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Cantoma / Just Landed / Highwood

Test Pressing, Interview, Dr Rob, Phil Mison, Cantoma, Highwood, Music For Dreams, Reverso 68, Ambala, Just Landed

“Just Landed” is this year`s “So Many Colours”, and it`s no coincidence that both were produced by White Isle veterans and former Cafe Del Mar residents, Jose Padilla and Phil Mison having seen Ibiza change at first hand, witnessed the island altered perhaps irrevocably by commercialisation. Both consequently intent, and successfully so, on preserving the original musical spirit of “the Balearics” and a beauty that became endangered three decades ago. To do this classics are of course invoked. Cantoma`s “Talva Lumi” struts with Mario Balaguer`s Flamenco Funk, “Vialas Journey” rides William Orbit`s Strange Cargo down to Rio. The title track makes like Harvey on the morning after the night before. A.R. Rahman orchestral strings interplay with steel pans and “Ghost Town” brass. Cubano, Haitian Voodoo Dub skanks, casts spells and mixes love potions while folks clap and chant for Mama Africa. “Abando”, the collaboration with Finis Africae`s Javier Bergia, seduces in the manner of Mike Francis` best (including that post-humous duet with Sade engineered by Blank & Jones). The Danny Rampling co-written “Claudio`s Theme” (my personal favourite) could be the Cocteaus covering Art Of Noise`s “Crusoe”, Guthrie`s delay and array of guitar pedals singing a siren`s song with Sheila Chandra on backing and L.B. Bad undergoing a spiritual conversion. Other collaborations have Bing Ji Ling`s Zen Folk set against a cloudless blue sky and framed by white stucco walls, Brenda Ray (on vocals and melodica) recreating the woozy ether of her “Walatta”.

Like Padilla`s “So Many Colours”, “Just Landed”, to my ears, has been constructed to “cross-over”, in that from beginning to end it provides a varied yet consistent listen which should be big with with those “tuned-in” chaps and chapesses free of vinyl`s addiction i.e. if you only buy a couple of “Balearic” records a year, then this needs to be on that list, and while the album never, not for one minute, disappears up its own arse, its authenticity also placates and silences aficionados and grouchy old hard-line geeks such as me.

“Just Landed” is released on May 2nd, and the best place to listen, and order a copy, is over at cantomamusic.com.

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