SPECIAL OCCASION - Ibiza Redux
Dunno how it’s going wherever you are in the world, but – UNTIL TODAY AT LEAST – summer in London 2019 has been, to use the official meteorological term, “utter shite”. Thank god then for this factor-30-slathered 6-track 12” from Special Occasion, Guy Gormley and David Gray’s first new material together since 2017’s brilliant The Word tape (so brilliant, you may recall, that we were moved to give it a vinyl release via our shoppe label a year later). They’re back with the Jolly Discs mothership now for Ibiza Redux’s salt-breezed, sun-gilded and all-instrumental paeans to the White Isle – we’re assuming they have in mind its more secluded, er, more More-ish spaces rather than the paved-with-Englishman’s-vomit main drag. Not that this stuff isn’t dance music / wouldn’t sound good if you were mullered – opener ‘Sandstone’ occupies the no man’s land between Virgo Four and Double’s ‘Captain Of My Heart’ (eek!), while ‘Rampling’’s bruk, soca-ish snares and heat-warped steel-drums evoke more of a London thing, finding magic at the crushed-tinny-and-chicken-bone-strewn outer edge of carnival. ‘Jet Ski’ and ‘Big Wheel’, with their triumphantly twee synth lines and trilling coin-op FX, split the difference between peak Metro Area and the soundtrack to Sonic The Hedgehog: Amnesia ’87. But generally the SO MO is more sensitive, melancholic, exposed: see especially the bittersweet empyrean jazz of ‘Let Me In’, with its echoes of Antena, Crépuscule, The Sea and Cake’s Oui… before ‘Rupies’ brings you back to port on a raft of ruff, rolling dub-house. The prevailing mood throughout is WISTFULNESS. Our favourite thing. Azure skies and seas recollected from behind rain-lashed English windows. Ecstasy meets unrequited love. Yeah Ibiza Redux is pretty much my favourite celebration / deconstruction of the Balearic experience since the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Domino Dancing’ vid. No higher praise than that!
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