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: Palms and Charms' latest dose of "music for sunsets and dancing" comes from Miskotom, a Lithuanian husband-and-wife duo best known for their delicious deep house and dreamy downtempo EPs on Pleasure Unit and Dream Time. We're particularly enjoying languid but floor-friendly opener "Huacachina", where a lilting lone horn and drowsy chords rise above a cowbell-sporting beat and jazzy bass guitar, but the Nu Guinea style deep and dreamy jazz-funk goodness of "Berenice's Hair" is not fair behind. Further Balearic movements are provided on the flip, where the dreamy and drifting warmth of "Nazska" is followed be the gently bubbly beats, stretched-out chords, Simple Minds guitars and starry synths of "Aegean Cruise 1955".