Original Pirate Material
Originals - Compiled by Moonboots & Balearic Mike (Claremont 56)
Described as ‘twelve rare and exclusive tracks selected by Moonboots and Balearic Mike,’ ‘Originals’ is a new series from Paul ’Mudd’ Murphy’s fantastic ‘Claremont 56’ imprint.
In those rarified ‘Balearic Network’ circles Mick n’ Moon (as no-one calls em) have achieved, if not the financial security that their taste deserves, then at least the critical acclaim of self-appointed Movers & Shakers and even Mookers n’ Shavers.
With ’Originals’ it’s easy to see why they’ve managed to achieve this level of esteem, for make no mistake, these twelve ‘jams’ (as me ma calls em) underline just how deep some DJs are prepared to dig in order to extract Balearic nuggets of rare quality. Knowing just how jealously these lads guard their sources, the first thing that amazed me was that there was a, no doubt contractually binding, playlist included, not that any normal human being would have either the time or inclination to track down most of these uberbalearobscurities.
‘Originals’ begins with Moon’s choice of Sth Notional’s ’Yawn Yawn Yawn,’ a perfect start for such a compilation. Waves wash gently against the shore as a cello and piano combine to take you on a methadone meltdown before aching spoken word vocal oozes cosmic serenity and somnambulant charm. Yawn? I almost came!
Next up is Mike’s cut; Byron’s ’Too Much’ a bouncy boogie-ish belter that gets the foot a-tapping and the chin a-stroking kidda.
Band Aid’s ’A Tour In Italy (dub)’ is another Moon sleckshun and perhaps a contender for The Most Balearic Record Ever! Glockenspiel opening riff? Check! Tinny trumpet? Check! Oozy woozy synth? Check! Bubbly wubbly bass? Check! Funky Chic riff? Check! Irritatingly catchy chorus? Check! Ludicrous foreign vocals? Checkafuckinroony! ‘By the sea, right by the sea! A big un on the Anny Road in 86 this un.
Next up Tony Esposito’s ‘Je Na’ a Mike favourite both for the man’s sartorial elegance - think Doobies era Michael McDonald meets Bob Latchford circa 76 - and the man’s undoubted way with a Euro-pop piece of Dada-ist nonsense. This is pure Alfredo era aceness with a boss break to boot.
Radio Band’s ‘Radio Rap’ is another of Mike’s selections, an Italo-rap masterpiece that provides a clue why there aren’t more Italo-Rap masterpieces out there. Put simply, Italians were not put on God’s green earth to rap and yet there is an undeniable charm in this ultra 80s sounding mock hop which was apparently tracked down via an ancient Ron Hardy mix.
Two Moon grafts next: The Night S-Press’s ‘Dance’ is a poppy gem that fuses the piano riff from The Thrashing Doves proto-Balearic stomper, ‘Jesus On The Payroll’ with a Madonna style vocal and is followed by the Midnight Express sampling dub hop of B:Dum B:Dum’s ‘Instanbul.’ Think The Scream’s ‘Loaded’ meets the Fry’s Turkish Delight advert with Adrian Sherwood producing.
For Mike’s next slab; Fist Of Fact’s ’First Strike’ the man provides copious notes regarding the track’s provenance, informing we amateur diggers that the tune is a ’lesser known gem that appeared on the b-side of a Swiss only release back in 98‘. Sounds like Sal Principato doing PIL to me, but that can only be good.
The next two tracks belong to Moon. Balearic Godfather Phil Mison’s ‘Cantoma’ alter-ego gets the nod with his usual sun-drenched compositions for string and oboe on ‘Maja (Dub)‘ bringing the compilation back down a notch or two back to the sun n’ sea n’ saucy senoritas vibe….. aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh, get the petherdine out Harold! Come on, Primrose, sup up, it’s time to put on Mountaineer’s ’A Town Called Ivanhoe’ and get the treasure chest out. Described by Moon as ‘Lovely, modern German bossa’ he could be referring to Jurgen Klinsmann but somehow I doubt it.
Mike then provide’s Flayer’s gorgeous ‘Wanna Get Back Your Love’ which he imagines as 10cc’s I’m Not In Love if recorded in Ibiza instead of Stockport. I kinda know where he’s coming from but to many people Stockport IS San Antonio. Whatever, it’s a suitably warm and cosy note to end on….but then as a bonus track we get Smith & Mudd’s ‘Wem’ perhaps the only down tempo funkalearic track to name check a small Shrospshire town (apart from the Wooden tops ‘Church Stretton Blues’ that is!)
All in all, ‘Originals’ is what we at Café del Lar would term ’proper old skool Balearic’ that fits together like a plate of squid and a bottle of Cava sangria with a poncho on, playing the castanets…..on a donkey…..in Ardwick! And it doesn’t get better than that!