Saturday, 18 July 2009

Various - Balearica 2009

You've got to hand it to Spain's Chus & Ceballos and their Stereo Productions label – they stick to their guns in a way the NRA can only envy. Minimal/minimal techno might be the big thing in Spain right now (or so we keep hearing), but here the C&C music factory (see what I did?) continue to plough their well-established tribal/'Iberican' house furrow like it had never gone out of fashion. You've gotta respect that, I think.

The problem with tribal for me, though, is that it does get a bit samey. So while there've been numerous great productions on Stereo over the years, a whole album of this shizzle can soon pall. Still, Balearica 2009 does have its highlights: D-Unity's The Dream is pretty funky (even if the MLK sample is a tad hackneyed), Stay Together by DJ Chus & Jerome Isma-Ae and Rafa Alcantara's Marena are classic vocal tribal à la Danny Tenaglia while the label bosses' own Iberican Sound bears just a hint of minimal influence in its use of a more heavily electronic sound palette, which shows the label isn't entirely standing still.

Overall then it's a not a bad album – once you get past Balearic Soul's excruciating Olé, which is like a housed-up version of Y Viva Espana or Una Paloma Blanca or some other such dire 1970s package holiday cash-in nonsense. I can't imagine I'll be playing it loads but if you dig the whole Iberican, tribal thing, you'll probably love it.

About the label: Stereo Productions is run by Chus & Ceballos and has been doing this kinda thing for years. Find out all you need to know at their rather spiffing website here.

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