Cosmic Balearic Beats Vol. 1 album cover
Cosmic Balearic Beats Vol. 1

Various Artists

Eskimo Recordings

If someone says “Balearic music” nowadays, as often as not they’ll be referring to something like this: synth disco running at 120bpm and below, often with a rock-band chug to the drums, and lots of psychedelic swooshes and swirls. But actually this manifestation has only really been the case since the mid 00s, when people began to join the dots from the Spanish Balearic Islands in the 80s to the Italian cosmic disco that had been happening at the same time thanks to DJs like Daniele Baldelli. This in turn fused with other new-wave / synth / alt-disco revivalism happening via labels/collectives like DFA, Optimo and RVNG INTL, plus a whole new wave of Nordic space disco from the likes of Prins Thomas, Todd Terje and Lindstrøm — and a new musical grammar was formed. Eskimo Recordings from Ghent in Belgium was a vital part of that agglomeration, and this 2007 compilation captures the magic perfectly. It’s at least as much Baldelli as it is Alfredo (hence the “Cosmic” in the title), and it still stands up as a warm, hedonistic joining of dots through international dance cultures.

Joe Muggs

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