Review: Stuck at home with nothing to do for days, starved of culture and community? Now you know how Bjorn Torske felt in the Tromso of the late 80s, writes Hell Yeah. Bjorn Torske, a legend to come out of the enigmatic Norwegian disco scene, and now Hell Yeah Recordings main selector, has been called upon to captain a flight through Hell Yeah Recordings impressive discography. With cassettes of the mixtape already sold out, this digital version - with stand alone tracks - brings together sounds of label mates like Alexander Robotnic, Max Essa, Luminodisco and the much loved Gigi Masin & Templehof collaboration. Gliding from Calm's celestial "Space Is My Place" to Crimea X's piano-driven "10PM", housier Lauer remixes or Prins Thomas Diskomiks, Torske makes himself known by threading some his own own edits (and kleggsommer dubs) to complete a fantastic voyage through the Italian label. Hell Yeah!
Review: Italy's Hell Yeah label call upon a select cast of remixers to take on the Neapolitan sounds of Walter Del Vecchio, aka Quiroga, that gives a second look at the artist's original 2019 Passages album. A Vision Of Panorama brings some cooler, breathy and tropical house vibes to "The Zoist" with some slower, subaqueous and dubbed out instrumental disco coming from My Friend Dario ("Chiaia Sunset"). Whodamanny introduces some hightailing disco funk in his reinterpretation of "Martinica Feelings" with jazz, percussion, finger lickin' guitars and drum solos pushed to full tilt in the Jazz n Palms remix.
Review: Lifting his alias from a Vitalic track released back in 2005, My Friend Dario returns once again to Italy's Hell Yeah label. The Catania-raised producer sends in a hell of a distorted guitar, soul and disco ballad that's big on tropical vibes and balearic spirit in "Montalbano" while heavier new wave and Italo-inspired sounds find their way to "In Gola". That distortion returns in "Salamon's Son" once again though this time it's coated over synths and keys alongside snapping drums machines, sultry vibraphones and sexy subbass. We wanna go to Montalbano!
Review: If you enjoy dreamy, otherworldly music tailor-made for sunsets and sunrises, there's a fair chance you already own a number of Max Essa releases. While his singles are often excellent, it's his albums that really stand out. "The Great Adventure", the Tokyo-based Brit's first LP in two years and fifth solo set in total - is typically impressive. Rich in dreamy analogue synthesizer sounds, even gentler rhythms and glistening, sun-bright guitar solos, it's the kind of album that feels like a warm, loved-up embrace from start to finish. Amongst the undeniably Balearic highlights are the Flamenco-tinged nu-disco shuffle of "The Great Adventure", the yearning ambient-meets-dub bliss of "Themes From The Hood, The Cad & The Lovely", and the picturesque beauty of "Buran Chime".
Review: While best known for the more Balearic and downtempo side of its output, Italian imprint Hell Yeah is not averse to releasing the odd dancefloor-focused EP from time to time. This missive from Australian producer and sometime Whiskey Disco regular Kayroy snugly fits that category. The headline attraction is arguably GREETINGS collaboration "Imagine", a wonderfully colourful combination of cascading electronic melodies, breezy piano stabs, nu-disco drums and a squelchy bassline straight out of the NYC freestyle playbook. Dawn Again provides the obligatory remix, successfully re-imagining the track as a breakbeat driven chunk of bass-heavy dream house warmth.The EP's other tracks, "Orbitale" and " Galapegos", are both Galaxians style chunks of revivalist electrofunk cheeriness smothered in kaleidoscopic synth sounds.
Review: Calm's second outing is already in the shape of an album, once again coming through on Italy's reliable Hell Yeah! Records, marking a significant step-up for the artist, and an entrance into the more conceptual side of electronic music. The album begins as a thrilling voyage of sounds and remains as such for its entirety, using the wider 'balearic' framework as a platform to base its diverse range of tracks. Synths are the biggest component of these segments, gently weaving an immersive story from the ground up. There are hardly any beats on here but the music is full of movement and rich in texture, creating a colourful world that sways from sadness to euphoria with elegance.
Review: Sea Monster, the 2017 sophomore set from St Petersburg's Kito Jempere (real name Krill Sergeev), was something of a gentle Balearic treat. As you'd expect, this package of remixes of album highlights is a little more club-centric, though every bit as warm, glassy-eyed and loved up. Check, for example, the wonderfully tactile and gently breezy versions from Max Essa. These are rich-in gently pulsing drum machine hits, swirling chords and fluttering synthesizer melodies. Of the two, it's the more low-slung Dub, which sounds like a mid '80s Simple Minds instrumental B-side, which really resonates. Elsewhere, Finnish veteran Jimi Tenor provides a fuzzy, lo-fi version of "Puzzled" that sits somewhere between Balearic jazz and electro-lounge, and Miskotom pops a happy pill and gets all loved up with "Ampa".
Review: Italian founded, now Berlin based disco/balearic deviants Hell Yeah are back with a guy named Gallo. Story has it that when When Hell Yeah boss Marco dropped Fabrizio Mammarella's ambient Remix of "Faron" at sunset at Hostal la Torre in Ibiza last year - people started queuing up for IDs. The Italian DJ is part of Balearic Gabba Sound System and resident at horizontal party Buena Onda in Berlin and Ibiza - so you are certainly in good hands. In its original version, "Remember To Forget" is a slo-mo, psyched-out chill time cut, as is the lush new age vibe of "Ebrezza" (original mix) but the remix up next by Leeds based trio Clandestino delivers a more energised and neon-lit perspective for the dancefloor.
Review: Berlin based italians Hell Yeah return with new terrible Russian kids on the block: Uninc & Kolomensky aka Dany Kole (Clandestino,) who serve up more vodka influenced acid-house. As best described by the label themselves, they melt chunky beatdown from outer space, Kingston vibes, west-coast house sensibilities all under one roof. The funky acid cum balearica of "AiAiAi" has an almost early '90s style Madchester vibe about it on this delay drenched dub epic. Also featured is the low slung, slo-mo house of "Muffin" which also features yet more TB-303 glide, sandwiched between ragga vocals, live drums and rich vintage synth action.
Review: Both "Corner Song" and "The Flying Man" were first featured on Tempelhof and Gigi Masin's second collaborative album, 2016's arguably overlooked album Tsuki. Both are naturally worthy of a single release, though, as they deserve wider recognition. Both are quietly beautiful, drowsy and hazily picturesque, with gently percussive opener "Corner Song" just edging out the beat-less brilliance of "The Flying Man" - in which Masin delivers a weary and heart-aching vocal - in the "best track" stakes. On the flip you'll find a radical re-interpretation of "Corner Song" by New York producer Jex Opolis, who wraps Tempelhof and Masin's glistening guitars around a wonderfully colourful and tactile Balearic boogie groove.
Review: The Vendetta Suite is Belfast's Gary Irwin. His first solo release since 2012 features six tracks all handpicked by Hell Yeah boss Marco from vast unreleased vaults. Irwin was the in house engineer for the legendary UK producer David Holmes' Exploding Plastic Inevitable studio. Tracks from the artist such as "Hula Bop" became classic staples in Marco's sets as Balearic Gabba Soundsystem, so he recently reached out to the Newtownards man and worded him up via Soundcloud. And here we have it - a cinematic EP that draws on a myriad musical styles and showcases Irwin's peerless studio skills. There's some variety on here, that's for sure: from the cosmic balearic trip that is "Sirius", the cheeky Madchester sounding acid dub of "Shut Up Ya Dub!" or the sublime ambient journey of "Colin Wilson Said" which is the perfect soundtrack to a comedown.
Review: Earlier in 2017, Russian producer, DJ and live musician Kito Jempere returned with his second album for Italian label Hell Yeah. Jempere plays live as the Kito Jempere Band, where he calls upon his bandmates for their many skills to lend the album a richly musical feel. Mixed and co-produced by band member Roman Urazov, the album featured Artemiy Gunbin aka Noteless on vocals, as well as drummer Ruslan Gadzhimuradov, Matvey Averin on bass and finally Sergey Lipsky - who plays guitar and is also half of Simple Symmetry. We now get treated to a series of brilliant remixes on this EP. Power duo Lauer and Fabrizio Mammarella aka Black Spuma deliver a typically neon-lit and retro makeover of "Ampa" (Black Spuma Energy Thieves vocal mix) and it's full of classic beatboxes, shimmering vintage synth arpeggios and a classic sense of swing. Russian producer Lipelis' remix of "Lifetime Theme" (Lipelis Kebab House remix) takes you deep into the exotic (with a pinch of acid) and Melbournian in Berlin Bell Towers delivers a balearic tinged rendition of the track too, that his earned him releases on Public Possession and Stamp The Wax.
Review: Like many producers these days, Riccio's discography includes a blend of rock solid re-edits and high quality original productions for the likes of Bosconi Extra Virgin and People Must Jam. This 12" marks his first appearance on the consistently impressive Hell Yeah! imprint. There's plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, from the pleasingly loose and groovy, Afrobeat-goes-house goodness of "Afro Chemy", to the fiendishly fuzzy, Daniele Baldelli style Afro-cosmic funk of "Funky Cave". Arguably best of all, though, is epic flipside "Heather", a near 10-minute fusion of dreamy chords, slow-burning Kalimba melodies, gentle electronics and languid, mid-tempo beats. In case you were wondering, it's definitely Balearic.