Various Artists, Balearic Blend

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 07.26.12 in Reviews

Balearic Blend

Various Artists

The most eclectic of EMI staffer Jens Peterson Hällefors’s Balearic collections serves as an introduction to the Balearic series. Encompassing the folky classical minimalism of Penguin Café Orchestra, various permutations of UK New Wave and art-rock (Simple Minds, Spandau Ballet, Kajagoogoo, Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry), funky prog from Germany’s Eloy, funky EDM from Japan’s Logic System, Marcos Valle’s Brazilian jazz with Bond-like strings, Working Week’s gentle bossa nova, and much more, Balearic Blend emphasizes that Ibiza’s dancefloor aesthetics are far more concerned with mood than beats. Much of it is happy: You can’t get more light-hearted than Sly Dunbar’s reggae variation on the Sesame Street theme. But other tracks aren’t exactly perky, as the “Death Disco” of Public Image Ltd. makes abrasively clear. The warmly inclusive result is only nominally club-friendly, and that’s as it should be: This is what people dance to only when they’re on vacation and/or very, very drunk.