Friday, 13 August 2010

Various - Balearic Beats - Vol. 1 - The Album

Classic compilation on FFRR, released in 1988.

Picked this up on vinyl recently in Oxfam Music for the bargain price of £4.99! Compiled by Paul Oakenfold, Pete Tong and Trevor Fung, this is all yer Shoom/Spectrum/Future/Ibiza classics rolled into one handy package.

I was too young to appreciate all that crazy ecstasy dance music at the time, and was going through an ill-advised gothy/alternative period myself. When I 'saw the light' circa 1992 and back-tracked accordingly it was a bit of a surprise to see what kinda shit they'd been playing in the clubs just as things kicked off. The Residents? Nitzer Ebb? The Cure, even? WTF - maybe I hadn't been too far off the mark after all. Of course, once the bubble burst and every cunt and his granny were knocking out dance records in their bedrooms they dropped all this shit from the playlists.

The story's been told ad nausea about the infamous trip to Ibiza that kicked things off back in Blighty on return, but if there is anyone remaining in the dance music universe who hasn't read Simon Reynolds' opus "Energy Flash" (shame on you!) then it should fill in all of the appropriate gaps.

It's well worth having a swatch at Terry Farley's sleevenotes which capture the innocence of the whole thing. There's a nice wee video here as well.

I still can't believe that a bona fide classic from that scene came from Mandy Smith, who was seemingly able to juggle between getting pumped by the uncoolest Rolling Stone and producing a (brilliant) club hit with Stock, Aitken and Waterman, all by the tender age of 16...

Various - Balearic Beats - Vol. 1 - The Album
A1 - Electra - Jibaro (Full English 12" Version)
A2 - Code 61 - Drop The Deal
A3 - Beats Workin' - Sure Beats Workin' (El Sonido Casa Balearico)
A4 - Enzo Avitabile - Black Out
A5 - Mandy Smith - Mandy's Theme (I Just Can't Wait) (Cool & Breezy Jazz Version)
B1 - The Residents - Kaw-Liga (Prairie Mix)
B2 - The Woodentops - Why Why Why (Live)
B3 - Nitzer Ebb - Join In The Chant
B4 - Fini Tribe - De Testimony (Collapsing Edit)
B5 - The Thrashing Doves - Jesus On The Payroll (Street Groove)

Buy it here


the saucer people said...

One of the best "balearic" albums ever compiled in my opinion and one of the few I can actually remember where I was when I bought it which was fashionable Woolworth's in Sittingbourne, Kent in 1989!

I remember this for the fact I has finished uni for the year and was working all summer picking and grading green beans on a farm in Kent (ahh the glamour of youth) and we had quickly run out of music that we could all agree on so as I had already bought this album, I got the famer's wife to record this album onto tape (much to her horror and distaste) and it became the de facto summer record.

Its funny isn't it how at least five out of ten of the tracks come from the 'alternative' goth/indie/rock/avant-garde scene and yet they form a smooth continuum with the more 'dance' orientated tracks.

For myself, this was what attracted me to the acid house in the first place, the fact that DJs were playing the kind of music I was already listening to, they just simply put it in a different context.

Hard to believe some of the tracks are over twenty years old as you could drop most of them into a dj set even today and I imagine most of "da kids" would not bat a pierced eyelid!

I have always argued that the roots of acid house music have as much to do with eighties European electronica as they do with Detroit or Chicago and I think this compilation makes the point in spades.

A truly great post Moggieboy!