No Logo – No Logo
Label: MelodicaScore: 7/10In the world of music there’s always a penchant for the ‘dream-team’ combo, whether pairing monolithic rappers like Jay-z and Kanye West, rock iconoclasts such as Dylan, Orbison, Harrison et al in the travelling Willoughbies or even in dance music – take Skream, Benga and Artwork fronting Magnetic Man. You can now add to that list Balearic beats, with Pete Gooding and Steve ‘Afterlife’ Biller combining as ‘No Logo’. With one of them a doyen of blissed out beats spanning nearly two decades and the other a well travelled DJ with an everlasting affinity with premier sunset spot Café Mambo, the heritage of the pairing to create music best experienced horizontally was formidably. Predictably that partnership has yielded results well worth seeking out, with their opus released on fellow ambassador of chill Chris Coco’s Melodica imprint; it’s the perfect antidote to the harshness winter sends emanating from its icy chill. Things start on a slightly foreboding sense, Darkstar’s monstrous growl slowly permeated by a soothing and atmospheric juxtaposing with a gurgling breakbeat underneath. Party Animal follows, Marion Benoist’s glorious French vocals gifting it a gallic feel. Gooding’s club roots are betrayed on the slightly quicker u-ptempo How Many more years and the sublime deep house of The Game, whilst The City that Never sleeps is a gorgeous languid recreation of the Eurythmics classic. Said record also benefits from a Max Essa remix that gifts a playful bounce and arresting tempo later on. ‘Mindset’ harks back to the classic Metalheadz and Good Looking moments, the gentle drum and bass rhythms underpinning the sultry female vocals and Detroit chords. The standout to these ears though is FHT, a classy jazz house number that focuses on a shuffling groove and some great tablas action and saxophone riffs; perfect fodder for the more musical side of the current fascination with nineties house. It’s part of an opus which all in all allows a great counterpart to the thud of most electronic music, an ensemble to absorb slowly rather than excitedly cram in. And staring longingly at the grey misery that is the current British weather, brief Balearic respite for sunnier climes.