Various Artists

Balearic Beats, Vol. 1

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Balearic was born in the dance clubs of Ibiza, the Spanish island frequented by young British tourists ready to drink and dance. A cooler counterpart to acid house, the short-lived "brand" of dance received this compilation of tracks popular in certain Ibizan and London clubs for a summer or two in the late '80s. Side one is the most coherent, with a solid, house-y rhythm with sunny synths, an air of hedonism, scattershot media soundbites, faux-Arabian melodies, and pulsing horns. Even Stock, Aikman, and Waterman's moppet act Mandy Smith comes across well, with a slinky remix of "Mandy's Theme (Just Can't Wait)." Side two falls apart, however, with a live version of "Why Why Why" by the Woodentops, the more inappropriate and industrial Nitzer Ebb, and the indie-group-slumming-at-disco, Thrashing Doves. Only a wild remix of the Residents ("Kaw-Liga") keeps the groove moving.

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