La Torre Ibiza: Volumen Tres.

Label: Hostal La Torre.

The nineties and early noughties were the golden age for what was referred to as Balearic, chill out or downtempo  music.  Many of these lovingly curated  compilations were released on smaller independent labels and featured a mixture of the new and old, from familiar faces and new names. Some of these compilations became successful series and  were released annually and were much-anticipated. However, some of the bigger independent labels and the major labels decided to jump on the bandwagon.

 Downtempo music hijacked by labels, who sensing an  easy way to make money, released all sorts of compilations with chill-out in the title. Sadly, the quality left a lot to be desired and it wasn’t long before many people turned their back on this style of music, saddened and were frustrated by the inferior quality of many of the releases.

What did not help, was certain established compilations started releasing poorer quality instalments of previously popular series’. This lead to this genre of music becoming much less popular, and some people treated the genre with what was almost contempt. That was a shame, because during the “golden age” many critically acclaimed compilations were released and have stood the test of time. 

Sadly, there’s not as many compilations of what’s nowadays referred to as Balearic or  downtempo  music.  The compilations that are released, are best often a mixed bag. However, one compilation that oozes quality is  La Torre Ibiza: Volumen Tres which was released by the  Hostal La Torre label. It’s a two LP set that features fifteen tracks., 

La Torre Ibiza: Volumen Tres is a lovingly curated and eclectic compilation, which opens with Bill Laswell and Jah Wobble’s dreamy, lysergic and jazz-tinged Alsema Dub. Very different is Mornings At Made’s, which is a cinematic, mesmeric  and beautiful track by Pacific Coliseum. It’s followed by Lambchop’s joys and uplifting Up With The People. 

By contrast, Satoshi and  Makoto’s  Crepuscule Leger scampers along and is a reminder of the golden age of downtempo music. It’s followed by Mac DeMarco’s  On The Level a dreamy  sounding minimalist track where synths, drums and the vocal play leading roles. Malcolm McLaren’s Obatala is another track that is reminiscent of the music being released during the golden age of downtempo music. 

Back in eighties and nineties, Tears For Fears were a hugely popular and successful band. However,  Head Over Heels” (Sketches From An Island Sunrise Mediation), which is a nine minute epic, shows another side to their music and is a carefully crafted remix that is one of the highlights of La Torre Ibiza: Volumen Tres.  So is Trance’s mesmeric and cinematic sounding Ambiente which conjures up visions of India as the sitar plays a leading role in this captivating arrangement. The Advisory Circle’s  Sundial veers between futuristic, dreamy, dubby and ruminative and is another highlight of the compilation. Richard Torrance’s Anything’s Possible is a genre-melting track that fuses elements of jazz, downtempo and indie rock. After Hours by Swing Out Sister with its jazz-tinged downtempo sound is a welcome addition and so is John Stammers’ Idle I’m (Colorama Coloured In Remix). It epitomises everything that is good about downtempo music and is the perfect way to close  La Torre Ibiza: Volumen Tres.

For veterans and newcomers to Balearic and downtempo compilations,  La Torre Ibiza: Volumen Tres which was released as a two LP set is a must have. It’s without doubt one of the best compilations of Balearic and downtempo music released this year. La Torre Ibiza: Volumen Tres Balearic oozes quality, and  is a lovingly curated collection of eclectic tracks that features familiar faces and new names, and will appeal to anyone who enjoys and appreciates the delights of Balearic and downtempo music.

La Torre Ibiza: Volumen Tres.

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