Led by Phil Mison aka Cantoma, Highwood Recordings has been serving up woozy, laid-back, downtempo balearic, disco and house since 2013. Although the label is based in London, Highwood, predominantly releasing Cantoma’s own tracks, lays down sun-kissed ‘music for far away places’. Noche Espanola, Coyote, Pete Herbert, Dennis Kane and Chris Coco are a select few who have remixed Mison’s tracks on the label.
Review: To celebrate Phil Mison's fourth LP under the Cantoma moniker - an album that took in collaborations with Quinn Lamont Luke, Hush Forever, Suad Khalifa, Apres Midi, David Philips and Luna Asteri - its remixers are equally exciting in Pete Herbert, Ruff Dug and Leo Mas & Fabrice. Ruff Dug simultaneously balances post punk and Italo disco in his melancholic yet wholly uplifting remix, with Pete Herbert heading straight into indie, disco and pop territory that will appeal to fans of a New York City sound. And for something a little deeper house leaning but still loungey, ambient jazz, and groovy - Leo Mas & Fabrice hit the spot!
Review: A single release for this track from 'Into Daylight', the fourth album by chill-out/Balearic legend Phil Mison in his Cantoma guise, which gets served up here in two very different forms. Rudy's Midnight Machine (AKA Faze Action's Robin Lee) takes the dreamy, lounge-y album version and ups the funk factor considerably, dragging its mournful, Brass Construction-like trumpets, sprightly piano notes and chorused male vox onto the disco dancefloor even if the pace remains quite sedate, while Dune People head in the opposite direction, dropping the tempo to a hazy, stoned crawl that's vaguely reminiscent of Groove Armada.
Review: At the time this review was written it's 12 hours until the official release of Cantoma's second studio album! Released on Highwood Recordings, Into Daylight presents the fourth studio LP for Phil Mason's project and second for the label following others on Leng and Horizon before that. With warm touches of Spanish guitar gracing tracks like "Solando", "Road Home" and "Verbana", you'll find cool pop, folk and jazz in numbers like "Another Place" to disco strings, smooth brass sections and African percussion throughout "Kasoto" and "The Mountain". Best enjoyed at Sunset!
Review: If it's ultra-Balearic dancefloor fare that floats your boat, there's a strong chance that your music collection already boasts a number of releases by British veteran Phil Mison. Aside from his pals Mark Barrott and Chris Coco, few have quite as good a grasp of Balearic beats as Mison, something he consistently proves via his productions under the Cantoma alias. He's at it again on "Kasoto", a Flamenco guitar and synth brass sporting chunk of East-West dancefloor fusion that's as Balearic as dungarees, poolside parties and Jose Padilla's ponytail. Mison's own dancefloor-focused Noche Espanola remix, which sits somewhere between early Italian house and post-boogie Balearic disco, is particularly potent. That said, the new age inspired horizontal dreaminess of the Karel Arbus and Eiji Takamusto Remix is also sublime.
Review: Phil Mison returns with another blink-and-miss wax special that takes the name from a medicinal leech. Fitting; one session with any of these three versions will drain you of any ill will or negativity. Rising in tempo and energy from the original across Noche Espanola's remix and instrumental version, this is pure Balearica with its glistening strums, sunset chords and magically scattered percussion. The seasonal timing of this is no coincidence.
Review: If you don't keep a close eye on vinyl releases, you may have missed two stellar 12" singles from Noche Espanola - a dancefloor-focused, mid-tempo Balearic house project from White Isle chill-out veteran Phil Mison. This eponymous first digital download outing gathers together all four floor-focused cuts from those two EPs. First you'll find two versions of "Noche Espanola": the hybrid dub disco/Mediterranean nu-disco cheeriness of Mison's original mix, and an arguably superior Dub revision that smothers an Idjut Boys style bassline in sumptuously spacey chords and synths. "Domino" is also available in two variations: the equally dreamy, sun-kissed and jaunty "Outdoors Mix" and the more robust, percussive and acid-flecked "Indoors Mix".
Review: Cantoma's Out Of Town has long been regarded as something of a modern Balearic classic. It first appeared on Leng Records back in 2010 as a CD-only release, before getting a deserved vinyl release four years later. Now the album's creator, long-serving chill-out DJ/producer Phil Mison, has reissued it on digital download. It still glistens as majestically as the Mediterranean Sea at sunset, with highlights including the dreamy dancefloor bagginess of "North Shore", the dub-powered, head-nodding shuffle of "Under The Stars", the up-tempo, accordion-sporting tango-house goodness of "Dix Verte" and the impeccable neo-classical ambient lusciousness of sublime album closer "Trees of Highwood".
Review: As the matter-or-fact title suggests, this expansive set gathers together a swathe of previously unheard remixes of tracks by Phil Mison's Balearic-minded Cantoma project, plus a handful of never-before-released bonus cuts. There's naturally much to set the pulse racing from the word go, when Test Pressing sort Apiento blends Padilla-style flamenco guitars, jaunty Afro-funk flourishes and early '90s Balearic breakbeats on an inspired rework of "Talva Lumi". Elsewhere, Mison goes all dubby and lucid on "Echo (Instrumental)", joins forces with old pal Pete Herbert as Reverso 68 for a synth-heavy, Balearic nu-disco interpretation of "Just Landed" and encourages Whatever/Whatever to reach for the acid lines in a sublime, floor-friendly remix of "Tabarin" that's worth the admission price on its own.
Review: It's been some three years since Phil Mison last graced the world with some original material as Cantoma, and fans will be glad to hear that the producer is preparing a third album for release in October. Some advance insight into how it will turn out is afforded with this EP release of lead single Alive that features the silky vocal talents of Bing Ji Ling. The crooning alter ego of fuzzy headed Phenomenal Handclap Band member Quinn Luke, Bing Ji Ling is the perfect vocal foil to Mison's guitar flecked arrangement which is bound to feature on many an upcoming Balearic compilation. Meanwhile Mison's Reverso 69 partner in crime Pete Herbert delivers a glistening discoid take on "Just Landed".