Review: Any time that DJ Harvey gives us a sneak peek into the current contents of his record bag - sorry, USB stick - is a cause for celebration. As you can imagine, we're cock-a-hoop that he's decided to deliver a follow-up to his superb 2017 compilation "The Sound of Mercury Rising". As with its predecessor, volume two offers a giddy skip through chiming, synth-heavy original Balearic classics (Mandy Smith, Hugh Mane), weirdo European disco (Marta Acuna), evocative electronic soundscapes (System Olympia), blue-eyed synth-pop (Pamela Nivens), drum machine-powered Middle Eastern madness (Switchdance's sublime "Arabian Ride")and a swathe of tasty contemporary cuts (the jaunty jazz-funk of Midlife, Das Komplex's ace "Slap", Nu Guinea's splendid "Je Vulesse" and Peaking Lights remix of Land of Light being the highlights).
Review: In 2015 DJ Harvey made his hugely anticipated return to Ibiza and made Pikes the home for his Mercury Rising debut, a concept inspired by the beauty of the real Ibiza, the incredible history of the hotel (aka The Chelsea of Ibiza) and a genuine love for music. This Balearic spirit perfectly and poetically encapsulated by DJ Harvey has seen Mercury Rising widely recognised as the most special night to embrace the island in over a decade. The next step in the story sees him launch Pikes Records - the first record label founded by Pikes owners and Ibiza Rocks co-founders Andy McKay and Dawn Hindle. From his own Locussolus project's slow burner "Next To You" (Marcy Rising edit), to fellow London disco heroes Idjut Boys who serve up "One For Kenny" where they get really deep. There's also party favourite Gatto Fritto with "Invisible College" and Eric 'Dr. Dunks' Duncan, on form as always, with Chris Munoz on the scorcher "Zona De Perigo".
Review: Music For Dreams continues to offer-up rather good remixes of tracks from Belgian quartet Rheinzand's 2020 debut album. The latest cut to get the rework treatment is previous single 'Blind', a saucer-eyed fusion of chugging synth-pop haziness and revivalist rave riffs. Gerd Janson steps up to provide the tweaks, first delivering a 'Dance Remix' that adds lo-fi bleep melodies, starry chords and other mid-80s stylistic tweaks to a bolder, Italo-disco style bassline and unfussy machine drums. It sounds like an update on the Bobby 'O' Orlando sound, which is no bad thing. He explores this angle further on the accompanying dub, which also boasts some soaring synth synths and a genuinely rush-inducing vibe.
Review: Back in November (2020), Music For Dreams boss Kenneth Bager once again proved his A&R skills by showcasing a suitably superb set of remixes of Rheinzand's 'Obey'. Here he looks to repeat this success via a swathe of fresh reworks of 'Kills & Kisses', which first featured on the band's self-titled debut album. Red Axes kick things off with a typically bass-heavy dub disco revision full of fluttering synth riffs and driving drums, before Musemici opts to re-cast the track as an analogue bass-propelled nu-disco roller. Elsewhere, Skylab joins the dots between weirdo krautrock, oddball new wave and driving darkroom disco; the RZ Dub mix is a wickedly trippy and percussive beast, and the band's instrumental flits between noir nu-disco and flowery synth-house bounciness.
Review: For the uninitiated, Rheinzand is a Ghent-based combo that brings together the varied talents of Tundra's Charlotte Caluwaerts, multi-instrumentalist/producer Richard Vanbargen, and Mo Disko, formerly of the Glimmers. This EP sees one of their finest works to date, 2019 single 'Obey', get the remix treatment in a 2020 style. The headline-grabbing mixes come courtesy of disco-chug stars the Hardway Brothers, who deliver two interpretations: the delightfully undulating, glassy-eyed, immersive and loved-up 'Stereo Odyssey' mix, and the more low-slung, bass-heavy and psychedelic 'Live at the SSL Dub' revision. Make sure you also check SIRS' more up-tempo, colourful and club-ready revision, which sounds like Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love' after a fist-full of happy pills and a suitably hedonistic weekend dancing on a Mediterranean beach.