Terry Farley sets the scene:
“now while it’s true that the balearic beat was born in IBIZAN clubs, such as AMNESIA and PASHA, its breeding took place in a small, sweaty, strobby, smokey south london club called ….. THE SHOOM. the hardcore original shoomers, along with another london club THE FUTURE, had discovered the JOYS of balearic beats, during several previous “summers of love” (sic), and had brought the music and the attitude back to london with them. the kinectic style of dancing now associated with balearics ugly brother, ACID HOUSE, is pure ibizan in origin.”
Balearic Beats Volume 1 was compiled in 1988 by Paul Oakenfold, Pete Tong and Trevor Fung. I first heard during the spring of 1989 and promptly made a copy of it. That cassette was played endlessly. At home when my parents were out. On my Walkman as I cycled to school. In the language laboratory while I was supposed to be listening to French tapes. I even gave a copy to my local pub and asked them to blast out during that massively hot summer. Hands down it’s one of the greatest albums ever – across all genres. Ten tracks of blinding brilliance, hectic hedonism and euphoric ecstasy.
We start with the tribal rhythms of Electra’s Jibaro. The Full English 12″ mix which is a raucous beast of a tune. This is followed by some new beat; Code 61’s swirling edgy Drop The Deal with its Eastern vibes and paranoid Miami Vice dialogue samples. The bar is raised once again with Sure Beats Workin’ [created by Nicky Holloway]; You Take Me Up. The machines take me over. Everything starts with an E. The pummelling beats continue with the jazzy-meets-Italo-sliced-with-new-beat of Enzo Avitabile and Blackout. Pitch that one back to 33.
In 1986 Mandy Smith was signed to PWL by Stock, Aitken and Waterman. Her debut single I Just Can’t Wait bombed but gained a new lease of life during late 1987 with its Cool and Breezy Jazz version. A top drawer Balearic anthem. At this point the album shifts direction to a more guitar-orientated pasture. It’s The Residents and the sprawling Prairie mix of Kaw-Liga. A mindbending trip of Hank and Jacko elements which complements the squalling indie beat mash of The Woodentops. Clubs should play Why Why Why every night.
Things take a harder turn with Nitzer Ebb’s Join In The Chant. A sort of industrial singalong – “guns! fire! muscle! burn! burn!”. If you think that’s amazing that wait until you hear Finitribe’s jack-hammering crash of relentless beats and bells threatening to bring the virtual roof down. There’s only one way to go and that’s to hell. The Thrashing Doves see us on the way with the chugging Jesus On The Payroll (Street Groove) complete with mesmerising piano breakdown.
And back over to Terry for some final thoughts:
“…..loads of hugs and kisses … smiley t-shirts and happy faces…. feeling saucey instead of sauced……eating fruits on the dance floor….bashed up converse trainers…..lovely girls with blinding accents…..ice pops…..hedionism….sparklers at the future….indian belly dancers at the shoom….almost everyone finally realising that “only love can conquer hate”….watching the sun set at the café del mar….watching the sun rise on primrose hill….the karma collective….poncho’s pony tails and body paint….dj alfredo….new friendships….loads more hugs and kisses….just let this piece of warm anglo-ibizan club culture rush over you, enjoy it mateys!!!”
Code 61 – Drop The Deal
Finitribe – De Testimony (Collapsing Edit)
Lest we forget
Mandy Smith – Mandy’s Theme (I Just Can’t Wait) (Cool and Breezy Jazz Version)