Review: Balearic disco maestro Max Essa has named his latest EP in honour of "Barkhan Dunes" - those wind created, crescent shaped sand dunes often found in deserts. Quite how this fits with the music on offer isn't explained, though the Balearic-minded music offered up is excellent. Check first "The Price You Pay (For Loving That Way)", an arpeggio-driven slab of sun-kissed nu-disco/Balearic house fusion rich in life-affirming Rhodes chords, twinkling synth lines and delay-laden saxophone solos. "Kites At Nemoto Beach" is a gently unfurling ambient soundscape full of drowsy vocal harmonies, while closing cut "Sundowning" sees Essa wrap glistening guitars and thickset synth bass around a bubbly mid-tempo drum machine rhythm.
Review: Barely a month has passed since the release of Max Essa's latest sumptuous long-player - the lovely "Lanterns" on Music For Dreams - but the Balearic hotshot already has more killer cuts to showcase via a second EP for Hell Yeah Recordings. The real triumph is languid A-side "Han Zoc Roc (Midori Coup)", a gently unfurling fusion of slow motion electronics, gentle beats, meandering melodies and blissful instrumental solos that changes shape several times over 13 mesmerizing minutes. Over on side B, the jazz guitar-rich wonder that is "How You Showed Me Everything" sounds like a tribute to Antenna classic "African Queen", while "Rainbird's Alfafa Jam" is a slightly more energetic workout that could arguably be described as "Balearic funk".
Clandestino - "Crack In The Sky" (Beat Broker Dream dub)
Last Waltz - "Tribute" (Machete Savane remix)
DJ Rocca & Daniele Baldelli - "Sartana"
Daniel Wainwright - "Doing It"
The Saint Petersburg Disco Spin Club - "Neva Liv U"
Ilija Rudman - "Second Screen"
Felix Dickenson - "Ousana" (Coyote remix)
I-Boat Captain - "Poly Punk"
Coyote - "California Jam"
Craig Bratley - "Maverick Sound System Mix"
Max Essa - "Burning Palms"
Rompante - "How Low Can You Dance" (Ahiki remix)
Sorcerer - "Zulu Honda"
Coyote - "Sin Distracciones"
9DW - "Right On" (original mix)
Leo Mas & Fabrice - "Sunrise 87" (Balearic Militant mix)
Downtown Party Network - "The Returning" (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)
Max Essa - "Feel The Machine"
Baptiste & Pierre - "Virage" (Ruf Dug extension)
Joe Morris - "Mpondo Theme"
Review: 2016 sees Coyote arrive at a decade of posing the question Is It Balearic? Replicating the compilation shaped celebrations surrounding their fifth anniversary, the landmark is noted with this fine 2CD collection. The compiling skills of Balearic chieftain Max Essa are called on for the first disc selections, with Coyote taking care of business on the second for a fine horizontally-minded celebration of all things Balearic encompassing 22 tracks. Tempos nudge back and forth, different vibes coming to the fore along the way as a dash of steel drum is replaced by forthright synth glistens and upright basslines. Legends mingle alongside future heroes, Foolish Felix and Baldelli impressing as much as Last Waltz and Clandestino. As the end nears, up pops Prins Thomas's classic Diskomiks of Downtown Party Network. Here's to another ten years Is it Balearic?