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2016 – Leo Mas Presents Mediterraneo

Updated: Mar 4, 2023

"Leo Mas Presents Mediterraneo" is a compilation issued on Kenneth Bager's "Music for Dreams" record label in 2016.

Since the last show we covered on the blog a week ago featured Danish Record Label founder and music producer Kenneth Bager from "Music for Dreams" (you can listen back to Colleen's interview here), and since we dug deeper into Chrima's song "U (I dig you)" earlier too, it seemed only logical to propose to our readers this small presentation of a lovely compilation issued on March 25, 2016.

Let's first quickly present the beautiful label "Music for Dreams": The record label, founded in 2001, became, in later years, a multimedia company encompassing a Publishing Company, Radio Station, Synch, Events & Social Media & D2C outlets.

Kenneth bager music for dreams

Starting as a DJ in 1979, Kenneth has played in the most renowned clubs and parties worldwide. When asked what his inspiration for "Music for dreams" was, the passionate record collector recalled childhood memories: "(...) when I was five years old - I fell in love with a beautiful cinematic piece of Music called 'Lara's Theme' from the soundtrack of the movie' Dr Zhivago', from my mother and fathers record collection. I have always loved emotional records. Records that could make you sad or feel you were in love - flying high on a sky of emotions. Tracks like 'Dreamflow' by Paulinho Da Costa, 'Fanny Be Tender' by The Bee Gees, 'The Dance Of Life' by Narada Michael Walden, any Marvin Gaye 70's albums were compositions I could listen to over and over again during my teenage years".

Have a listen to John William's version of Lara's Theme :

With the record label including artists like DJ Pipi (played several times during Balearic Breakfast) or Troels Hammer (whose beautiful track Diário De Silêncio has also been played by Colleen), and producing unmatched compilations allowing the listener to drift away, Kenneth, without the shadow of a doubt, stays true to the philosophy at the core of his record label "I've always believed the music should connect you to a bigger picture. The goal is to express and convey a feeling, and to behold the moment – the essence of oscillating between a smile and a tear. i like to bring tragedy and humour together, and invite them up for a dance".

Don't hesitate to visit the "Music for dreams" bandcamp; it is a stunning place to dive in...

On why the "Leo Mas Presents Mediterraneo" compilation is great: First and foremost, the compilation is cured by the renowned Italian DJ Leo Mas. If you have never heard about him, I am not ashamed to admit I didn't know anything about his career before writing these lines; you should read this interview.

Leo Mas, the Italian DJ and record collector
Leo Mas, at home, digging deep...

Record collector and DJ (he played the Amnesia several times in Ibiza back in the '80s / '90s) Leo Mas certainly embodies what Balearic Music is. For instance, when asked to pick up just a few Balearic records that were representative of the parties he held at the Amnesia, Leo answered: "There are so many iconic Amnesia records, but for you I picked these: Elkin & Nelson's 'Jibaro', William Pitt's 'City Lights', Chris Rea's 'Josephine (Extended French Re-Records)', The Night Writers' 'Let The Music (Use You)' and The Woodentops 'Why Why Why (Live Version)'". With such an immense musical knowledge, Leo Mas certainly was the perfect choice for Kenneth Bager who asked him to put together a "compilation of Italian music". And this is precisely where things get interesting.

When listening to "Leo Mas presents Mediterraneo" for the first time on Deezer (which now offers lossless streaming) or on Spotify, we quickly notice that song levels aren't perfectly matched throughout the album. For instance, songs like "Gil", "Number One", "Dejanira", and "Clouds over thin paper" all share a lower sound level, whereas the other songs of the compilation are significantly louder, thus affecting the listening experience. You can hear this on the Soundcloud mini mix shared here. We believe this could have been checked before issuing the compilation on the audio streaming platforms, without using audio compression, of course, but by raising or lowering the level of each track (on the other hand, the audio integrity of each song is preserved – can you hear the realism on some of the audio tracks ? –, so that's a good point to take into consideration).

But the gorgeous song selection absolutely showcases the intrinsic Balearic Spirit of Italian Music, and that's all that matters in the end. We feel Leo Mas' and Kenneth Bager's musical touch while listening to the compilation: the order in which the tracks are put together is perfect, and we have both the "diggers" and the "musical" side of the journey!

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