Balearic beat  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

(Redirected from Balearic)
Jump to: navigation, search

In 1988, there was the 'Balearic' business, an eclectic style of DJing which at the time encompassed dance mixes of pop artists like Mandy Smith and quasi-industrial music like Nitzer Ebb's 'Join In The Chant' Championed by Danny Rampling, Nicky Holloway, Paul Oakenfold and Johnny Walker who'd all been to Ibiza in the summer of 1987, Balearic was an integral part of the club scene at the time, but after the gushing media overkill it all became a little farcical as people attempted to make Balearic records. There was, of course no such thing. --Phil Cheeseman


Towards a Balearic playlist

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Balearic Beat or Balearic House is an eclectic blend of DJed dance music that originally emerged in the mid-1980s. It later became the name of a more specific style of electronic dance music that was popular into the mid-1990s. Balearic Beat was named for its popularity among European nightclub and beach rave patrons on the Balearic island of Ibiza, a popular tourist destination. Some dance music compilations referred to it as "the sound of Ibiza," even though many other, more aggressive and upbeat forms of dance music could be heard on the island.

Classic recordings by obscure acts are "Jíbaro" (1974), "E2-E4" (1984), "Stop Bajon" (1987) and "Sueño Latino" (1989) but the scene also played tracks by better-known acts such as "Voices Inside My Head" (1980) by The Police.

In recent years compositions such as "Do You Believe" by Poolside have been described as "daytime disco" or "balearic".

History

UK disc jockeys Trevor Fung, Paul Oakenfold, and Danny Rampling are commonly credited with having "discovered" Balearic Beat in 1987 while on holiday in Ibiza. Reportedly, they were introduced to the music at Amnesia, an Ibizan nightclub, by DJ Alfredo from Argentina, who had a residency there. DJ Alfredo, whose birth name is Alfredo Fiorillo, played an eclectic mix of dance music whose style encompassed the indie hypno grooves of the Woodentops, the mystic rock of the Waterboys, early house, Europop, and oddities from the likes of Peter Gabriel. After visiting other clubs on the island where similar music was being played, including Pacha and Ku, Oakenfold and his friend Trevor Fung returned to London, where they unsuccessfully tried to establish a nightclub called the Funhouse in the Balearic style. Returning to Ibiza during the summer of 1987, Oakenfold rented a villa where he hosted a number of his DJ friends, including Danny Rampling, Johnny Walker, and Nicky Holloway. Returning to London after the summer, Oakenfold reintroduced the Balearic style at a South London nightspot called the Project Club. The club initially attracted those who had visited Ibiza and who were familiar with the Balearic concept. Fueled by their use of Ecstasy and an emerging fashion style based on baggy clothes and bright colors, these Ibiza veterans were responsible for propagating the Balearic subculture within the evolving UK rave scene. In 1988, Oakenfold established a second outlet for Balearic Beat, a Monday night event called Spectrum, which is credited with exposing the Balearic concept to a wider audience.

Style

The early-1990s Balearic Beat sound was typified by a distinctive, relatively heavy, slow (90–110 bpm), R&B-influenced beat consisting of bass drum, snare, and hi-hats (often produced with a Roland TR-909 drum machine) programmed in certain laid-back, swing-beat patterns; plus soul, Latin, African, funk, and dub affectations; and production techniques borrowed from other styles of dance music that were popular at the time. Vocals were sometimes present, but much of the music was instrumental. The sounds of acoustic instruments such as guitar and piano were sometimes incorporated into Balearic Beat. Major artists credited with popularizing this form of Balearic Beat include Soul II Soul and Enigma. A trance offshoot, Ibiza Trance, also developed during this time. Having been primarily associated with a particular percussion pattern that eventually fell out of vogue, the style eventually faded from prominence, and its repertoire was subsumed by the more general "chill out" and "downtempo" genres.

The style of Balearic Beat is described by its inventors, as opposed to its UK followers, as the ability for the DJ to play across a broad range of styles, from early minimal new beat to the first extended remixes of pop-songs, making Balearic DJ sets those that tend to have the sharpest turns of musical direction. While the public outside Ibiza generally describes Balearic Beat as a music style, the island based community regard Balearic Beat as a non-style or a healthy disrespect to style conformity and a challenge to the norm. Its a freestyle expression that seamlessly binds sporadic vinyl inspiration through technical flair on the turntables. Today, due to segregation in the electronic dance music few promoters and thus DJ's dare to stretch their spectrum of styles that far in fear of losing identity and clients. DJ Alfredo still heralds the most diversity among Ibiza DJ's, but generally the approach to mixing as well as the terminology, have been swallowed up by the Chillout scene.

Ibiza is still considered by some to have its own 'sound,' however, including among others the music of Jens Gad, co-creator of Enigma, and his new chillout-world-influenced hybrid project, Achillea, recorded in his studio in the hills overlooking Ibiza. Compilations such as Global Lounge Sessions: The Balearic Sound of Ibiza, released in 2002, and Sequoia Groove's Buddha-Lounge series, continue to be released. These generally feature house music and certain downtempo selections, not the old style of Balearic Beat, per se. Some prefer to use the term more generally, however, to apply to all of these styles.

Compilations




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Balearic beat" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools