Amnesia 1986 (Summer Solstice Special)
Arguments will simmer for ever over whether Argentinian DJ Alfredo Fiorito was the prime originator of the Balearic aesthetic or just one part of a movement — but there’s no question that his mid-80s sets did serve to codify it. This 90 minute recording, dug up for a summer solstice post on the Chill Out Tent blog, is case in point, and is a perfect illustration of how technically simple but inspired DJing can pick up and transport an audience somewhere truly magical. It opens in shamelessly mainstream fashion with Simply Red, and there’s plenty of the more sophisticated pop and soul of the time (Style Council, Zushii), kooky (and un-Shazamable) Europop, lots of emotionally ambiguous new wave-derived songs (Joe Jackson, Talking Heads's “Home,” Sandie Shaw’s gorgeously bleak cover of Lloyd Cole's “Are you Ready to be Heartbroken?”), all culminating in a joyously weird ending of “How Much are They? by Jah Wobble with Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebzeit of Can into Henry Mancini's “Pink Panther Theme.” You can understand why intoxicated newcomers to the Amnesia club began to worship Alfredo as some kind of shaman — for all its seeming accessibility this is a deep musical ritual.