Song For Joni album cover
Song For Joni


Studio Mule

A great one for the “but is it Balearic?” file. The Mule Musiq family of labels out of Tokyo has since 2005 been prolific in sounds around the deepest of deep house, but also broadened its palette into experimental jazz, indie, ambient and more — and has certainly explicitly touched on the elusive Balearic aesthetic. This 2022 album by Shunji Mori aka 222 blurs the edges of Japanese environmental music a la Hiroshi Yoshimura, Jon Hassell style fourth world, and Durutti Column guitar abstraction. It is precisely the sort of Japanese music that, had it come out in 1983, would have been a staple for the more chilled DJs of Ibiza — and there’s a nice oblique connection to the island too, in the album’s title… Joni Mitchell's “party down a red dirt road” lasting “a week or two” that she sang of in “California” in 1971 referred to the beautiful people of Ibiza, where the beautiful people were grooving long before it was called Balearic to do so.

Joe Muggs

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