Electric Head album cover
Electric Head

The Grid

1990
EastWest

This 1990 album is a perfect exemplar of how the Balearic aesthetic merged into deeper streams of music and subculture. Richard Norris was a psychedelic archivist and musical experimenter, who had already leapt headlong into acid house with the Jack the Tab album he made with Genesis P. Orridge of Psychic TV / Throbbing Gristle in 1988. Dave Ball also contributed to that album but was best known for his own dark electronic innovations as half of Soft Cell. Together as The Grid, they plugged naturally in to the moody EBM and other Euro electronic records played by Ibiza’s Balearic DJs and effortlessly drew lines of connection from these into both house and the more soulful / blissed-out / easy listening aspects of Balearic sets. “Floatation” in particular, with its Soul II Soul derived beat, captured perfectly the flowing-together of elements and lack of rules of the time — and via its Andrew Weatherall remix (included on extended reissues) has been a part of dance culture’s nervous system ever since, as evidenced by Paul Woolford’s extraordinary remake of it almost 30 years later.

Joe Muggs

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