The mission statement from Claremont 56 label boss, DJ and producer Paul ‘Mudd’ Murphy has always been the plaintive aim “to be an independent label dedicated to releasing beautiful music” and while this is true, it can be tricky attempting to sum up their sound. Broadly speaking the Claremont 56 catalogue falls under the Balearic banner, which is itself a somewhat slippery-to-define genre, originally referring to the music played by DJs Alfredo and Leo Mas in 80s Ibiza, a freeform and flowing mix that included house, synth pop, soundtracks, funk, dub and more.
So in keeping with the Balearic tradition, much of the Claremont catalogue is dance floor-derived or club-adjacent, although plenty of it is more horizontal in tempo, mood and overall vibe, and in contrast to the current Ibiza club soundtrack, there are no in-your-face, super-compressed, day-glo club bangers here. Instead, Claremont 56 release laidback pre-club, club, and post-club music, influenced by disco and West Coast rock, that also often comes with hints of jazz-funk, library music, AOR, yacht rock, psychedelia and funk. But within all these influences there’s definitely an overall aesthetic theme running through the labels’ releases. Over the years ‘Balearic’ has been codified into an accessible multi-genre sound that’s associated with a certain kind of dreamlike, Mediterranean leisurely hedonism, and Claremont 56 manage to epitomise that spirit while also encapsulating something of the early eclecticism and musical freedom of the original Balearic DJs too.