This review tasked me with selecting a favorite track and the fact that this mission led me to a 30 minute journey of comparing, playing and replaying all of those fantastic tracks is all the indication I need to conclude that this is a near-flawless compilation. A worthy successor to previous Spacetalk releases like Jeremy Underground's aptly titled "Beauty"-compilation and Jeremy Spellacey's Crown Ruler selection.
For the third volume of compilations curated by confirmed crate diggers, Spacetalk invites you to take a trip to the magical Mediterranean resort of Club Meduse in the company of Beachfreaks Records co-founder Charles Bals.
A creative director, designer and curator by trade, Bals spends the majority of his spare time searching for superb, unknown, small-run music releases made between the 1970s and 1990s. While some of these are made available for other enthusiasts to buy via Beachfreaks’ mail-order service, many more make it into the racks of Bals’ private collection. With Club Meduse, Bals is sharing rare, hard-to-find and just plain brilliant gems from his personal stash for the very first time.
For Club Meduse, Bals was inspired by countless magic childhood summers spent playing amongst the rocks, beaches and warm seas of the Cote D’Azur. The compilation, then, is a soundtrack to the greatest soft-focus, sunlit teenage summer holiday you’ve never had, with a gaggle of forgotten musicians and overlooked artists for company.
Take a barefoot stroll from the campsite to the beach with Ara Macao, whose warm and lucid “Canyon” is a softly-spun delight, before splashing in the crystal clear waters to the accompaniment of The Clean-Hands Group and their 1984 Balearic blue-eyed soul gems “Night Fly” and “Shake It On”.
As the sun comes down, clamber across the cooling rocks with the tumbling, sun-kissed guitar solos and sparkling analogue synthesizer motifs of The Keyboys’ leisurely “Savannah” ringing in your ears, before using the words of Gemini’s “Take A Chance” – undoubtedly the most Balearic record to emerge from Sweden in the last 50 years – to get flirtatious under the moonlight.
Should you fancy a dance down the camp disco, Bals’ selections will gently ease you onto the dancefloor and into the gaze of the boy or girl of your dreams. The fuzzy Italo-boogie of the C.V.Q Band’s “Whatever You Do (Instrumental)” will get you going, while Miss’s 1984 French electro gem “Hip Hop” should guarantee a celebratory conclusion to the night’s party.
No perfect holiday evening is complete without a stolen kiss in a secluded cove, and happily Bals has it covered. Check the seductive, dub-powered Balearic synth-boogie of Gigi Flag’s brilliant “Nymphomaniac (Instrumental)”, the steamy sweetness of Bals’ own edit of The One “O” Ones “Radio Cosmo 101” – possibly the greatest tune recorded to promote an Italian radio station – and the undulating electronic rhythms and exotic synthesizer lines of Eddy La Viny’s overlooked ‘80s zouk classic “Havan’ Havac”.
A1 Bastion – Molitva
A2 The Keyboys – Savannah
A3 Ara Macao – Canyon
B1 Chris & Kylie - Feelin' Good
B2 The One “O" Ones - Radio Cosmo 101 (Bals Edit)
B3 Gemini - Take A Chance
C1 The Clean Hands Group - Night Fly
C2 The C.V.Q Band – Whatever You Do (Instrumental)
C3 Miss – Hip Hop
C4 Metal Voices – At The Banks Of The River
D1 The Clean Hands Group - Shake It On
D2 Gigi Flag – Nymphomaniac (Instrumental Version)
D3 Eddy La Viny – Havan’ Hamac
supported by 82 fans who also own “Club Meduse compiled by Charles Bals”
It feels like a decades-old gem you'd find in a record shop, covered in dust. At the same time, it's crisp and fresh. This record has been made with real love for music from yesterday and a strong commitment to partying today. Catsley's Cornucopia