Leng Records have come out with something a little bit different: a 12” compilation of little-known and hard-to-find Balearic gems selected by friend of the label Paul Beckett.
Plucked from the dusty corners of his collection, the five tracks on show are musically rich excursions that effortlessly blur the boundaries between genres and will sound especially perfect on a humid Mediterranean or Adriatic afternoon.
First up is The Ray & John’s languid, disco-tinged ‘Day By Day (Instrumental)’, which originally featured on the flipside of the Italian duo’s sole single from 1984. Rich in rubbery bass guitar, sequenced synth-bass, sharp disco guitar licks and occasional chanted vocals, it sounds like Please-era Pet Shop Boys reclining at a Rimini pool party.
It’s followed by Angel’o’s ‘Angelo’, a turn-of-the-80s gem picked from the band’s long-forgotten album, Dream Machine. Marked out by warming electric piano motifs, squelchy synth-bass and hazy lead vocals, the track successfully mixes krautrock and space rock sounds with the then fresh sound of synth-pop.
Next up is All Trouvee’s ‘Darling’, a thoroughly overlooked 1987 single whose minimalistic sleeve artwork lists each of the now-classic – and then cutting edge – synthesizers used to make the sun-soaked blend of mid-80s synth disco, AOR pop and sunset-ready jazz-funk piano solos.
Equally impactful is Angel’s ‘Tomorrow Night’, a little-known chunk of glossy, laidback synth-pop. Its’ sound of delayed drums, synth-horns, Nile Rodgers style guitar licks and echoing lead lines was actually far sighted for the time but would become more familiar to listeners as synth-pop boomed in the mid 1980s.
Rounding off the package is ‘Feeling Action’ by Eggs Time, a deliciously warm and woozy chunk of Italian pop/West Coast jazz-rock fusion plucked from a real slice of buried treasure: an Italian compilation called Moby Dick. There’s certainly a tinge of both yacht rock and blue-eyed soul about the tracks blend of FM synth sounds, eyes-closed jazz guitar solos, unfussy beats and sweet female vocals.
It provides a fittingly horizontal finish to a collection packed with long-overlooked, sun-baked treats.