11. Lola Perrin – Cloud Sky Fade
12. Suzanne Ciani – The Eighth Wave
13. JIM – Phoenix
14. GEOFFREY O’CONNOR – Her Name on Every Tongue
15. John Foxx & Robin Guthrie – Estrellita