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Cafe Solo selected by Jose Padilla

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

IN 1994, the React label (now Resist) released the first Cafe Del Mar album, a collection of chilled Balearic grooves that successfully fused soul, jazz, classical, Hispanic and World music flavours to create a truly laidback play list.

The celebrated compilation was the brainchild of Ibiza’s spiritual father of chill out, Jose Padilla, a Spanish DJ famed for perfecting the emotionally charged sunset session at the legendary cafe bar. Now, 10 years later, Jose has chosen to revisit those roots with the release of Cafe Solo, a double CD tribute to Balearic music and beyond – both contemporary and classic.

CD1 is designed to take in a more eclectic vibe that encompasses tracks from Bibel Giberto, Elevator Suite and Jean Michel Jarre, while CD2 opts for a more cutting-edge route encompassing tracks from the likes of nu-disco producer Daniel Wang and Kompakt supremos Closer Musik and Justus Kohncke.

Highlights, of which there are many, come from the aforementioned Bibel Giberto, whose Aganju drops a truly hypnotic beat alongside a smooth, sultry set of vocals that ease you into a relaxed state of mind – albeit with a hispanic flavour.

The lively beats and atmospheric violins of Gabin’s Terra Pura ease effortlessly into a live version of Jean Michel Jarre’s classic Souvenir of China (a timeless piece of electronica that effortlessly showcases the depths of the Frenchman’s talents). You’ll know it from the moment the camera clicks begin to roll, such is the distinct nature of its beautiful brilliance.

Opening track Roll Your Own by Tripswitch also sets the tone nicely on CD1, courtesy of some enchanting, mystical vocals and a strong guitar riff that works well with the electronic flourishes and ambient feel.

One Self’s streetwise Unfamiliar Places also thrives on its mix of sultry vocals and hand-clap beats that are perfect for swaying along to without ever breaking into a sweat. Images of sunsets are never far from the mind, along with the enticing sound of waves crashing against the shore.

On CD2, Quad’s Aquaville drops some very ethereal ambient beats with spaced-out electronics and the Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Light in Darkness (remixed by 808 State) is a lively mish-mash of ‘80s-laced electronica, bongo-style drum beats and sampled vocals that wouldn’t sound out of place on the original Miami Vice soundtrack.

Unfortunately, CD2 isn’t quite as strong as its predecessor and feels more retro and more Balearic-based in feel. Whereas only a couple of tracks sound bland on CD1, such as Arp She Said by Six Cups of Rebel, there are many more on its counterpart, as exemplified by Paul Daley’s Dem Chase which opens proceedings and seems to go nowhere very slowly, becoming lost amid the landscape.

But criticisms aside, this is an extremely blissful listen that can be appreciated by any fan of chillout mixes even if they don’t ever intend to make the Balearic Isles a holiday destination (and rightly so!).

Track listing:
Disc one:

  1. Roll Your Own-Tripswitch
  2. Homme-Brazilian Girls
  3. Unfamiliar Places-One Self
  4. Available-Linn
  5. Miss Teardrop-Felix Laband
  6. Barefoot-Elevator Suite
  7. Aganju-Bebel Gilberto [John Beltran Remix]
  8. Arp She Said-Six Cups Of Rebel
  9. Terra Pura-Gabin
  10. Souvenir Of China-Jean-Michel Jarre [Live In China]
  11. Fantasia-Uusi Fantasia
  12. Inexplicata-Apollo Nove
  13. Take It Slow-Boozoo Bajou Feat. Joe Dukie & U-Brown
  14. Dipped In Golden Dreams-Sunstars

Disc Two

  1. Dem Chase-Paul Daley
  2. Aquaville-Quad
  3. Satellite-Fly
  4. Last Man Standing-Cities Of Foam
  5. Tribal Dance-Peter Green
  6. All Flowers Must Fade-Daniel Wang
  7. Rouge-Frontera [Original Mix]
  8. Evaluation-Voice Stealer
  9. Light In Darkness-Yellow Magic Orchestra [The 808 State Remix]
  10. Maria-Closer Musik
  11. Schwabylon-Justus Kohncke
  12. Ramalama (Bang Bang)-Roisin Murphy
  13. Bonus Track