VA: Cosmic Balearic beats Vol. 1

Seventy-three minutes of cosmically cruising “Balearic” beats blended into one non-stop grooving mix by Skinny Joey. Traces of disco, house, funk, italo, electro, and even prog bob to the surface of volume one's thirteen tracks, making the trip always scenic and generally epic. A midtempo drum machine pulse fixes itself metronomically in place throughout and so too does the trippy, galaxial vibe.

Mat Anthony and Martin Jenkins' Stratus cut “Footprints” sets the mood with a funkily strutting, cowbell-banging groove spearheaded by a pulsating bass line and sweetened with synth sunshowers, after which Phoreski (London-based Neil Dunn) serves up the proggy space-funk of “80's Boy.” “Grow Your Hair” by Coyote (DJs Timm Sure and Ampo) amps up the trippy ante with its psychedelic, bass-heavy funk but Maelstrom escalates the intensity even more in “Petrichor” with a fusion of Indian music and disco. The first four tracks steadily build in intensity until they culminate in Laurent Grauwels' cosmic Homerun cut “The Killer Storm” but that peak is quickly trumped by the throbbing, guitar-inflected space rumble of Rubber Room's (Skinny Joey and Ferre) “Cockroach.” Some left turns follow: the presence of sultry female vocalizing in Spektrum's “Fit Together” (remixed by Cosmo) adds an ear-catching twist to the largely instrumental collection, and clavinet playing lends Lullabies In The Dark's “Estrella” ‘70s flavour (as does its synth solo). As we near journey's end, Ichisan's (Igor Skafar) and Flagranti's (Sasha Crnobrnja and Alex Gloor) disco-throbbing missiles “Radar Pulse is Sent” and “Personal Angst” streak respectively across night skies at light speed. Only at disc's end does the tempo slow, specifically for the soul-disco meteor showers of Lovelock's “Don't Turn Away (From My Love).” There's not a dud in the bunch and the cuts mesh like cogs in a well-oiled machine so strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.

December 2008